Inspired in part by Mark Bittman's post on roasting canned tomatoes (for those of us who are torn between our cravings for veggies and our unwillingness to buy out-of-season shlock), and in part by a recipe recommended by a reader, I made a roasted tomato-balsamic soup last night.
The two recipes essentially got combined -- 3 14.5 oz cans of tomatoes, halved, and roasted for 40 minutes with 3 Tbs. balsamic vinegar and 1 Tbs soy sauce. In the mean time, I sauteed a chopped onion and 5 (!!) garlic cloves, before adding the tomatoes and their liquid and the glass-ful of tomato juice I'd reserved from the cans. Cook a little longer, vroom-vroom it, sprinkle with freshly ground pepper, and the result was served with a green salad, homemade French bread, cheese, and one of the 1990 Bert Simon Riesling Auslese bottles that we've been babying. On a side note, we've finally drunk our way through the bottles with rotten corks, and D is thinking of long-term cellaring 7 out of the 10 remaining bottles. The wine's still got enough acidity left that, if the upcoming move doesn't kill it, it could age quite nicely for another 5 years or so (I'm pulling this number out of my arse).
The soup mostly worked. The vibe was tres French bistro, urbanely vegetarian, and the tomato soup robust. I like the roasting canned tomato technique, it might just get me through the rest of winter. But the proportions dictated by the Kitchen Assistant recipe were a little intense for me... maybe overpowering is a better word. D liked it just fine. Maybe I'll try out Bittman's more delicate thyme seasoning next time.