This tomato soup had its origins in a basketfull of tomatoes from our garden, and the winter delivery of a care package from my friend Judy, who is an amazing cook. In her little dish was the best fresh tomato soup I’ve tasted, and it wasn’t until I was laid up with some surgery that she finally relinquished the recipe.
Wash and cut in half a number of Roma-type tomatoes; no need to core. Lay them skin-side down on a foil-lined rimmed cookie sheet or a broiler pan. If you have eating tomatoes, cut those into approximate sized chunks. Add one onion, chunked. Squish three cloves of garlic over the tomatoes. Drizzle some extra-virgin olive oil, and then liberally salt and pepper the tomatoes.
Bake in a preheated oven at 425 for 40 minutes, until they are tender and even a little bit cooked down.
Place in a pot, and drizzle over some good-quality balsamic vinegar (about 1/4 cup). With a stick blender, whir the mixture smooth, adding chicken broth as needed to bring it to soup consistency (probably about 3/4 to 1 cup of broth).
Now adjust for flavor. Some things I usually add are:
fresh basil, snipped
heavy pinch of red pepper flakes
salt (to taste)
and if I have no fresh basil, I add about 2 Tbls homemade pesto.
Some garnishes are:
chunks of avocado
Hatch chiles, if they are in season (roast on BBQ, remove skins)