Roasted tomato & carrot soup

Every summer I eat so many tomatoes, that I don't want to look at another one by the time they're out of season. But as winter sinks in, I start to crave them and would give anything for a luscious summer tomato.

I decided to forgo canned tomatoes and purchased some organic roma tomatoes from Whole Foods instead. I love the flavor of roasted tomatoes (or any vegetable really), so I decided to roast them off with a few carrots for a rich color and sweet flavor. Similar to this soup, but with tomatoes as the main ingredient and a different flavor profile.
You're probably thinking wow, she makes a lot of soup. And that's true, especially this time of year. I'm  always cold, and drinking a nourishing cup of soup warms me up. Plus soup is a great way to sneak more vegetables into your (or loved ones) diet.

Roasted tomato and carrot soup
1 lb. roma tomatoes, sliced in half
2 medium carrots, cut into half-inch coins
3 T olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cracked black pepper
1 medium yellow onion, small dice (.25 in)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp fennel, ground
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne
5-6 cups vegetable stock or water
1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 350. Fill large baking sheet (or two smaller ones) with tomatoes and carrots. Drizzle the veggies with 2 tbsp of the olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 45 minutes to an hour.

Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to a pan and saute the onion. Add the garlic and herbs, stirring, until fragrant. Add vegetable stock and the roasted vegetables. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, add the vinegar. Use an immersion blender or regular blender (be careful: hot liquids) and blend until smooth. Add sea salt and pepper to taste.

And what goes better with soup than tasty croutons? I made Mark Bittman's flatbread recipe. I used chickpea/fava flour and flavored it with cumin and rosemary. These croutons are free of dairy and gluten. I toasted a piece, cut it into squares and garnished my soup with it. You could also toast a slice of flatbread and add a sprinkle of parmesan to enjoy alongside your soup.

Since I was in NYC last weekend, I didn't make the Food Matters Project weekly recipe. So check out Kate's recipe for seasoned popcorn!