This intense, summery soup can be made lighter if you leave off the croutons and cheese and use fresh chopped basil instead—or you can add cream for something hearty enough to fill any hobbit appetite. Any kind of fresh tomato works well; canned, peeled tomatoes work in the colder months, too.


for four people

3 pounds pearl tomatoes
5 or 6 garlic cloves
4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 large red onion
3 tbsp. tomato paste
4-5 cups vegetable stock
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tbsp. oregano
½ tbsp. sugar
salt and pepper, to taste
croutons and crumbled goat cheese to serve

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Cut tomatoes in half lengthwise and place them cut side up in a baking pan; peel garlic cloves and scatter them over the tomatoes. Drizzle with 2 tbsp. olive oil, and season with salt, pepper, smoked paprika, oregano, and ½ tbsp. sugar.

Roast for about 35 minutes, tossing until garlic is soft and tomatoes are jammy, tossing them halfway through.

Heat remaining oil in a large pot over medium-high heat, add sliced onion, and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring often, then reduce heat to low, cover with a lid, and keep cooking for 15 to 20 minutes until onion becomes very soft. Stir regularly. Add tomato paste, cook for 2 minutes until it gets darker, then add the roasted tomato mixture with all its juice to the vegetable stock. Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 10 minutes until flavors blend. Let cool slightly, then puree the soup in a blender until the texture is creamy. Add a few tablespoons of vegetable stock if needed.

Serve it hot, topping each bowl with homemade croutons and a tablespoon of crumbled goat cheese.

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When she’s not at farmers markets, or stirring yet another jam, or photographing an artichoke, Sara Ghedina, a.k.a. One Girl in the Kitchen, might be running in Golden Gate Park or in warrior pose. Find out more at