After enjoying this soup over and over at The Red Raven, in Acton, MA, I finally got the secret recipe from the owner and the chef to share in our fall issue and I am thrilled to be able to share it here with you.
It is both lactose free and gluten free. I wish their signature grilled cheese sandwich, shown below, was too.
By: Executive Chef: Dean Szablewski
5 Large Roma Tomatoes
5 Whole Garlic Cloves - Peeled
4 oz. Fresh Fennel
2 Red Bell Peppers
1 Red Jalapeño
3 Cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¼ Cup Sugar
Kosher Salt (To Taste)
Fresh Herb Sachet Ingredients:
2 Full Sprigs of Basil
8 Sprigs of Thyme
2 Bay Leaves
1 Tbsp. Black Pepper Corn
½ Tbsp. Red Pepper Flakes
½ Tbsp. Coriander Seed
½ Tbsp. Fennel Seed
Fresh Herb Sachet Preparation:
Combine sachet ingredients and place onto a piece of cheesecloth large enough to create a pouch. Tightly tie the herbs into the cheesecloth pouch with a piece of kitchen twine.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees and combine Roma tomatoes (halved), Whole Garlic, Fennel, Red Bell Pepper (Cleaned and Sliced), Jalapeño (Cleaned and Sliced), EVOO, Sugar & Herb Sachet into a pan deep enough to comfortably hold all ingredients.
Cover with plastic wrap and aluminum foil and roast for 1.5 hours.
Remove pan and carefully remove plastic and aluminum foil (there will be steam)
Return to oven and continue roasting uncovered for 30 minutes.
To finalize the soup, remove the herb sachet and blend until smooth with a Vitamix food blender or other high power blender.
Soup should then be strained with cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer. Add Kosher Salt to taste.