Quarter and core about 3 pounds of tomatoes. Peel garlic cloves.
Toss together in a bowl with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Spread on a lined baking sheet. Bake in oven at 500 degrees for about 30 minutes (until wrinkly and bubbly).
Meanwhile...In a soup pot, soften shallot, onion , and a couple more cloves of garlic in butter over a low flame. You want these to cook until transluscent.
Remove tomatoes from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before you handle them. Place the tomatoes in the soup pot with onion/shallot/garlic mixture.
Add vegetable broth.
Season with salt , pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste. Allow soup to simmer.
Puree the soup with an immersion blender (or pour into a regular blender). You can just blend half of the soup if you prefer a chunky soup. It's all up to you!
I am making this one on the smoother side with a little texture.
Add some chopped fresh herbs. I used tarragon this time. Basil is also a nice choice.
Serve yourself a nice big bowl of soup and sprinkle with more fresh herbs. I used chives for this garnish.
Wait! You really need something to dip in this belly warming soup!
Make grilled cheese sandwiches with smoked gouda.
The perfect combination. Enjoy!