PUBLISHED ON TASTESPOTTING!
Smokey thyme roasted tomato soup with crispy cheddar frico
Tomato soup is a tricky business. If you don't use enough herbs it can taste bland, if you use Italian herbs it can taste more like something you put over pasta, and if you add too many hot spices then it becomes perilously close to tasting like a gazpacho or a salsa. Not that there's anything wrong with any of those flavors, but I wanted my tomato soup have its own identity. So I experimented in the kitchen and came up with a really rich, smokey, tomato soup—essentially a riff on the Barefoot Contessa's roasted tomato soup. I love that she roasts her tomatoes first, which caramelizes them and brings them up to a new level of deliciousness. I don't use the basil that she calls for—Sorry Ina!—love you GF but I don't want marinara sauce. Instead I amp up the fresh thyme, only add a dash of red pepper flakes, cut back on the onion (which to me makes the soup too sweet) and finally, but possibly most important, I add a splash of liquid smoke. Combined with the charred tomatoes, that dash of smokiness is sublime. To finish it all off, we all know Mr. Cheese and Mr. Tomato are the best of pals, so a crispy cheddar (thyme) frico on the side is a perfect pairing. Campbell's has nothing on this soup!
photo, Diane Carnevale
Cut your tomatoes in half lengthwise—then drizzle with olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper, and roast cut side up in a 400° oven for 45 minutes. I highly recommend lining your pan with aluminum foil for easy cleanup!