There’s a roadside stand on Route 6 in Welfleet, MA right by the Audubon Society that has the absolute best yellow sungold tomatoes I’ve ever eaten. It’s run by a super friendly sister/brother team who also happen to grow delicious peaches. I haven’t been back to Cape Cod in years, but I’ll never forget the taste of those tomatoes.
Tomato season is glorious, and I love to follow its progression from delicious grape and cherry tomatoes to hearty beefsteak tomatoes to perfectly balanced sungolds. The journey brings me infinite joy every summer.
Seriously though… aren’t summer tomatoes the best?
My Roasted Tomato & Red Pepper Soup is worth turning the oven on for, even in the dog days of summer. It’s something that all 5 of us love and guzzle, so it’s always a welcomed dinner option. It’s also one of those dishes that you can serve to gluten free, dairy free and vegan guests, and with summer entertaining in full swing, that makes it a great back pocket recipe option. Smoked paprika adds a bit of intensity to the flavor here and it’s almost like being at a campfire. (s’mores for dessert?)
You can get this easy dish on the table in under an hour thanks to straightforward, fresh ingredients and a simple three step cooking method. Prep, roast, blend. That’s it. It’s flavorful and screams of summer, but it also freezes beautifully. So make a double batch for those winter days when you need a burst of sunshine.
Added bonus: it packs up beautifully in the lunchbox. To keep this recipe vegan, use vegetable broth.
Roasted Tomato & Red Pepper Soup
3 pints grape and/or cherry tomatoes
1/2 large red onion, cut into large chunks
1 red bell pepper, cut into chunks
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and halved
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 teaspoons fresh thyme, divided
1/3 cup fresh basil
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 teaspoon flake salt, or to taste, divided
Fresh black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and add the tomatoes, onion, peppers and garlic. Cut any large tomatoes into pieces similarly sized to the grape tomatoes.
Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoons of fresh thyme and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Roast for 30-40 minutes or until the vegetables have softened and become fragrant.
Place the roasted vegetables into a blender.
Add broth, basil, remaining thyme, salt, pepper and paprika.
Blend together until smooth. Taste to determine whether more salt or pepper is needed. If you find the flavor too acidic, you can add 1/2 teaspoon of sugar.
* Serving ideas: with sourdough croutons and a big, hearty salad.