This tomato soup with lemon and thyme taste fresh and bright. When zesting the lemon, use a vegetable peeler for 1/4-inch wide strips of zest. If you have one on hand, a food mill, using the coarsest blade, creates nice thick texture. You can also use an immersion blender or blender as a substitute.
3 pounds ripe tomatoes, quartered
4 sprigs fresh thyme or 2 teaspoons dried
4 whole garlic cloves, skins removed
4 strips lemon zest, each 1/4-inch wide and 2 inches long
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes with juice
4 cups low sodium chicken stock or vegetable stock, see our easy chicken stock recipe
1/4 cup half and half or non-dairy milk such as almond and coconut
Salt and fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup feta or blue cheese crumbles for serving, optional
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
On a baking sheet, toss tomatoes, garlic, thyme sprigs, lemon zest, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and about 2 teaspoons of salt together. Spread into one layer and roast until the edges of the tomatoes begin to caramelize, about 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook onions with 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot until softened and starting to brown, about 10 minutes.
Add the oven-roasted tomatoes and garlic, including the liquid on the baking sheet, canned tomatoes and chicken stock to the onions. Bring to a simmer and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
Pass the soup through a food mill fitted with the coarsest blade or blend using an immersion blender or blender. Add back to the pot then stir in half and half (or non-dairy milk). Taste the adjust with salt and/or pepper. Serve with cheese crumbles on top — optional.