French Onion Tomato Soup
French Onion Tomato Soup is a marriage of perfectly roasted tomatoes, onions & garlic topped with toasted bread and ooey gooey melted cheese.
I feel a bit late to the party with this soup. The sun is out, people are wearing more sunglasses & less clothing and I’m trying to convince my preschooler that just because the light is blaring in his window it is still bedtime. Ahhh, summer is so close here in the pacific northwest… so let me make you a piping hot bowl of soup.
This probably would have been better served in a few months ago but forgive me… regardless of the temp outside, sometimes you need a hug in a bowl. All I know for sure is this meal combines my favourite two soups – tomato and French onion – so it could have been 35 degrees celsius outside and this girl would be looking for seconds.
Actually, the tomatoes are from last summer. We scored so many fresh ones at seasons peak and ate them all summer. But near the end of the season, they started to get a bit soft (not unlike the author) and pretty much begged for salvation. So, into the freezer they went. Whole. Untreated. In a plastic bag.
Fast forward to April and time to clean out the freezer. French Onion soup is my favourite soup of all time. Tomato soup is a close second. Truth be told Campbells canned condensed tomato soup (the kind that goes sllllllurp when it comes out of the can) is my all time favourite. I wouldn’t dare look at the ingredient list today but it got me through MANY university (late) nights & mornings. After making this soup I think I can say with some amount of certainty, every soup should have a lid with melted cheese on it.
As with most of my recipes, there is one secret. This one is step two – AFTER you roast the tomatoes, onions and garlic and scrape them into the pot. I think the magic occurs when you add a bit of water to the baking pan and scrape all the “goodness” off the bottom and then pour that liquid into the same pot. Its a bit dark and scary but I love the smokiness and warmth it adds to the soup. It truly replaces the need for a box of broth. The maple syrup is also a slightly different hint of sweetness the soup needs.
I know it’s warm out and nights are longer but over the next few weeks, when you just might need a hug in a bowl, I think this soup could be the arms you could be looking for.
- 2 cup of fresh tomatoes, whole or halved
- ½ onion, roughly chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled & whole
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 can San Marzano tomatoes, whole or chopped
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 teaspoons pepper
- 1 - 2 cups of water or milk or broth (depending on thickness of soup)
- 2 cups of grated cheese (mozzarella, gruyere)
- toasted bread (gluten free if necessary), cut to size of bowl
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees
- Arrange fresh tomatoes, onion and garlic on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and roast for 90 minutes, checking every ten minutes after one hour.
- Scrape off baking sheet into a heavy saucepan or dutch oven. Add some water to the bottom of the baking sheet and scrape around, getting off all of the "good stuff". Pout this liquid into soup pot.
- Add remaining ingredients (except extra water/milk/broth). Bring to a boil and then simmer for 20 minutes.
- Transfer to a blender (or use immersion blender) and blend until completely smooth.
- Transfer into oven safe bowls. Top with crusty bread and grated cheese and broil until melted, brown and bubbly.