Tomato soup is one of my absolute favorites, especially if the tomatoes are slow roasted with loads of garlic. If you know me, that’s not a surprise. It’s a pretty regular occurrence for Jonny to come home and ask me if I have eaten garlic today. Yes of course! Garlic is basically a food group in my household.
When I was a kid I used to love love love Campbell’s tomato soup with rice, then at some point they added basil to it and I happened to be old enough (and herby enough) to be absolutely thrilled. I have since left Campbell’s soup in the dust, but the childhood favorite is still hard to beat.
A trick I have learned after many years of soup creation, is when adding grains or noodles it’s always best to simply cook them and add the soup over top. That is, if the batch is big enough to be kept and eaten over a few days. Noodles and certainly some specific grains continue soaking up the liquid long after it has cooled. I am notorious for making Thai soup with rice noodles, only to find the following day it has turned into a saucy version of noodle curry.
When it comes to rice in soup, I enjoy it most when cooked but not mushy – the very next stage of doneness after al dente. Cook the rice to your liking, but keep in mind if you add it straight to the soup pot it will likely be a different texture by the second day. Another bonus of not actually adding the grain to the soup in the pot is you can customize each bowl, fussier eaters don’t stand a chance with this kind of tailoring!
Black pepper, basil, and crispy on the outside soft on the inside croutons are all optional but super recommended when it comes to homemade tomato soup. Lots of black pepper. Another love of mine, it adds such depth and kick – a different kind of heat. Jazzing up the taste buds and really makin’ them dance! As always, if you aren’t as crazy about garlic as I am just add less. It will be roasted though, so the flavor is more sweet and creamy than the fresh spiciness of raw garlic.
My new abode is surrounded by green space – multiple varieties of trees, bushes, mushrooms. Basil. My deck is filled with potted basil plants. All aromatic and bursting with flavor, begging to be picked and savored. I am a herb nut, walk out our back door and you will find all kinds of digestion aiding, flavor enhancing, breath freshening goodness. Basil though, is my baby. Cheers to the first meal cooked in my new home, cheers to a childhood favorite offering endless comfort, and cheers to the simplest soup ever.
Roasted Tomato Soup with Rice
8-10 Cloves of Garlic
Salt & Black Pepper
6 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil
1 Cup of Water
2.5 Cups of Cooked Brown Rice
Preheat the oven to 400, slice the sourdough into thick strips and then slice the strips into wide chunks. Toss in a bowl with a touch of grapeseed oil, using enough to coat all sides of each cube of bread. Sprinkle with some pepper. Lay in a single layer on a cookie sheet, bake for 10-15 minutes turning when the side touching the pan begins to brown. Set aside to cool.
Turn the oven down to 350 and pour a touch of water into two long glass oven-proof dishes. Slice each tomato in half, peel the garlic then squish it with the flat of a large knife. Arrange the tomatoes and garlic in each glass dish in as close to a single layer as possible. Glob the coconut oil equally over each dish, sprinkle with salt and as much pepper as desired. Roast for 1.5-2.5 hours, checking throughout and adding a spot of water if necessary. The longer they roast, the deeper the flavor. Once the tomatoes are ready and the house smells like heaven, carefully transfer them, the garlic and all of the cooking liquid to a large soup pot. Using an immersion blender pulverize the tomatoes until they become an amazing aromatic liquid, season to taste & add the water if necessary.
Scoop as much rice as desired into each bowl just before the soup is ready to serve. Shred a few basil leaves per bowl and add on top of the rice. Ladle the soup over top, finishing with a few croutons and/or more fresh basil.0