Thursday, March 10, 2011

Charred Tomato Soup

With yesterday being Ash Wednesday, we made a vegetarian meal last night in the form of Charred Tomato Soup.  The original called for toasted sourdough bread topped with buffalo mozzarella on top, which you then place under the broiler to melt and lightly brown the cheese.  We just made some simple garlic bread and topped the soup with provolone cheese before placing the bowls under the broiler which was delicious.  Either way, this is one good recipe and much tastier (and healthier) than the Campbell's variety!

Sadly, my camera deleted the pictures I took last night of the ingredients and final product, so there won't be any photos to share this time.  You'll just have to make it for yourself so you can see how beautiful (and easy) this recipe is!

Charred Tomato Soup, adapted from Alex Guarnaschelli

2 tablespoons canola oil
12 red Roma tomatoes, washed, dried, cores removed and a small 'x' carved into the bottom of each with a paring knife
Kosher salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 cup white wine--I used a chardonnay and the original used dry vermouth, so use whatever white wine you have on hand.  We of course drank the rest of the wine with our dinner since we didn't want it to go to waste!
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
10 garlic cloves--we used 5 teaspoons of jarred garlic 
1/4 cup of red onions, thinly sliced and then chopped--Alex's recipe calls for shallots and if you have them, by all mean use them but if you're like me and don't have them, thinly sliced red onions can take their place!
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 (28 ounce) can of whole peeled tomatoes
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup of water
Slices of provolone cheese, one for each soup bowl

Kitchen Supplies:
Cutting board
Paring knife
Cast iron skillet--I used our cast iron pot from All-Clad
Soup pot
Ovenproof soup bowls
Can opener

Heat your cast iron pan over medium heat and add canola oil.  When the oil begins to smoke, add the Roma tomatoes in a single layer.  Season with salt to taste and sugar, to draw out the liquid.  This process will help blister the skins of the tomatoes.  Turn them occasionally so that they blister on all sides.  Add the white wine and allow to cook on low while you prepare the other half of the soup.

In a soup pot, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the garlic, red onions and red pepper flakes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add the oregano and stir to combine.  Allow to cook over low heat until the onions become tender and translucent, 3 to 5 minutes.  Add the canned tomatoes and water, rinsing out the tomato can with the 1 cup of water.  Turn the heat up to medium and cook for 12-15 minutes until the tomatoes become tender.

When we made the soup, we found that even after 7-8 minutes, the tomatoes were still hard so we broke them up a bit with a wooden spoon to help speed up the process (and works just fine since you will be blending most of it anyway).

Put half of the contents of the soup pot into a blender and puree until smooth.  Return to soup pot with remaining half of the soup (this will add texture and mouthfeel without using cream or butter).  Pour contents of the Roma tomatoes into the blender and puree until smooth, streaming remaining olive oil into the mixture as you blend.  Stir into soup pot and ladle into soup bowls.  Top with slices of cheese and toast under the broiler for two to three minutes.

This would also be great with grilled cheese, perhaps with mozzarella or provolone cheese melted inside.  Enjoy!

Did you go meat-free yesterday like us?  If so, what did you eat/make?


  1. Oh this is perfect, especially for a soup and sandwich type of lunch. I am always scouring for vegetarian recipes and this sounds really tasty.

  2. yummmmmmmmmmmmmmm!!!!!!! I love tomato soup! I go meat free allllmost every day =)

    Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

  3. Yep, I made a veggiie pizza yesterday. Did you give anything up for lent? I am giving up all booze. Wish me luck.

  4. I almost went meat-free, does that count? I was going to skip meat, but I cook with my grandmother-in-law on Wednesdays and she didn't get the no-meat memo, haha. I didn't want to not eat what we cooked (picadillo), that would've been rude . . . right?

  5. @ L: Definitely!

    @ Lauren: Please do and if you like things a little bit more on the sweet side (less acid) add a bit more sugar to the roma tomatoes :)

    @ Morgan: I've had it for lunch the past two days (and dinner the night we made it) and it keeps getting better in the fridge!

    @ Jenn: I could go almost every day without meat but I think J would miss it :)

    @ Ashly: Ooo that's a good/tough one! I am going to try to go meatless every Friday (I forgot a lot during Lent last year) and try to really work on my New Year's resolutions this year for Lent (eat right, exercise more, engage more, and so on)! Good luck!

    @ ...and that's a true story: Cooking and visiting at your grandma-in-law's house and picadillo--I think you get a pass this week :)


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