Last week I was doing a little jigsaw puzzling of the contents of my freezer trying to fit some new spoils in, when I discovered a cache of roasted tomatoes from the summer that I had frozen. I was so excited and decided it was time to make a roasted tomato soup. I had read some advice somewhere about adding harissa to grilled cheese, but I misremembered it, and wound up adding it to the soup. The result was awesome, seductive and lightly spicy, and I just had to share! I'm absolutely addicted, and am so glad I have a whole bunch more containers of frozen roasted tomatoes while I wait for tomato season to roll around again. —fiveandspice
canned or frozen roasted tomatoes, or 8-10 large ripe tomatoes
salt and pepper
Harissa (or a little more for a little more spice kick!)
If your tomatoes are not already roasted, roast them by halving them, tossing them with a a drizzle of olive oil a sprinkling of salt and pepper and a couple of crushed garlic cloves. Spread them on a baking sheet, face down, and pop them into the oven at 425F for about 45-50 minutes, until the skins are starting to peel and blacken. Remove from the oven, allow to cool and remove the skins.
In a medium-large pot, heat a splash of olive oil over medium heat. Then stir in the tomatoes. Cook until the tomatoes are bubbling. Next, stir in the stock and bring to a boil, smashing the tomatoes as they cook for just a couple of minutes. Then (carefully!) transfer the soup in batches to a blender and blend until smooth, pouring the blended soup into a new pot. Or, alternatively, you can use an immersion blender and blend the soup right in the pot.
Bring the soup to a simmer and stir in the harissa. Finally, stir in the creme fraiche (or cream) and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve, accompanied by additional creme fraiche if desired, and a sprinkling of parsley. And grilled cheese sandwiches of course!
I like to say I'm a lazy iron chef (I just cook with what I have around), renegade nutritionist, food policy wonk, and inveterate butter and cream enthusiast! My husband and I own a craft distillery in Northern Minnesota called Vikre Distillery (www.vikredistillery.com), where I claimed the title, "arbiter of taste." I also have a doctorate in food policy, for which I studied the changes in diet and health of new immigrants after they come to the United States. I myself am a Norwegian-American dual citizen. So I have a lot of Scandinavian pride, which especially shines through in my cooking on special holidays. Beyond loving all facets of food, I'm a Renaissance woman (translation: bad at focusing), dabbling in a variety of artistic and scientific endeavors.