Actually it is a big deal. And homemade tomato soup is a completely different beast from the canned stuff. It's about 300 times better (and better for you) and sweet without adding any sugar and basil-ly with a delightful texture and heartiness. I would eat this again. In fact, I would make you eat it if you came over to my house. Luckily it makes a lot, so I do have extra...
3 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chopped yellow onions (about 2 small onions)
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 (28-ounce) canned plum tomatoes, with their juice
2 cups fresh basil leaves, sliced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 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. Pass through a food mill fitted with the coarsest blade (or use a blender on 1/2 to 2/3 of the soup, but do not puree completely smooth). Taste for seasonings. Serve hot or cold.