This is the kind of soup I’d want on a rainy summer day when the temperature dips slightly and cools the air a little. I know it’s not officially summer yet, but we had a few rain-breaks in our amazingly sun-filled days, and I thought about soup in that moment, and why I don’t do more soup in the summer.
I’ve been thinking a lot about soup lately; I chatted with an inspiring energetic eighty-five year old woman a few weeks ago while we ate soup and savoury scones for lunch, she talked about how throughout her life, some of her happiest memories always involved soup.
“You know what Beethoven once said?…” she asks, “Only the pure at heart can make good soup”
This soup uses in-season vegetables; vine ripened tomatoes roasted to intensify their flavour cooked in a light broth, full of vegetables and aromatic basil – it’s simple, delicious and satisfying.
I loved this weekend; I tend to like weekends that unfolds organically, it started with a little rain, which set the tone for a relaxing and glorious sunny weekend, and Saturday seemed like the perfect day for soup – I didn’t get up to much, but I made delicious soup for lunch.
This is a chunky soup, with a packet of gnocchi tossed in to add more substance.
The first time I made this soup, the gnocchi was an afterthought, inspired by fufu from Ghana –it adds a dimension of heartiness to the soup, and soaks up the delicious flavours, it’s become one of the reasons why I love this soup so much.
And everyone loves it too! As usual, I make a big pot and share… it’s more fun that way.
The soup has smoked salmon for the pescetarians but can easily be made wholly plant-based (vegan) by omitting the fish.
Roasted Tomato and Basil Soup
- 3 lbs ripe tomatoes- chopped
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 onions, peeled, chopped
- 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 – 2 carrots, chopped
- 1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes (or less/more)
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
- 5 garlic cloves- minced
- 4 cups fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced (plus more for garnishing
- 1 tablespoon herbes de Provence
- 5 cups vegetable broth
- 1 vegetable/mushroom bouillon (Harvest Sun vegetable bouillon)
- 1 (10 oz) package gnocchi (I used TJ’s Whole Wheat Potato gnocchi)
- 4 – 6 oz of smoked salmon, chopped (optional, omit for vegan)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Toss tomatoes, 2 Tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper
- Spread on baking sheet and roast for 45 min
- In a large stockpot; over medium heat sauté onions in the 1 tablespoon oil
- Add bell pepper, carrots and red pepper flakes and saute for 10 min or until browned
- Add garlic, basil, herbes de Provenceand vegetable broth and bouillon
- Bring to a boil, and add tomatoes and simmer uncovered on low for 20 – 40 mins
- Add the gnocchi and salmon, bring to a boil, they’re done when the gnocchi floats
- Serve immediately garnished with more basil or pesto