October 10, 2010

Roasted tomato and garlic soup

In addition to its sharp taste, pungent aroma, and supposed ability to ward off vampires, garlic has been known for centuries for its medicinal value. The ancient Egyptians believed it could fight tumors, while the Greeks and Romans used it in the treatment of asthma. More recently, British doctors applied it topically to wounds during World War I and II, as it helped to prevent gangrene. In terms of one’s general health, it’s been suggested that garlic can regulate blood sugar metabolism, lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure, detoxify the liver, stimulate the blood circulation, prevent certain types of cancer, and fight bronchitis, and the common cold.

Seeing as I’m currently harboring the common cold, today I decided to make a large batch of roasted tomato and garlic soup. The garlic is roasted whole, skin on (the cloves will pop right out) alongside the tomatoes. Taking advice from a few garlic soup recipes, I used both sweet, roasted garlic and minced fresh garlic in the soup, so you don’t completely lose that nice, raw garlic bite. I also added a splash of cream at the end, which you could certainly leave out if you’re feeling at all calorie-conscious.

Roasted tomato and garlic soup

2.5lbs large tomatoes, about 4 large
3 heads garlic, plus 5 garlic cloves
olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 cup heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Quarter the tomatoes and place them on a foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Cut the tops off of the three heads of garlic and place each garlic head on a small sheet of aluminum foil. Fold up the sides of the foil to make a packet. Salt and pepper the garlic inside the packet and drizzle with olive oil. Pinch the top of the foil tightly around each head of garlic to seal, and place them on the baking sheet along with the tomatoes.

Roast the tomatoes and garlic for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove the garlic from the baking sheet and allow it to cool on a plate.

In a stockpot, sauté the onion in a splash of olive oil until translucent. Mince the 5 remaining garlic cloves and add them to the pot, along with the thyme and tomatoes. Squeeze each head of garlic over the pot (the cloves should pop right out of the paper). Press on the tomatoes with a wooden spoon to break them up, and add the chicken stock. Simmer for 1/2 hour, and then puree in a blender until smooth. Return the soup to the pot, add the cream, and season to taste with salt and pepper.


  1. Wow, this soup sounds amazing - i'm going to try it soon! I had a tomato soup in New Orleans once that had a creamy texture and taste using eggplant instead of cream. Have you heard of this before? Or have any thoughts on it? I have yet to try it.

  2. you're soup look fabulous! I LOVE roasting garlic like that- I have a hummus recipe that I put roasted garlic and roasted chili in.. also love the colors in the soup- it's making me really hungry!!

  3. I'm so going to make this. Sounds delicious. Thanks for the recipe.

    ps- How many people will this serve?

  4. It's tough to say. I'm a light soup eater, so with a nice loaf of bread I'd say about 4-6 servings, depending on how hungry your crowd is... you could, of course, make extra and freeze it, which would reheat beautifully.

  5. I just wanted to say that I made this for Christmas dinner 2010 and everyone raved about it, it was excellent! I've made it several time since!