Oven Roasted Tomato Soup

by Guest blogger: Raymond Jess

Find his podcast HERE

Late spring is always a time of bountiful harvest in my garden. The tomatoes are ripening at an alarming rate, the onions and garlic are ready to pull and the basil is big and beautiful. With so many things coming together at the same time there is always a dilemma as to what to do with it all, aside from gifting to my neighbors. It was time for me to put on my thinking cap and come up with something tasty. Roasting any vegetable increases the sweetness and makes for an explosion of flavor on the pallet. I thought why not oven roast a few tomatoes, onions and garlic with a little olive oil, salt and pepper to make the start of a tomato soup? The basil I used in this soup was an afterthought, the amount one uses depends on your preferences. I hope you enjoy the bounty of your garden and never fail to come up with ways to enjoy the fruits of your passion.

I hope this works for you. Feel free to adjust it as you see fit.



Prep: 20-30 min

Cook: 50 min


2-3 servings


1 1/4 pounds fresh tomatoes (for improved flavor, mix varieties like heirlooms, vine, cherry, plum, etc.)Nevis Azorian Red Tomatoes for Oven Roasted Tomato Soup

3 cloves garlic, peeled

1 yellow onion, small

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2 cups chicken stock

1 bay leaf

2 tbsp butter

1/2 cup fresh sweet basil leaves

1/2 cup heavy cream


  • Preheat oven to 450 degree F
  • Peel and slice onion, set aside.
  • Wash, core and cut the tomatoes in half. Cherry tomatoes do not need to be cut.
  • Spread the tomatoes, garlic cloves, and onion slices onto a baking tray.  Drizzle with EVOO and season with salt and pepper.
  • Roast for 20-30 minutes until caramelized
  • Remove tray from oven and transfer to medium stock pot. Add 1 cup of chicken stock, bay leaf, and butter.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until liquid is reduced by a third.
  • Wash and dry basil leaves. Chop and add to the pot.
  • Puree the soup until smooth using an immersion blender. Use caution to not splash hot liquid.
  • Reduce heat to low, add heavy cream and bring to simmer for 1-2 minutes.  Note: You can add remaining chicken stock a little at a time until desired consistency is reached.
  • Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Spoon out serving and garnish with basil leaf and a splash of heavy cream.


About this author:

After retiring from two careers in the Air Force and teaching, Ray pursued his love of food and graduated from the Phoenix Art Institute with a certificate in Culinary Arts. The highlight of his culinary experience was working as a chef for the 2007 Super Bowl at the University of Phoenix Stadium. Natural extensions for this self-proclaimed foodie were the completion of his Master Gardener training and his Certificate in Permaculture Design.

A love of fresh foods and herbs has kept him gardening for the last two decades.  During a volunteer component of his Master Gardener training, Ray discovered wicking garden beds. A man of curiosity and constant seeker of ways to do things more efficiently, he embarked on a research project leading him to the Father of Wicking Beds, Collin Austin. As a result of Ray’s research, his backyard garden has evolved from rows of crops in a plot of ground, to raised beds, to grow-buckets and wicking beds. He is currently keeping his eyes open for the next great idea to perfect his garden, so he can keep giving his family, friends, and neighbors fresh produce.

How to reach Ray:

Link to Ray’s article on Building My Wicking Bed

Link to Ray’s Featured Farmer Interview

You can send an email to Ray at podcast@urbanfarm.org and it will be forwarded to him

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