This roasted tomato soup with pinto beans is flavoured with a sweet and smoky blend of roasted garlic and herbs, and while it's nothing to look at particularly, the delicious aroma will certainly draw the attention of anyone within sniffing distance. Best of all, the soup is easy enough to make that you won't flinch at having to prepare it after a long day of work.
This soup goes beautifully with grilled toast and cheese made with fresh French or Italian bread and an old sharp Cheddar.
Creamy roasted tomato soup with pinto beans and roasted garlic and herbs
1 1/4 cups dried pinto or other light-coloured beans
4-6 cloves garlic, to taste, peeled
1/2 tablespoon olive oil plus extra for drizzling
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
dash of paprika
1 pound ripe tomatoes, halved
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
fresh ground black pepper
Rinse the beans and soak overnight covered in several inches of cold water with a little yogurt whey or lemon juice added. Drain and rinse the following day, and cover with 4 cups of fresh cold water in a large saucepan or soup pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until the beans are very tender.
Preheat an oven to 400° and raise the rack to the second-highest level. Place the peeled garlic cloves on a baking sheet or shallow roasting pan and drizzle with a little olive oil. Roast for 10 minutes and remove from the oven.
Stir the herbs and paprika into 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and pour into a small puddle on the baking sheet or roasting pan. Add the tomatoes to the pan, drizzle with a little more olive oil, and return to the oven to roast for 10-15 minutes longer, or until the garlic has turned a deep golden brown.
Pour the roasted garlic, tomatoes and herbs into the beans, scraping the surface with a spatula to obtain all the roasted herbs. Purée the soup with a hand blender and continue to simmer for 5 minutes to let the flavours mingle. Otherwise, process the soup in batches in a regular blender and return to the soup pot to warm.
Season with salt and plenty of fresh ground black pepper and serve hot in warmed bowls. Serves 4 to 6.