This year, I don't want to mess around with 1,000 dishes. My style of cooking is vibrant, fresh, healthy, and EASY. You can still create a delicious homemade meal without spending hours in the kitchen or dirtying every pot and pan you own! All of the veggies in this recipe are roasted in the very soup pot I use to simmer this divine dish. Get the recipe below:
6 large tomatoes
2 sweet onions
1 red bell pepper
1 large bulb of garlic
1 bunch fresh thyme sprigs
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
3 teaspoons dried Italian herbs
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (to taste)
3 - 4 cups chicken stock depending on your desired thickness (You can add vegetable stock instead if you want to make this dish vegan/vegetarian.)
1 cup tomato sauce (I use Pomi)
1 big handful of fresh basil leaves (plus more for topping)
Optional: 1 teaspoon arrowroot starch for thickening
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
Peel and quarter your onions, halve your tomatoes, and slice your bell pepper into thick strips to remove the seeds. Then, cut 1/2 inch off of the top of your bulb of garlic to expose the tops of the individual cloves. Go ahead and leave the bulb whole with the outer layer on -- just be sure to remove any loose papery pieces.
Nestle all of your veggies into an over safe soup pot or Dutch oven. Try to make sure the veggies are in an even layer, verses being stacked completely on top of each other. Pour 1/4 cup of olive oil over the veggies, and season with 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, and 2 teaspoons dried Italian herbs. Then, throw in a bunch of thyme springs... don't worry, we'll remove them later!
Roast the veggies in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour. You're looking for the veggies to be soft, with a little bit of char/crispiness. Just keep an eye on them!
Remove the roasted veggie pot from the oven and let it cool down a bit until you're able to handle the veggies. Remove all of the roasted garlic cloves from their peel, and place them back into the pot. Discard the garlic peel. Then, pull out the thyme stems and pluck any of the remaining leaves off, placing them back into the pot and discarding the stems.
Now that your veggies are ready, it's time to add in the liquid and basil!
Place your pot on the stove, and add in 3 cups of chicken stock, 1 cup of tomato sauce, and a handful of fresh basil leaves. Let the veggies come to a boil in the liquid, then turn your stove down to simmer. Let it go for another 10 - 15 minutes.
Once the veggies have cooked in the stock and tomato sauce, turn your stove off. It's time to blend! I use an immersion blender directly in the pot, but you can also transfer the soup in batches to a blender, and then add it back in your soup pot once it's smooth.
Now that the housekeeping is out of the way, blend your veggies and stock until the soup is completely smooth. If you're looking for a thinner consistency, you have that extra cup of chicken stock to add in to achieve your desired thickness. Personally, I prefer it a bit thicker! As an optional step, you can add a teaspoon of arrowroot starch for even more thickness.
Once your soup is fully combined, add in another teaspoon of salt, another teaspoon of pepper, another teaspoon of dried Italian seasoning, and crushed red pepper flakes to taste.
Stir in the seasoning, and simmer for another 10 -15 minutes, then top with a drizzle of olive oil, fresh parm and torn basil, alongside a crusty grilled cheese and lemony salad! Enjoy my friends!
This soup is SO good for you and filled with fresh, wholesome ingredients! Not to mention, it's Whole3o approved, paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, and can easily be made vegan/vegetarian! Tomatoes promote heart health, are filled with lycopene (an antioxidant), and are a fantastic source of vitamin C -- which is perfect for this time of year! Onions and garlic provide major boosts to your immune system, and even help your skin look smoother. This is truly a wonderful, healthy comfort food that not only tastes amazing, but fuels your body in the best way possible!