I have no idea why I only started making SMOOTH soups this year. I’ve always been a chunky soup gal. Maybe I just hadn’t had enough truly memorable smooth soups. That’s all changed. In recent weeks I’ve been served a veritable plethora of smooth, utterly fabulous, summer soups and low and behold, my chunky soup obsession has given way to a non-stop, 24/7, obsessive-compulsive focus on SMOOTH. I roasted tomatoes on the stovetop the other day to make pasta sauce. That works well for a small batch of tomatoes. It seemed slightly limiting for soup. Instead I loaded 2 pounds of tomatoes onto a cookie tray and roasted them in the oven, a much more practical method if one hopes to make soup. The whole process couldn’t be easier. Once they’re roasted you dump the whole lot of them into a blender, skins, seeds and all. Rock on baby. My kids are in love with soup served in espresso cups. Consuming soup that way seems so totally grown up and FABULOUS. We end up eating the same amount of soup since each kid has four espresso cups full of soup – but the consumption process is far more exotic.
Roasted Tomato Zucchini Soup (serves 6)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 lbs cherry tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup Vidalia or Maui onion, finely diced
- 1 large shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 lb zucchini, coarsely chopped
- 3 cups organic chicken stock (or vegetable stock if you prefer the vegetarian version)
- 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
- 2-3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (I like a lot of lemon – cut it back to 2 tablespoons if you aren’t as thrilled with lemon as I am)
- 10 large fresh basil leaves
- ½ cup cream or Greek Yogurt (optional – leave out for the vegan version)
- 2-3 teaspoons salt
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Using a basting brush spread the two tablespoons of olive oil all over a large baking sheet. Wash the tomatoes, drain them and then spread them across the baking sheet. Gently shake the baking sheet so that the tomatoes are lightly coated in olive oil. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a soup pot or Dutch Oven. Add the onion and shallot and sauté until soft, about 10-12 minutes. Add the zucchini and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock and simmer until the squash is just soft (not mushy), about 15 minutes. Add the lemon zest and lemon juice.
Put the roasted tomatoes in a blender. Process until smooth. Pour into a medium bowl. In batches process the zucchini and stock in a blender until it is very smooth. Gradually add the fresh basil leaves while you are processing the soup.
Once it is smooth put it back in the pot. Add the processed tomatoes and the cream or yogurt (can be skipped if you want a dairy free soup). Add salt and pepper as needed. I added 2 ½ teaspoons of salt, no pepper. Serve. Could be garnished with croutons (homemade ones of course).