Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup3 lbs heirloom or vine ripe tomatoes-halved or quartered

¼  c olive oil plus 2 tbs

12 garlic cloves, peeled

¼ c good balsamic vinegar

1 tbs sea salt

Black pepper to taste

2 tbs unsalted butter

2 c chopped yellow onions

¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1 (28oz) canned plum tomatoes w/ juice

3-4 c fresh basil leaves

1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

4 cups chicken stock (preferably homemade)

1.  Preheat oven to 400.

2.  Toss tomatoes with ¼ c oil, garlic, vinegar, salt and pepper.  Place on baking sheet in a single layer and roast for 30-45 min.

3.  In stock pot over medium heat warm up remaining olive oil and butter, sauté onions and red pepper flakes until onions are soft.  Add canned tomatoes, basil, thyme and chicken stock.  Add oven roasted tomatoes and garlic including juices.  Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes.

4.  Process in blender until smooth and pass through a fine sieve for a smooth texture.

Makes about 8-9 cups of soup or 6-8 servings