Roasted Tomato Soup
This tomato soup starts with roasted diced canned tomatoes which makes it perfect for the winter when you can't find good tomatoes. I’ve used celeriac or celery root and a habanero which adds great background flavors. Celeriac is widely available in most groceries, although you may not have ever noticed it. If you're looking to make it more of a main course soup, you can add sauteed shrimp, which is the way I served it to the crew during the photo shoot for the new book. Since I used prepared beef broth, it’s a snap to make this soup and the extra freezes well.
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 medium celeriac (celery root) small dice, about 2 cups
2 to 3 medium carrots, small dice, about 1 cup
3 cloves garlic, diced
2 28 ounce cans diced fire roasted tomatoes (we prefer Muir Glen)
3 tablespoons tomato paste
6 cups beef broth
1 habanero chile, stemmed
1 medium potato, peeled and diced
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
2 to 3 tablespoons honey
Optional: 1 pound grilled or sauteed shrimp
Pour the olive oil into a large stockpot set over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onions and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook for about 7 minutes or until the onions have begun to brown around the edges. Scoop in the celeriac, carrots, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and continue cooking, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes or until the carrots begin to soften. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 additional minute.
Add the tomatoes with their juice, tomato paste, beef broth, habanero and potato. Stir until everything is well combined. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the temperature to medium and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until all the vegetables are soft. Using either a countertop blender or immersion blender, puree the soup. If you're using a countertop blender, you'll need to do this in batches, taking care not to overfill the blender jar.
Return the pureed soup to the pot, stirring in the parsley, 1 tablespoon salt and honey. I'm using honey here to balance out the acidity of the tomatoes. Simmer the soup for 5 minutes so that all the flavors have a chance to meld, then taste for final seasoning. If you're using the shrimp, add them to the individual bowls as they're being served.