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I am so excited for 2012. I have been looking at recipe after recipe and I’ve found some fantastic recipes (sweet and savory) that I plan on trying out this year. I can’t wait to share them all. To start off the new year following my resolutions, I’m posting a savory recipe. Half of you are probably saying “oooh I love tomato soup”. The other half is saying “Alicia, I don’t really like tomato soup. It’s so bland and blah tasting. I’ll read the next post”. To those nay sayers I want to let you know I used to hate tomato soup too. I wanted to love it. I see people eating their grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup and I wanted to enjoy it as much as they seemed to. However, I always felt it was too tomatoey (yes, I made that word up) and the soups never had that much flavor. Until I tried Campbell To Go Parmesan Tomato Bisque. It’s fantastic. I’m not even going to pretend that my soup compares. However, those little To Go cups are about $2 a piece. For a newcomer to the workforce like me, $2 for a little thing of soup is a bit frivolous. So I found a recipe, changed a few things and VOILA I have delicious tomato soup.

Total Time: 2 hours (about an hour sitting time)

6 Tablespoons of Olive Oil, total

15 whole Roma Tomatoes

1-½ Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar

3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar

1 Tablespoon Salt

1 Tablespoon Fresh Cracked Black Pepper

1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning

3 whole Heads Of Garlic (Peels Left On)

1 whole Onion, Chopped

1 Tablespoon of Garlic Powder

¼ cups Parsley

3 cups Vegetable Stock

1½ cup Croutons (I got the Garlic Cheese Flavored Croutons)

1 cup Grated Romano and Parmesan Cheese

(1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Make sure there is some extra paper hanging off the sides so that you will be able to pick up the paper and the contents after cooking. Cut the Roma tomatoes in half and place in a large bowl.  Add 2 Tablespoons of olive oil as well as the balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and Italian seasoning to the tomatoes, and toss to coat. Add this mixture to the baking sheet and roast in the preheated oven for 45 minutes.

(2) Cut the tops off of the 3 heads of garlic and add 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil. Wrap the heads tightly in foil; place them next to the tomatoes to roast for 40 minutes.

(3) After you have removed the tomatoes and garlic from the oven, add the remaining 2 Tablespoons of olive oil and the chopped onion to a large pot over medium heat. Cook until the onion becomes translucent. Then add the roasted tomatoes and all of the juice from the baking sheet, hence why you need extra paper on the side of the baking sheet. Once the tomatoes and garlic are roasted, set aside to cool slightly, until they are just cool enough to handle. Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of the skin and add to the pot. Add the parsley and stir to combine. Add the vegetable stock and the croutons, and allow to simmer without lid, for about 20 minutes.

(4) Stir in the romano and parmesan cheese. Pour the contents of the pot into a blender (Do it in two or more batches if necessary. You don’t want hot soup to splatter on you). Puree the soup until smooth and all tomatoes are completely pureed. Taste the soup and adjust the salt and pepper to taste, if necessary. I love pepper as you will soon learn, so I felt it was enough.

(5) Fill the bowls with the soup and serve with a delicious grilled cheese or the Garlic Parmesean Twists that I had courtesy of Round Table. Yummmmm.

(6) Enjoy!!