It has red chili pepper flakes in it…that is the zesty part. The 3/4 teaspoon is the right amount for my kids. If I was going to make it just for adults, I would probably increase that to a full 1 teaspoon. But, if you are making it for folks that don’t like it hot, then you might want to cut them back even more, to 1/2 teaspoon. You know your audience. If you want it to be vegetarian, use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth; vegans will need to leave the parmesan cheese out.
As an added bonus, while you are roasting your tomatoes, onions, and garlic, your house will smell wonderful. All the girls liked it and Leah had three servings.
Zesty Roasted Tomato & Garlic Soup
Inspired by a recipe from Tasty Kitchen
Make 6-8 servings depending on appetite
- 15 whole Roma tomatoes (3-4 lbs, depending on the size of the tomatoes)
- 1 whole onion, peeled and quartered
- 3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tbsp turbinado or brown sugar (I used “sugar in the raw”)
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 tsp red chili pepper flakes, reduce amount if you want it less zesty
- 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning (mine consists of oregano, marjoram, thyme, basil, rosemary, and sage, NO salt)
- 2 whole heads of garlic (peels left on)
- 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped or 2 tsp dried parsley
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup dried bread cubes or crumbs, optional
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line 2 small or 1 large baking sheets with foil, parchment, or a silpat.
- Cut the Roma tomatoes in half and place on lined baking pans cut side up. Peel and quarter the onions and place them on baking sheet with tomatoes.
- Drizzle tomatoes and onions with 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil as well as the balsamic vinegar and other ingredients down through the Italian seasoning and toss to coat.
- Cut the tops off of the 2 heads of garlic and place on a piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle garlic with 1 Tablespoon of the olive oil. Wrap the heads tightly in the foil.
- Place foil packet of garlic on the baking sheet with the tomatoes and onions Roast everything in the preheated oven for 60 minutes.
- Once tomatoes, onions, and garlic are roasted, set aside to cool, until they can be handled.
- Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of their papers, discard papers and set aside the roasted garlic aside.
- Place a large pot on the stove over medium heat. Immediately add the roasted tomatoes and onions, all of their juices from the baking sheet, and the roasted garlic.
- Add the chicken stock, the chopped parsley, and the bread, and allow to simmer without lid, for about 20 minutes.
- Add the grated parmesan cheese, and stir.
- Using a hand immersion blender or countertop blender, purée the soup until smooth and all tomatoes are completely puréed. Note: If using a countertop blender, work in small batches to purée. Be careful to not overfill the blender, as hot soup can splatter.
- Check the salt/pepper, and adjust to taste, if necessary. Ladle into serving bowls, sprinkle with a little extra grated parmesan, and enjoy.