Oven roasted tomato and artichoke bisque

Even in the days of tomato soup from an Andy Warhol style red and white Campbell's Soup can, or tomato soup from the school cafeteria, I was all about it. Because, grilled cheese and tomato soup is one of the OG comfort foods. And even when it wasn't great, it was still good.

When the weather gets colder and nighttime takes over earlier than it should, creamy oven roasted tomato and artichoke bisque is about all you can ask for. It's a breeze to make, and is therefore as simple as heating up for lunches and dinners to follow.

Ever since watching (my girl) Ina Garten make her version of oven-roasted tomato soup on her Barefoot Contessa cooking show a few weeks back on a weekend morning, I knew I needed to make it almost immediately. But I decided to add artichoke hearts to mine for a little more depth and heartiness. Well, and Parmesan, too. And cream.

Oven roasted tomato and artichoke bisque

Inspired by Ina Garten
Yields 8-10 servings
3 lbs Roma tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
¼ cup, plus 2 T olive oil (divided)
1 T sea salt, plus ½ T salt (divided)
Freshly cracked black pepper
2 T butter
1 onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 14 oz cans whole artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
4 cups chicken stock
¾ cup Parmesan cheese
¼ pint heavy cream
Chopped fresh basil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread tomatoes on a large baking sheet in a single layer and toss in ¼ cup olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and set baking sheet aside.

In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, 2 T olive oil and 2 T butter. Add diced onion and saute for about 5-7 minutes, then add in garlic and artichoke hearts and saute for another 5. Sprinkle in ½ T salt and some pepper. Add canned tomatoes, chicken stock, and roasted tomatoes (including their juices - use rubber spatula to collect from sheet tray). Raise heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer for 40 minutes (uncovered). Use an immersion blender to blend mixture until mostly smooth, or whatever consistency you’d like.  Stir in cheese until melted and add heavy cream to finish. Serve with a sprinkling of fresh basil and homemade croutons, or grilled cheese if you're feeling some type o' way.