Tuesday, May 15, 2012


8 large roasted tomatoes, plus juice
olive oil
3 large cloves garlic
3 strips bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
1 large stalk of celery, roughly chopped
1 orange bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups vegetable broth, heated
4 oz blue cheese
2/3 cup whole milk
1 cup cooked whole wheat orzo, optional
salt & pepper to taste

Place whole tomatoes on a rimmed baking sheet covered with parchment and drizzle olive oil over.  Smash the cloves of garlic with the side of a large knife, peel them and add them to the tomatoes.  Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper.

Roast at 425 degrees F for 25-30 minutes.

While the tomatoes are roasting, if you plan to add the orzo to the soup, prepare that now according to package directions — al dente.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool enough to touch.  If time is short, pour the tomatoes and their juice into a wide shallow bowl to quicken the cooling process.

When the tomatoes are cool, remove stems and skin and discard.

In a large pot, add the bacon and cook over medium high heat until the fat is rendered and the bacon is just beginning to brown around the edges.  Remove the bacon pieces and place them in a small bowl to reserve.

Reduce the heat to medium low and add the onion, celery, and bell pepper.  Allow to cook, stirring occasionally, just until softened, about 5 minutes.

Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables, stirring to incorporate, and allow to cook 1-2 minutes.

Stir the heated vegetable broth over the vegetables, stirring to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan.  Allow to cook just until it begins to thicken, about 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and their juices, continuing to cook until the soup reaches a simmer.

Crumble the blue cheese over the soup and stir until melted.

If desired, use an immersion blender, blender, or food processor to puree the soup.

Pour in the milk and allow it to heat briefly, about 1 minute.

Stir in the the cooked orzo if including it in the recipe, then add the bacon pieces, reserving a few to garnish.

bacon recipe courtesy of: Kelly, Sass & Veracity: Fat-Free Opinions on a Food Centric Life, October 3, 2011