About a week ago, my husband Steven got all four of his wisdom teeth removed. Most people I know (myself included), got theirs out many years ago, either in their teens or early twenties. Mine weren’t a big deal, but Steven heard horror stories from some friends about how bad the recovery was. His surgery ended up being totally routine, although his mouth was so numb for the whole day afterwards that he had trouble eating anything at all. So I made him some tomato soup to help him recover. With absolutely nothing to chew, there was no chance it could hurt his mouth. Actually, though, it was so good that I’m afraid I may have eaten more than he did.
Although I just kind of freestyled the recipe, I thought I’d share my flexible recipe with the option to oven-roast the tomatoes and garlic, or just cook everything in the slow-cooker. You can definitely use more tomatoes or less cream, or even throw in a pepper if you like your soup spicy. If you have an immersion blender, you’ll save yourself some dishes by using that instead of a regular blender. I don’t have one, though, so I can report that a regular blender works fine as long as you don’t overfill it, and are careful when blending the hot soup.
4-6 cups of fresh tomatoes. I used a mixture of cherry tomatoes and large heirloom tomatoes from my garden.
1 yellow onion
4-5 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 cup of heavy cream
1 cup of vegetable broth
salt to taste
pepper to taste
mozzarella cheese (optional)
fresh basil (optional)
If roasting tomatoes:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place tomatoes and unpeeled garlic in a couple of roasting pans or baking dishes, and drizzle with olive oil. Stir to coat. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, until the tomatoes and garlic are soft.
Transfer the tomatoes to a crock pot/slow cooker, and do the same with the garlic after you’ve removed the skin. Add the vegetable broth, and turn on the cooker. Let everything cook down for an hour or two, until the tomatoes have broken down even further.
If not roasting tomatoes:
Dice the onion and saute it with a bit of olive oil and salt in a skillet until soft. Add the peeled garlic, and saute until fragrant. Then throw everything, except for the cream, into the slow cooker and cook for 6-8 hours.
After the tomatoes are very soft from either of the above methods, proceed to the blending.
Remove the soup from heat, and either puree it with an immersion blender, or puree it in batches in a blender until smooth. Transfer the soup back to the slow cooker to keep it warm.
Heat the heavy cream in a saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently, until hot. Stir into the soup. If your soup is too thick, add additional vegetable broth or water.
Taste, and season as desired with salt and pepper.
Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese and fresh basil slivers.