Roasted Tomato and Pepper Soup
5 tomatoes, cored (if necessary) and quartered
1 large red bell pepper or 2 sweet carmen peppers, seeded and quartered
3 medium yellow onions, peeled, quartered
extra-virgin olive oil
5 plump cloves of garlic, unpeeled
fine-grain sea salt
2 - 3 cups light vegetable stock or water
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
mined fresh basil, used as garnish
1Preheat the oven to 375F degrees and position 2 racks in the middle of the oven. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper, alternately you can just rub them down with a thin glaze of olive oil.
2 Arrange the tomatoes, skin side down, on a baking sheet. Coat the bell pepper and onions with olive oil and put them on the other baking sheet along with the garlic, place the pepper skin side down as well. Give both sheets a light showering of salt, then bake until the tomatoes start to collapse and the onions start to brown and caramelize, about 45 minutes. Turn the onions if they start getting overly dark on the bottom.Check on the garlic as well, once the cloves are golden and oozy inside, pull them from the oven.
3 Peel the garlic, dump all of the roasted vegetables into a big, high-sided bowl, and puree with a hand blender. Alternately, use a conventional blender or food processor and work in batches. Blend in a cup of the stock, and keep adding the rest 1/2 cup at a time until the soup is the desired consistency. I like a little chunk and texture to this soup particularly if the weather has a bit of a chill, but smooth or chunky is your call.
4 Add the paprika and a bit more salt if needed - adjusting to your taste.