My favorite kind of weather besides 78-degree, sunny weather is overcast, high 50s and breezy. You could smell that rain was coming, but the breeze promised it would be an easy-going Sunday which requires a trip to Trader Joe's. I haven't gone in so long and I forgot what awesome, quality ingredients you can find there. I wouldn't buy vegetables there though as it's a little pricier and there are some vegetables that you don't HAVE to buy organic. I say this even though I actually bought veggies there (hey! I wanted to only stop at one place today). I was craving a tomato soup today. Yesterday I was unfortunately overcome with nausea and vomiting. While I'm sure the nausea was because I took a Midol on an empty stomach, it didn't help seeing all the crap I ate over the weekend.
6 vine ripe tomatoes
6 garlic cloves
1 can of plum tomatoes unsalted with its juices
Half an onion diced
1 box of low-sodium chicken stock
Butter (unsalted preferably)
Red pepper flakes
Red wine of your choice (Optional)
Cut tomatoes in half and peel garlic cloves. Spread on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile saute onions in butter and olive oil on medium-high heat. I do this so I can get the oil hot without burning it and the butter adds a creaminess to the soup. Once translucent add red pepper flakes, thyme and salt (I eyeball it, but it's about 1/4 teaspoon of salt and pepper flakes). Stir and then add red wine if you have it or want to. Reduce wine by half or until you can't smell alcohol anymore. Add the tomatoes and chicken stock. At this point, if you have an actual block of parmesan cheese put in the rind. It will melt as the soup simmers and adds a nice, rich, saltiness depth to the soup. If not, just sprinkle some parmesan cheese right in (as much as you want!).
Simmer the soup for about 20 minutes. When the roasted tomatoes are ready drop them and the garlic into the soup and then bring to a boil. At a boil simmer it for 20 more minutes. Add fresh basil (about 10 leaves) to the soup and stir.
Take it off the heat and take an immersion blend to blend the soup. At this point you can choose how chunky or smooth you want it. Taste and add more salt or pepper. To add more creaminess you can add heavy cream or whole milk. I am going to try it with sour cream. I'll probably toast up some sour dough bread cubes for "croutons" to toss on top and more parmesan cheese and basil.