1 garlic clove, minced
drizzle balsamic vinegar
heavy drizzle olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
1tsp. dried basil
dash red chili flakes
1 can diced Italian Herb tomatoes, drained
2c. chicken broth
1 bay leaf
There are two ways to do this soup: the fancy way where you add all the ingredients that give the Italian Herb tomatoes their Italian flavor... or take a shortcut and buy them in the can. If you feel ambitious, you'd need to add dashes of dried onion, garlic powder, dried oregano, dried basil, a diced stick of celery, and half a diced bell pepper. Or... you can do it the poor, harried recent graduate way.
This soup is perfect for out-of-season tomatoes, since the blah texture and flavor is roasted out of them. It made a good dish for the first snow of winter in VA.
Halve the tomatoes, set them in a pyrex pie dish, and drizzle them with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Put a little minced garlic on each tomato, then roast them in a 400° oven for 45 minutes.
In a large pot, saute the onion in the olive oil with the chili, basil, salt and pepper. When the onion is softened, add the drained diced tomatoes with the stock and the bay leaf. Add in the oven-roasted tomatoes and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 30-40 minutes.
Transfer the soup to a food processor and process until smooth. Return to pot and heat through. Serve with a swirl of heavy cream for each bowl.