I have some friends who have been waiting on this recipe for a long time. But I really wanted to make sure I had it perfected. And I really think I do.
You see, there is a cafe here that has served a tomato blue cheese soup for years, and it is a favorite in the city. The rest of the menu has had its ups and downs, there have been some changes of management and staff, but the soup has always been on the menu. I’ve made quickie versions of this over the years, and half-hearted attempts to recreate the recipe, but they never quite hit the mark, and after all, I could always just go order the soup, right? But there was a little hiccup a while ago, when I had some fear that the cafe was going to close, or totally reorganize. So I set out to make my own recipe just in case.
One of the great things about recreating a favorite recipe is that, no matter how much you like the original, you can always tweek that one little thing that wasn’t exactly perfect for your taste. In this case, I make the soup a little smoother rather than chunky. I am generally loathe to use out of season tomatoes, but I find that plum tomatoes and cherry tomatoes are still fleshy and flavorful year round, and roasting them intensifies the flavor, which stands up well to a rich blue cheese.
This soup freezes well, so you can always have some on hand, but it is so easy to make it can be dinner any night. I love this with a grilled cheese sandwich of course, but at the original café, they offer it with a slice of quiche, which is a nice pairing, too.
Tomato Blue Cheese Soup
2 pounds plum tomatoes
10 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes
3 medium leeks, white and light green part
1 small red onion
5 to 6 sprigs thyme
4 cups (32 ounces) chicken broth
5 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Half the plum tomatoes and spread on a baking sheet. Tumble in the cherry tomatoes, then slice the leeks in halves, rinse them under running water and add them to the pan. Peel and quarter the onion and add to the pan. Drizzle a tablespoon or so of olive oil and use your hands to toss the vegetables around so they are lightly coated with oil. Sprinkle lightly with some salt and put in the pan in the oven. After 30 minutes, shake the pan to loosen the vegetables and place the thyme sprigs over the top. Roast for a further 15 – 20 minutes, until the tomatoes and vegetables are soft and charred in places.
3. Pick out the thyme stems (there will be some leaves left behind) and transfer everything, including any juices that have accumulated in the pan, to a Dutch oven. Pour in the broth and place over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. While the soup is simmering, take the blue cheese out of the fridge to come to room temperature.
4. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup, or let it cool slightly and blend carefully in batches in a blender and return to the soup pot. Whisk the blue cheese into the hot soup until smooth and melted. Season as needed with salt and black pepper.
Related post on The Runaway Spoon: Simple Slow Cooker Tomato Soup