On the very last of our cool days here in Florida, I decided to make this tomato basil soup once more. It’s such a hit with my family, even the baby liked it which I couldn’t believe! This calls for an immersion blender which is oddly satisfying to use in my opinion. It makes it super easy and quicker than most of my other go to soups that require most of the day in a crock pot.

9-11 Plump Tomatoes (I use a mix of Roma and on the vine)
6-8 garlic cloves
1 onion (chopped, about 1 cup)
1 red bell pepper sliced
1 cup basil leaves (tightly packed)
3 cups vegetable broth
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp unsold butter
salt and pepper to your liking
1/2 cup heavy cream (totally optional!)

Preheat the oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with foil. wash and cut your tomatoes (into halves or quarters for larger ones). Place the tomatoes and whole garlic cloves on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the tomatoes for approximately 40 minutes. You will notice them becoming slightly charred and they will start to burst/ooze. Remove from the oven and set aside. Add the butter to a medium size pot. Once heated, add the onions and red pepper to saut√© so they become caramelized. Add the tomatoes, garlic, basil, broth and seasonings to the pot. Reduce heat to simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes. Using your immersion blender, carefully blend the soup in batches on high speed (I will usually pour half into a mixing bowl and gradually add it back in while blending). Try not to overblend as you don’t want it to become watery. Once blended, stir in the cream if using any, add additional salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with croutons and fresh basil. Don’t forget the grilled cheese for dipping!