Try this recipe for roasted tomato soup with sumac from the 'Taste Buds' cookbook

A simple, yet interesting spin on tomato soup

Image for Try this recipe for roasted tomato soup with sumac from the 'Taste Buds' cookbook
Recipe and images provided by Appetite by Random House.

With the proliferation of greenhouse growers across Canada in the past decade, Canadian-grown tomatoes are accessible year-round these days. While nothing may compare to a sun-kissed tomato plucked from your backyard, quality greenhouse-grown varieties still hit the spot, especially when they're roasted or made into a soup.

This recipe from Nikki Fotheringham's new cookbook Taste Buds: A Field Guide to Cooking and Baking with Flowers does both, by roasting tomatoes to amp up their sweetness before blending them into a comforting soup.

Image for Try this recipe for roasted tomato soup with sumac from the 'Taste Buds' cookbook

As the title of her book implies, the main twist to the soup recipe comes from the tangy and pleasantly complex sumac. The spice is a staple in Middle Eastern cooking, but Canadians may be surprised to know that it grows readily in many parts of Canada, particularly in BC and Ontario.

"As the heat of summer sets in, all the tomatoes in my veggie garden seem to ripen at once, at two o’ clock on a Tuesday. There are so many delightful ways to eat them, they never go to waste. Elevate your garden- variety tomato soup with the sourness of sumac and the creaminess of yogurt," explains Nikki Fotheringham in the introduction to this roasted tomato soup recipe the Taste Buds cookbook.

Roasted tomato soup with sumac

For the soup

3 lb (1.4 kg) ripe tomatoes, halved

½ large red onion, thinly sliced

3 cloves garlic

2 tsp (10 ml) fresh thyme leaves, or 1 tsp (5 ml) dried

1 tsp (5 ml) dried sumac

⅓ cup (75 ml) extra virgin olive oil

4 cups (1 L) vegetable broth

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 cup (250 ml) plain 3.5% yogurt, for serving

¼ cup (60 ml) chopped fresh basil leaves


Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

To make the soup, place the tomatoes, onion and garlic on a baking sheet. Sprinkle the thyme and sumac over the veggies. Drizzle with the oil and then mix everything together until the vegetables are well coated.

Roast until the tomatoes begin to caramelize and the onions are soft, about 25–30 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer the tomato mixture to a large soup pot.

Use an immersion blender to cream the veggies. Mix in the broth and bring to a gentle boil, then simmer on low for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.

Taste your soup and season to taste with sea salt and pepper.


For the grilled cheese croutons

¼ cup (60 ml) salted butter, divided

4 slices of your favorite crusty bread

2 cups (500 ml) grated cheddar cheese


Place 1 Tbsp (15 ml) of the butter in a frying pan and melt over low heat.

Place 2 slices of bread in the pan and fry gently one side only until they start to brown, about 1 minute. Remove them from the pan.

Place 1 cup (250 ml) of the cheese on the browned side of 1 slice and top with the other slice, browned side down.

Melt another 1 Tbsp (15 ml) butter in the pan and cook the sandwich on both sides over low heat until brown, about 2 minutes per side.

Repeat for the other sandwich.

Cut the crust off your grilled cheese sandwiches and cut into small squares to make croutons.


For serving

Serve the soup with a dollop of plain yogurt and a garnish of grilled cheese croutons and fresh basil.


(Author's note: Don’t want to make grilled cheese? Chop some halloumi into small squares and fry in butter until brown to use as croutons instead.)

Serves 4