- 3 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise (I used a variety of tomatoes from my garden)
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons good olive oil
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 (28-ounce) canned plum tomatoes, with their juice
- 4 cups fresh basil leaves, packed (I didn’t use quite this much basil, maybe only 2-3 cups)
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (I used dried thyme)
- 1 quart chicken stock or water
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss together the tomatoes, 1/4 cup olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the tomatoes in 1 layer on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes.
In an 8-quart stockpot over medium heat, saute the onions and garlic with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the butter, and red pepper flakes for 10 minutes, until the onions start to brown. Add the canned tomatoes, basil, thyme, and chicken stock. Add the oven-roasted tomatoes, including the liquid on the baking sheet. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Use a hand/immersion blender to lightly puree the soup. Make sure the immersion blender is at least an inch deep and close to the bottom of the pot – you don’t want soup exploding everywhere! Taste for seasonings. Serve hot or cold with grated parmesan, a dollop of ricotta, or crusty bread. Just about anything tastes good paired with this soup!