FRESH Ideas: Roasted Tomato & Garlic Soup with Polenta Sticks


3 pounds roma tomatoes, quartered

10 cloves garlic, whole and peeled

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon each of salt, black pepper, dried oregano

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 red onion, chopped

Splash of balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup white wine

4 cups chicken or vegetable stock

Fresh basil and grated parmesan, garnish


Spread the tomatoes and garlic onto a sheet pan. Toss with the oil, salt, pepper and oregano. Roast for 45 minutes at 300 degrees until tomatoes are dried and caramelized. In a stockpot, melt butter and sauté onion until soft. Add a splash of balsamic vinegar and the wine to deglaze the pan. Add the tomatoes, garlic and stock. Bring to a simmer then using an immersion blender puree the soup. Simmer for 15 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Strain through a fine mesh sieve to remove any tomato seeds or skin. When serving garnish with basil and grated parmesan.


Polenta Sticks

1 cup polenta

1 cup water

1 cup milk

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1/2 cup fontina cheese

1 egg

2 cups Panko bread crumbs

Oil for frying


Make polenta according to package directions with milk and water. Remove from heat and stir in cheeses and egg. Pour into a 9 x 13 pan and spread evenly with a wet spatula. Chill for 1 hour. Cut the polenta into sticks that resemble thick fries. Add 1/2 inch of oil to the bottom of a skillet. Heat oil to 350 degrees. Spread bread crumbs onto a plate and roll the polenta sticks in the crumbs. Fry until crisp and serve alongside the soup.


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