Roasted Tomato and Beet Bisque

I ended up with a gigantic bushel of fresh canning tomatoes from Delaware this weekend. Many were fine to eat and we did; I also blanched and diced about 20 cups worth to make frozen individual portions of diced tomatoes.

The last few were sitting on my counter top today and I decided to make a soup. But not just a regular tomato soup--a roasted tomato (and beets) soup! This is a very easy thing to make when you have a bunch of tomatoes sitting around.

6-8 large beefsteak type tomatoes (you can use any type you'd like, you want about 4 cups tomatoes when cooked)
4 or five small beets, or one large beet quartered, washed and patted dry
olive oil 
kosher salt
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon thyme
fistful of fresh basil leaves (about 10-15) rinsed
3 cups vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Prep a large roasting pan with some foil to minimize the mess. Scrub the beets and tomatoes. Place the beets in whole on the roasting pan, and slice the tomatoes in half. Place the tomatoes cut side up. Drizzle the whole pan with olive oil and salt and shake to coat all the beets and tomatoes.

Roast the tomatoes and beets for about an hour. Meanwhile, prep the onion by dicing it and set aside. 

The beets are done when a knife easily pokes them. Remove the beets and tomatoes and set aside to cool for a while. When they are safe enough to handle, peel the beets and slice them. Fish out the tomato skins from the tomatoes which should easily separate.

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil on medium high heat. Saute the onion until it begins to brown and soften, about 10 minutes or so. Add in the beets, tomatoes, thyme, and basil and simmer for about 15 minutes. 

Using an immersion blender, mix the soup until it becomes a smooth consistency. Add the vegetable broth and mix well.