I can’t say that I’m crazy about tomato-based soups. While I did enjoy the odd bowl of Campbell’s tomato alongside a grilled cheese sandwich, I was still more of a chicken noodle kinda girl. I always found Campbell’s tomato to be too sweet. In fact, I find most tomato soups to be either too sweet, or too bitter. I’ve always had more of a salt-tooth. Don’t get me wrong – I love tomatoes. I just need powerful flavours in a tomato soup. Something to take it up a level in a big way. I need the tomatoes to live up to their fullest potential. I know they can do so much more for me in a soup than what I give them credit for. In this soup, dill was my weapon of choice.
After a particularly awful work day, I had just started things up and was trying to decompress in the kitchen when my boyfriend told me he was on his way home and asked me if there was anything I needed from the store to go with the soup. I swear sometimes he just senses my hanger (hunger/anger) from afar. I told him to choose something bready or something cheesy, and he brought home cheesy garlic bread to be oven-toasted. This is why I keep him around. We chopped up some green onions to throw on top of it and it paired perfectly with the soup.
- 5 lbs ripe red tomatoes, quartered
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 1 bulb of garlic, peeled, cloves left whole
- 1/2 lemon for juice and zest
- 5 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 2 cups (2 big handfuls) dill, divided
- 1/2 cup basil leaves
- 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the tomatoes, garlic cloves, and lemon zest on a baking sheet. Brush everything with half of the olive oil and sprinkle the sea salt on the tomatoes. Take half of the dill and mix in with the tomatoes. Roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the edges of the tomatoes start to brown.
About 30 minutes in, heat the rest of the oil on medium heat in a large soup pot. Add onions to the pot and sprinkle with some salt and pepper. Stir for 10-15 minutes until soft and starting to brown. When the tomatoes are ready, add to the pot along with the garlic, pan juices, and juice from half of a lemon. Discard the lemon zest and dill from the roasting pan. You could remove the skin from the tomatoes if you like, but I just don’t care enough to do that. Deglaze the pot and bring to a simmer, stirring often. Add the stock and bring up the heat to boil. Gently simmer, uncovered, for another 20 minutes and add in the rest of the dill and the basil leaves. Stir for 2 minutes.
Use an immersion blender to blend the pot, or work in batches if using a regular blender. Blend all of the soup until smooth and add back to the pot. Stir in the cream and bring the heat up to boil, stirring continuously to not burn the bottom.
Garnish your bowl of soup with a sprig of dill and serve alongside some cheesy garlic bread or grilled cheese sandwiches. Alternatively, top with some garlic croutons. I think they’d go quite well.
Serves 4 – 6.