"The sweet calm sunshine of October, now
Warms the low spot; upon its grassy mold
The purple oak-leaf falls; the birchen bough
drops its bright spoil like arrow-heads of gold."
~ William Cullen Bryant
ROASTED TOMATO SOUP
~ awesome Autumn fare, perfect while tomatoes are still in abundance
(slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
3 lbs. plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2-4 'unpeeled' large cloves garlic
1 tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme leaves or 1/4 tsp dried
1/4 tsp. (or more to taste) dried crushed red pepper
4 cups organic chicken or vegetable stock
4 slices rye bread
(toasted until hard and lightly buttered on one side)
1 Tbsp. grated raw red onion
1 cup (or more) coarsely grated white cheddar
- Soup: Preheat oven to 400º. Wrap garlic cloves in tight foil packet. Place tomatoes, cut side up, on large baking sheet. Sprinkle generously with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle tomatoes with olive oil. Add foil packet of garlic to tray. Roast until tomatoes are brown and tender (garlic will be very tender), about 1 hour or longer depending on thickness of tomatoes. Cool slightly. (Can be made ahead, refrigerated, and reheated before finishing recipe.)
- Unwrap garlic packet and peel or squeeze garlic from peel. Transfer garlic, tomatoes and any accumulated juiced to a blender or food processor and pulse machine on and off until tomatoes are a chunky puree. Transfer tomatoes to medium pot and add thyme, crushed red pepper and stock and bring t a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 25 minutes. Remove from heat and adjust seasonings to taste.
- Topping: Preheat oven to 350º. Arrange four ovenproof soup bowls or crocks on large foil-lined baking sheet. Float toast slice in each bowl, buttered side up and divide grated cheese generously over top. Top with grated red onion. Bake on tray for 15-20 minutes, until cheese on top is bubbling and brown at the edges. (If desired and needs more browning, preheat broiler and finish for a minute or two under broiler.) Serve immediately. (4 servings)
Note: Easily doubled ... the soup is delicious and stands on its own.