Chunky Roasted Tomato, Potato and Garlic Soup
3 bulb garlic, end trimmed to expose cloves
Salt and pepper
1 pound of potatoes
3 pounds ripe heirloom tomatoes
About 1 cup fresh basil, diced
3 to 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Fresh hot chiles, if you have them, or cayenne pepper (you will have to judge the quantity of chile to use based on its spiciness!)
Preheat oven to 425ºF. I used a grill to roast the ingredients, but the oven will work just as well.
Drizzle the open end of the garlic with some olive oil, wrap in foil and roast 35-45 minutes or until light golden and tender. Roast the potatoes alongside the garlic -- they are likely to take 15 additional minutes to get completely soft. Arrange the tomatoes on the baking sheet and roast them until their skins burst and they’re charred at the edges, 35-40 minutes.
While the vegetables are roasting, dice the basil and mince the chiles (if you are using chiles), add them to the vegetable or chicken stock, and start to warm it up on the stove in a soup pot. The garlic is likely to be the first to be ready. Remove it from the oven and squish it out of its skins into a bowl. Pour a bit of the stock over the garlic and dissolve it into the liquid. It should be very soft and dissolve easily. Combine it with the rest of the liquid.
When the tomatoes are ready, drain the juice from them and cut out the center core. Capture all of the juice and pour it into the pot. Chop, or mash the tomatoes and add them to the soup pot.
When the potatoes are ready, let them cool a moment and then remove the soft inside from the skin. Put the potatoes in a bowl and pour a bit of the liquid over them. They should dissolve, or leave a few soft chunks. Pour the potatoes back into the rest of the soup. You may want to add a bit of water, or adjust the consistency at this point. Let the soup simmer for 20 minutes before serving.
Serve in shallow bowls with the cheese sprinkled on top.