BLT Roasted Tomato Soup

2 pounds tomatoes

1 small onion, roughly chopped

6 cloves garlic, peel left on

5-6 sprigs of fresh oregano

3 tablespoons olive oil

kosher salt to taste

Several grinds black pepper

2 cups chicken or veggie stock

1 pinch of sugar

1 pinch of dried red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon red wine vinegar or lemon juice

4 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh basil

¼ cup good-quality mayonnaise

3 slices of thick-cut bacon, diced

olive oil to dress the arugula

1 cup arugula leaves (or other small lettuce leaves)

1 cup (or more) good quality croutons

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Halve or quarter tomatoes, depending on size, and scrape out the seeds as best you can. Lay the cut side down in a baking dish along with the onion and garlic cloves. Scatter the oregano branches around, drizzle everything with the olive oil, and sprinkle with the kosher salt and pepper. Roast for about 45 minutes, basting once or twice with the liquid in the pan, until the tomatoes begin to caramelize and the garlic cloves are softened.

Remove from the oven and cool for a few minutes, then pull off the tomato skins. Discard the oregano branches. Squeeze the garlic from its skin onto the baking sheet, holding back 2 cloves to use in the mayonnaise mixture.

Transfer the roasted vegetables and all the accumulated pan juices to a large pot and add the broth, sugar, red pepper flakes, vinegar and chopped basil. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Use an emulsion blender or a high-powered blender to purée the soup until it's fairly smooth. Taste for seasoning, and add more salt if necessary.

Meanwhile, mash the 2 remaining roasted garlic cloves to a paste. Whisk them into the mayonnaise. If the mixture is too thick to drizzle, whisk in a little water. Pan-fry the diced bacon until crispy and drain well on a paper towel-lined plate.

Toss arugula with a drop of olive oil - just enough to add a hint of shine. Serve the soup chilled, room temperature, or hot, topped with a drizzle of the garlic mayonnaise, a small mound of arugula, and a scattering of croutons and bacon bits.

Serves 4

Adapted from

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