Tomatoes are often the featuring star in the cucina povera dishes of Italy. Roasting the humble tomato for this delicious roasted tomato soup enhances the flavour and is a shining example of how just a few simple ingredients come together to surprising flavourful effect, an approach so typical of Italian cuisine.
It’s hard to believe that the delicious tomato so widely-used in Italian cuisine was once considered deadly poisonous. Now available year-round in fresh and preserved forms, there is no shortage of uses for this versatile fruit in well-loved Italian dishes.
The first tomatoes came to Europe via Spain all the way from South America. All of Southern Europe embraced, cultivated and cooked with it ever since Columbus made the trek.
The first account of it being mentioned in a 16th century cookbook is from the chef of the king of Naples. If you have ever bitten into a bright red super-sweet tomato cultivated in the volcanic soils at the foot of Mount Vesuvius it is easy to understand why.
Like many other Italian tomato-based classics this rustic roasted tomato soup does not disappoint. It bursts with flavour and is rich, even if you choose not to add the cream.
Given that the primary ingredient in this soup is tomatoes, the quality of the produce really matters. Use plump bright red San Marzano tomatoes in season, ideally sun-ripened, or left at room temperature to ripen.