Last week while Brian was away on his annual guys backpacking trip, I got sick. It had been so long since I’d been sick (6 years!) that I had forgotten how crappy it feels. I nursed myself back to health with this healing soup and lots of homemade chicken broth and Turmeric Tea. My sweet neighbor Kathy, suggested a whisky drink for my sore throat, made with hot water, lemon and honey, which I’d never heard of before and thought was quite brilliant, until my smarty-pants bartender friend informed me that this was one of the oldest drinks in the book- called a Hot Toddy. Where have I been????
This velvety Roasted Tomato Soup with Haloumi Croutons, Yogurt and Sumac can be made ahead and frozen in mason jars for the cold winter months to come. A little jar of sunshine in the midst of winter. Roasting tomatoes -or any fruit or vegetable – deeply intensifies the flavor – which adds layers of complexity to the finished dish. A good thing to remember is that you can always roast something ahead (say, carrots for soup, or plums for ice-cream) then store it in the fridge until you are ready to use it. Often while dinner is on the table, I’ll have something else that needs using up, roasting in the oven, that I’ll refrigerate after dinner, and turn into tomorrow’s meal or winter’s soup.
Here, the roasted tomatoes are blended with stock, and simmered gently to reduce just slightly. The soup is topped with crispy seared haloumi cheese and a swirl of greek yogurt. Don’t worry if you don’t have sumac, but if you do, it’s a nice addition.
If you are cooking for one or for two, remember that freezing leftovers or batches of soup is always a nice option. You can freeze the soup in mason jars -leaving ample room at the top for the soup to expand. In the middle of winter, or when feeling under the weather- it’s so nice to be able to pull out a jar of Roasted Tomato Soup.
These tomatoes are from Urban Eden Farm, a local farm right here in the heart of Spokane in an area called Vinegar Flats. They are so close to town and offer a wonderful CSA program, so keep them in mind for next year if you are thinking about joining one. Such joyful people, so hardworking, salt of the earth.
- 3 pounds ripe tomatoes, cut in wedges, no more than an inch thick
- 1 large red onion- thinly sliced into thin rings
- 8-12 garlic cloves- whole
- ¼ cup oil
- 4 cups chicken or veggie broth
- ¾- 1 teaspoon salt and pepper
- 2 teaspoons coriander
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- ½ -1 cup plain greek yogurt
- Garnish with:
- 1 6-8 ounce block haloumi cheese- (available at trader Joes, upscale super markets, international markets) cut into croutons, and seared.
- 1 tablespoon oil
- Sumac ( optional)
- Aleppo pepper ( optional)
- Scallions or chive
- Preheat oven to 425 F
- On parchment or foil lined sheet pan, spread out tomatoes, onions, and garlic. Drizzle with oil and roast for 25-30 minutes, or until onion is tender and tomatoes have just begun to caramelize at their edges.
- When done, remove from the oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes.
- Blend using a blender, in batches, with the cold stock until smooth. Place in a pot, add salt, coriander, thyme and bring to a gentle simmer, covering partially if it splatters. Simmer for 10 -15 minutes until soup reduces a bit and flavors meld. In the mean time...
- Cut the haloumi into small ½ inch cubes. Pat dry. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a skillet over medium high heat and sear the haloumi on two sides, until golden, not over crowding and turning heat down if necessary..Place on a paper towel lined plate.
- Swirl in ½ cup yogurt to the pot of soup. Taste and adjust salt. Add more yogurt if you prefer a creamier soup.
- Serve soup in bowls, with a little swirl of yogurt. ( see note)
- Sprinkle with sumac and/ or Aleppo pepper. Top with a few haloumi croutons and sliced scallion or chives.
- Notes: If you like smoky flavor, add a little smoked paprika to the yogurt you are swirling on top of the soup.