Grilled-tomato-and-onion soup recipe

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The next time you have the grill sparked up and an overflow of perfect summer tomatoes in hand, give this recipe a shot. Or, if it’s the middle of winter and you’re hankering for a little summer-fresh flavor, pick up some nice ripe plum tomatoes at the supermarket and cook them and the onion under the broiler. Grilling or broiling intensifies the flavor of the vegetables, and starting the soup with a roux (a mix of flour and fat, in this case butter) gives the soup an elegant texture while keeping its rustic flavors.

  • Yield: 6 cups (6 lunchtime serving)
  • Preparation Time: 20 Minutes
  • Cooking Time: 1 Hour

Ingredients

  • 12 ripe plum tomatoes (about 3 pounds, or 3 pounds of any ripe, juicy tomatoes), cored, halved, and seeds removed
  • 1 Spanish onion, peeled and quartered through the root but root left intact
  • 1½ tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large red bell peppers (about 1 pound), roasted, peeled, and seeded
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • Kosher or fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
How to Make It
  1. Preheat a gas grill to high or build a charcoal fire, and when the coals are glowing red, spread them out into an even layer.
  2. Toss the tomato halves and onion quarters with the oil in a large bowl to coat. Place the tomatoes, skin side down, and onion quarters on the grill and lower the heat to medium (if you have a hinged grill basket, these tomatoes are a great reason to use it). Or, if using a charcoal grill, place the onion quarters around the edges of the grill, where the heat will be less intense. Grill the tomatoes until the skin blisters and splits, 2 to 3 minutes, then flip them over and grill until softened, another 2 minutes or so. Remove the tomatoes and continue cooking the onion quarters, turning occasionally, until softened and a bit charred, about 8 minutes total.
  3. Remove and discard the skins from the tomatoes, and coarsely chop the tomatoes. Cut the root ends off the onion quarters. Put the onion, tomatoes, and roasted peppers in a blender or processor and puree until smooth. With the motor running, pour in about half the vegetable broth and puree until very smooth.
  4. Heat the butter in a medium heavy saucepan over medium heat until foaming. Add the flour and garlic and cook, stirring, until smooth and bubbling, about 3 minutes. Add the tomato mixture and the remaining broth and stir well until boiling. Adjust the heat so the soup is simmering, add the oregano and cumin, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes. The soup can be prepared to this point up to 3 days in advance and refrigerated once cooled; it can also be frozen for up to 2 months.
  5. Stir the chopped cilantro into the soup, taste, and season with salt and pepper if necessary. Serve hot, or let cool to room temperature and chill before serving.
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