Roasted Tomato Basil Soup with Parmesan CrispsSource: adapted from Annie’s Eats
3 lbs. ripe tomatoes
5 T extra virgin olive oil, separated
2 t salt
1½ t black pepper
2 T butter
2 c onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
½ t red pepper flakes
1 (28 oz) can of whole tomatoes
2 c fresh basil leaves
1 t fresh thyme leaves
4 c low-sodium fat free chicken broth (such as Swanson’s) OR vegetable broth if you’d like to make this vegetarian
3 oz Parmesan cheese (freshly grated from a block, not the kind that comes in a can – use the small-hole side of a box cheese grater to grate your own)
black pepper to taste
1. Pre-heat the oven to 400. Halve the tomatoes and scoop out the seeds. In a large bowl, combine the tomato halves with 3 T of olive oil, salt and the 1 ½ t of black pepper and stir to coat well. On a large baking sheet, spread the tomato halves in a single layer and roast in the pre-heated oven for 45 minutes (I used this time to prep my other ingredients (chop my onions, mince my garlic, tear my basil leaves up a bit). Remove from oven and set aside. Reduce oven heat to 300 degrees (to pre-heat it for the Parmesan crisps).
2. In a large pot, combine the remaining 2 T olive oil with the butter and melt over medium heat. Once butter is melted, add the chopped onions, the garlic and the red pepper flakes and cook 7-10 minutes until softened, stirring occasionally. Add the roasted tomatoes, canned tomatoes, basil, thyme and chicken (or vegetable) broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes.
3. While the soup cooks, grate the Parmesan cheese using the small-hole side of a box grater. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and working in batches (I did 6 per baking sheet, so 3 batches) make 18 piles of 1 T of Parmesan each onto the parchment paper, leaving several inches in between. With the back of a spoon, flatten each pile until evenly spread and then sprinkle freshly ground black pepper over each, to taste. Bake each tray on the middle rack in the oven for 6-7 minutes at 300 degrees until golden brown. Set aside.
4. When soup is done cooking, puree the soup completely, either by using an immersion blender directly in the pot (one of my favorite kitchen tools!) or by pouring the soup in batches into a normal blender, until smooth. Serve each cup of soup with 2 crisps on top.
Yields 9 (1 cup soup with 2 crisps) servings. Weight Watchers Points Plus: 5 per serving (4 per cup of soup without the crisps)