In an attempt to truly embrace the spirit of the autumn season, I spent this first fall weekend camping up in the Leelanau Peninsula with my dear friend, Ashton. Not wanting to miss anything a Michigan fall has to offer, we stopped for every cider donut we passed, ate fresh-off-the-tree apples at any given chance, and drank pressed cider like it was water. Every morning when we unzipped our tent we were greeted with perfectly crisp Lake Michigan air and the intoxicating aroma of a smokey campfire. It was an amazing way to usher in autumn.
I absolutely dragged my heels when it came to accepting that fall was here. My ‘party’s over’ attitude regarding the season hung like a pessimistic cloud over any of autumn’s positives. Apple picking is great, but when are you going to be able to pick blueberries again? Cider is good, but aren’t you going to miss rosé? Maybe it was the cooler weather or the 4 cider donuts I ate on Saturday, but something recently shifted and I can’t get enough pumpkins, plaid, and ankle boots.
Another way I’m ringing in the season is with batch after batch of homemade soup. The very definition of cozy is a big mug of hot soup. Preferably enjoyed on the couch while donning a pair of warm socks in front of the tv. My tomato soup is perfect for this time of year. The tomatoes here are just ending their season so I was still able to find big, sweet, ripe ones at the market. To really up their flavor, I roasted them in the oven with red bell peppers and garlic for about 20 minutes until they started to bubble and caramelize. I like my tomato soup a little chunky so I blended about 2/3 of the roasted vegetable mixture then roughly chopped the rest giving it a perfect consistency.
Because this soup is so basic, I had a lot of fun experimenting with different add-ins. My favorite was the traditional basil, parmesan, and heavy cream. But Sriracha, chili flakes, and a little soy sauce were also delicious as was the simple Tabasco, pepper, and oyster cracker combo. 5 ingredients plus toppings means this simple soup is perfect for weeknights or packing for lunch. This soup is also best enjoyed with a big hunk of crusty bread, so be sure to have some around for dunking.
I hope you’re having an amazing autumn and that you get a chance to experience all the great things this season has to offer. There are so many things to be thankful this time of year and I think soup should be one of them. Have a fall favorite you can’t get enough of? Tell me about it in the comments below!
Roasted Tomato Red Pepper Soup
- 5 Large Tomatoes
- 2 Red Bell Peppers
- 5 Cloves Garlic, still in the skin
- 1 1/2 – 2 Cups Chicken or vegetable Stock
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- Fresh Basil + Parmesan Cheese + Dash of Heavy Cream
- Chili Flakes + Sriracha + Dash of Soy
- Tabasco Sauce + Oyster Crackers + Fresh Cracked Pepper
Preheat the oven to 425. Slide the tomatoes and place on 2 large baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Slice the bell pepper, remove the seeds, and place on the sheets with the tomatoes. Add the garlic, skin on, to the sheets. Liberally season each pan with salt and pepper then place the sheets in the oven and roast for 20-25 minutes, until the bell pepper is soft and the tomatoes are bubbly. Remove the pans from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. Take the garlic and squeeze each clove to remove the skin. Place 2/3 of the roasted tomatoes and peppers in a blender along with all of the garlic and the stock and blend until smooth. Add enough stock to reach the desired consistency. Optionally, you can place the ingredients in a large pot and use an immersion blender to reach the desired consistency.
Roughly chop and add the remaining tomatoes and peppers to a large pot and pour the blended mixture on top. Bring to simmer and allow to cook for 8-10. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm with additional add-ins and crusty bread.