Servings: Makes 8 servings
Ingredients 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil3 pounds large ripe tomatoes , cut in half crosswise6 medium bell peppers , cut in half crosswise, ribs and seeds removed2 medium Vidalia onions , cut in half crosswise and peeled2 stalks celery (no leaves), chopped4 cloves garlic , peeled and finely chopped1/2 teaspoon salt-free seasoning (or to taste)1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato paste1 tablespoon tomato paste4 teaspoons each chopped fresh basil and chives and oregano (if substituting dried herbs, use 1 teaspoon each)1 quart homemade chicken broth or store-bought low-sodium broth
In a bowl, toss together tomatoes, peppers, onions, celery, and garlic. Add pepper and salt-free seasoning to taste (add salt at when indicated, as it brings out the moisture). Place on a baking sheet. Preheat oven to 400°. Roast until they start caramelizing and become soft, about 25 minutes. Cool, then discard the peels and seeds.
Place the mixture in a food processor or blender with some of the chicken broth and pulse the purée to desired thickness. In a soup pot, combine the purée with the remaining chicken broth, sun dried tomato paste, tomato paste and cayenne pepper. Add half of the fresh herbs (if using dried herbs, add them all at this stage) and cook, stirring often, until just simmering. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Ladle the soup into bowls, sprinkling each serving with the rest of the fresh herbs. Garnish with fresh or thawed frozen corn niblets, some fresh basil, cornbread crumble, thinly sliced artichokes or whatever garnish you like.