Roasting the tomatoes with the garlic stuffed inside of them gives this tomato soup so much flavor, it's ridiculous. The balsamic adds a nice tang that really pulls it all together and the sour cream adds a bit of richness and really ups the yum factor. Serve this soup with a gooey grilled cheese sandwich for lunch, or before a nice dinner.
- canned tomatoes - 5 pound can (2.5 k), good quality Italian
- garlic, 1 head - coarsely sliced
- olive oil - about 2 tbsp
- dried basil - about 1 tbsp
- salt and pepper - use very generously
- butter - 2 tbsp
- olive oil - 1 tbsp
- onion - 2 large, sliced into thin rings
- carrots - 3 medium, peeled and roughly chopped
- tomato paste - 3 tbsp
- balsamic vinegar - 2 tbsp
- sugar - 2 tbsp
- vegetable stock - 4 cups
- sour cream - 1 1/2 cups
- basil - about 20 - 30 leaves, torn
- Preheat the oven to 400 F (200 C).
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and grease lightly.
- Drain the tomatoes, reserving the juice for later.
- Take each tomato and gently push about 2 or 3 slices of garlic in it, then arrange on the foil and drizzle with a little olive oil, generously salt and pepper and sprinkle with dried basil.
- Roast in the top third of your oven for about 30 - 35 minutes, until beginning to char, but not drying out completely.
- While the tomatoes are roasting, heat the oil and butter in a large soup pot, add the onion and carrot, a generous amount of salt and pepper, and saute over medium heat until the onion begins to lose it's shape, about 5 or 6 minutes.
- Add the reserved tomato liquid, tomato paste, the balsamic vinegar, sugar, and stock, then increase the heat a bit and bring the soup to a low simmer.
- When they are ready, add the tomatoes with their juices and continue to simmer the soup for about 30 minutes to an hour.
- Remove the soup from heat, let cool for about 10 minutes, then whisk a few tablespoons of the hot soup into the sour cream to warm it, then add it and the basil to the soup and pulse-blending until smooth.
- Serve with a crusty baguette and garnish with a little sour cream and a basil leaf or two.