I can honestly say that this is my favorite version of tomato soup. I thinks it's the combination of basil, blue cheese, and cream. The basil adds sweetness, the blue cheese adds a punch, and the cream adds well...creaminess. I love the salty, meaty crunch of the bacon, but since it's a garnish and can be omitted, the soup can also be vegetarian.
Yields: 8-10 servings
2 lbs. Roma tomatoes, stems removed and quartered
4-5 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 package of thick-sliced bacon
2 TBSP bacon fat
2 TBSP olive oil
¾ cup diced carrot
¾ cup diced onion
1 quart chicken stock
5 ounces blue cheese
¾ cup heavy cream
¼ cup basil, roughly torn, plus more for garnish
Salt and pepper
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place pieces of bacon in a single layer.
Place the bacon in a cold oven and then turn it to 400 degrees F. Set a timer for 18-20 minutes or until crispy.
Set bacon in a plate lined with a paper towel and reserve the bacon fat for the soup.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, add quartered tomatoes, 2 TBSP olive oil, season with salt and pepper and mix well (I used a scant teaspoon of salt and a ½ teaspoon pepper.)
Spread tomatoes out onto another baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Add 4-5 cloves of garlic to the sheet and roast for 40 minutes.
Add 2 TBSP bacon fat to a dutch oven or soup pot. Turn heat to medium and add diced carrots and onions. Sauté carrots and onions for 7-8 minutes until soft, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.
Add roasted tomatoes, garlic, and 1 quart chicken stock to the pot. Let it come to a boil. Reduce heat and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
Add 5 ounces blue cheese, ¾ cup heavy cream, and ¼ cup basil to soup and stir. Let it cook for another few minutes until the cheese is completely melted.
If you have a soup wand, it’s your lucky day. Just puree all the soup in the pot until it’s smooth. If you don’t have a soup wand, use a blender or food processor, working in batches, and transferring smooth soup into another pot.
Taste and reseason with salt and pepper if needed.
Garnish each serving with a few flecks of basil and some crunch bacon.