Alex Makes: Grilled Tomato Soup

This is a good recipe when you feel like having a few late spring-early summer tomatoes when they are not yet at the height of the season. I find this is a simple and tasty way to extract the maximum flavor from them. I like to take my time with this recipe and work with the grill when it’s not so hot. I really like grilling something and blending that charred flavor into others. That's why I dig this soup.

Grilled Tomato Soup
Serves 6-8 people
3 1/2 pounds Roma tomatoes, cored and halved lengthwise
2 medium yellow onions, peeled and quartered
1/2 cup olive oil
Kosher salt
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 cloves garlic, peeled and grated
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 “knob” of ginger, peeled, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 poblano pepper, halved, seeded and thinly sliced
12 ounces tomato juice
1-2 cups water (optional), if needed

Grill the tomatoes and onions: In a large bowl, gently toss the tomato halves and onions with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, a pinch of salt, the honey and oregano. Grill everything on high heat on both sides until nicely charred, but not burned. I find starting in a “hot spot” for a few minutes and rotating them constantly is a great way to begin. Then, to finish cooking them until they are tender, move them to a cooler part of the grill.

Make the rest of the soup: Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil to a medium pot. Stir in the garlic, celery, ginger and poblano. Season with salt and cook over medium heat, stirring, for about 5-8 minutes until the ingredients become tender. Puree the tomatoes and onions thoroughly in the blender with the tomato juice (and a splash of water, if needed) and the remaining olive oil and season to taste. Pour the tomato liquid over the garlic mixture and gently heat. Taste for seasoning.

Try making my Tomato and Watermelon Salad this summer, too.

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