Our 6 year is the pickiest eater of our 4 kids. I’d love to say that this story has a good ending but I am just trying to keep it real for you. FYI, this is the same said elephant in our bed until “very” recently. At the time, I thought number 3 was bad until 4 came along. Three now eats everything (mind you, she’s 14 now) so I am not too worried. Until last night. I started making this soup just before 10:30 in the morning and when we sat at the family dinner table at 7pm he refused to try it. Soup is one of those definite no-nos in his books. So I did what any loving parent would have done… I begged him to just taste it. “No”. I explained how I made this soup with love and worked on it hoping everyone would enjoy it together. Eventually he caved under peer pressure and agreed to have “just a lick”. As I brought the spoon to his mouth I secretly wished that this was going to be a turning point in all our lives. He immediately burst into tears and I instantly felt like one of those little roasted tomatoes that the hand blender desecrated. Maybe next time. Needless to say he had bread and butter like an inmate.
After a pretty intense summer, the start of fall in Toronto has come as a welcome reprieve from all the heat that wore us all down. So yesterday was one of those beautiful fall rainy days and just the day to try something new. This could easily be made on the stove but I had time on my side so pulled out my trusty Crockpot. My next door neighbour’s Mum gave me 3 pounds of gorgeous roma tomatoes that are perfectly ripe.
Not only did I not have fresh basil which would be lovely and classic, I also did not have a can of diced or stewed tomatoes. So I did the next best thing… I compromised and used half a glass jar of pureed tomatoes. Next time I think I will use a can of diced tomatoes because it will lighten the soup. If you are looking for a rich, deep flavoured tomato soup, then this is the one for you (unless of course, you are 6).
“Roasted Tomato & Garlic Soup in the Slow Cooker”
Makes 8 – 10 servings
prep time: 1 hour
slow cooker time: 6 hours on LOW
3 pounds roma tomatoes, halved lengthways
12 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced lengthways
3 T olive oil
2 tsp salt (divided)
1 1/2 C onions, cubed
1 T olive oil
1 T butter
2 tsp sugar (divided)
1 1/2 C pureed tomatoes (or preferably 1 14 oz.can of diced tomatoes)
2 C chicken broth
1/4 C red wine
1 C 2% milk
Set oven to 375 degrees. Wash and slice tomatoes and cut lengthways. Arrange on a cookie sheet. Peel the garlic and slice into halves. Place on top of tomatoes and drizzle the 3 T olive oil and half the salt loosely on top. I used cracked salt here. Bake in the oven for 1 hour. Remove from heat.
While tomatoes are roasting, get a medium sized frying pan and over medium heat, add olive oil and butter and brown the onions for about 5 minutes. Add the first teaspoon of sugar roughly halfway through cooking to help caramelize and brown the onions. Remove from the heat and pour into slow cooker. Add 1/2 C chicken stock to onion pan to descale any of the good bits left behind and rest aside.
Add roasted tomatoes and garlic to the slow cooker using a spatula. Take the broth that is sitting in the frying pan from the onions and add to the slow cooker for extra flavour.
Add the pureed jarred tomatoes and remaining 1 1/2 C of chicken broth. Add the wine and the remaining teaspoon of salt and sugar. Stir. Turn the slow cooker to LOW and cover. I could use HIGH because we are eating in 6 hours but since the ingredients are all basically pre cooked, this soup really just needs a low setting to have everything meld and simmer.
When you are ready to eat, turn heat OFF and with an immersion hand blender, carefully puree the soup until smooth. Taste to see if it needs any more sugar or salt. Here is where you will add the cup of milk. I am sure cream would have been better but isn’t it always? Stir and serve with your favourite loaf or bread. Enjoy!