- 4 pounds plum tomatoes (halved and seeds removed)
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 large onion (diced)
- 3 cloves garlic (chopped)
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons fresh basil; minced
- Special equipment: an immersion blender
- 1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the tomatoes cut-side up in a single layer on the baking sheet. Drizzle with 1/4 cup olive oil and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and the sugar. Scatter the thyme sprigs over the tomatoes.
- 2) Roast until the tomatoes are wrinkled and soft, about 1 hour. Let cool until cool enough to handle. Discard the thyme sprigs. Gently peel off and discard the tomato skins.
- 3) Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and cook until the onions start to lightly brown around the edges, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, vegetable stock and bay leaf and simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes.
- 4) Reduce the heat to low, add the cream and basil and simmer for 5 more minutes. Remove the bay leaf and use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth. Season to taste with about 2 teaspoons salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Serve warm.