Roasted Tomato Soup, number two

I go in streaks with recipes. When I find a recipe I like, I'll make it over and over, then get tired of it. I move on and often completely forget about it.

I was reminded of that tendency when I went to our friends' annual Buffalo Bills Opening Day Party. Two different people told me they had made the soup that I had brought to the previous year's party, and I couldn't recall what I had made. Finally, I remembered it -- Michael Chiarello's Roasted Tomato Soup.

When I went home, I spotted the red tomatoes that lined my kitchen window and decided to revisit that soup. But when I went to the Food Network Web site to find the recipe (forgetting it was already on this blog), I spotted another Roasted Tomato Soup recipe to try -- this one by Tyler Florence. I decided to give that version a try.

This version was just as easy to prepare as the Chiarello recipe, but a bit more decadent. It had more olive oil, plus some butter and heavy cream. Whereas the Chiarello recipe tasted like a tomato sauce you'd serve on pasta, the Tyler Florence recipe was closer to Campbell's tomato soup (only better). Maybe that's why my husband, who is not known for his adventurous palate, lapped it up. I'm not sure which I like better -- although I'd put both in my "top 10" of the soups I've made.

Here's Tyler's recipe, with my changes noted.

Roasted Tomato Soup
Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence

2 1/2 pounds fresh tomatoes (I used whatever tomatoes were on my kitchen window ledge)
6 cloves garlic, peeled
2 small yellow onions, sliced
Vine cherry tomatoes for garnish, optional (I didn't use)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (I didn't have that much on hand -- used about 1/4 cup)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 quart chicken stock
2 bay leaves
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, optional (used less -- didn't have that much)
3/4 cup heavy cream, optional (oh yes, I sure did use the cream)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Wash, core and cut the tomatoes into halves. Spread the tomatoes, garlic cloves and onions onto a baking tray. (If using vine cherry tomatoes for garnish, add them as well, leaving them whole and on the vine.) Drizzle with 1/2 cup of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, or until caramelized.

Remove roasted tomatoes, garlic and onion from the oven and transfer to a large stock pot (set aside the roasted vine tomatoes for later). Add 3/4 of the chicken stock, bay leaves, and butter. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until liquid has reduced by a third.

Wash and dry basil leaves, if using, and add to the pot. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth. Return soup to low heat, add cream and adjust consistency with remaining chicken stock, if necessary. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Garnish in bowl with 3 or 4 roasted vine cherry tomatoes and a splash of heavy cream.