- 4 pounds plum tomatoes, halved and seeds removed
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus 2 tablespoons
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, plus whole leaves for garnish
- Chile-infused oil, for drizzling
- Special equipment: An immersion blender
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place the tomatoes cut-side up in a single layer on the baking sheet. Drizzle with 1/4 cup olive oil and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and the sugar. Scatter the thyme sprigs over the tomatoes. Roast until the tomatoes are wrinkled and soft, about 1 hour. Let cool until cool enough to handle. Discard the thyme sprigs. Gently peel off and discard the tomato skins.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and cook until the onions start to lightly brown around the edges, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, vegetable stock and bay leaf and simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add the cream and chopped basil and simmer for 5 more minutes. Remove the bay leaf and use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth. Season to taste with about 2 teaspoons salt and some freshly ground black pepper.
When ready to serve, top with a drizzle of chile-infused oil and garnish with some basil leaves.