Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

20 small yellow or red cherry tomatoes
Splash of extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1 large white onion, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon cayenne or other spicy red chili powder
14 oz. crushed tomatoes
6 cups vegetable broth, boiling
crumbled goat cheese
tortilla chips

Halve or quarter the tomatoes lengthwise and put them in a small roasting pan or oven proof dish. Toss with a bit of olive oil and a pinch or two of salt.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes (less time for smaller cherry tomatoes), or until tomatoes are shrunken and golden around the edges.
The tomatoes keep nicely refrigerated in a jar for days, so this part can be done in advance if you like.

In a big pot over medium heat, cook the garlic and onion in a splash of olive oil and with a couple pinches of salt. Stir in the spices and then the tomatoes. Cook down for about 5 minutes or so, it should thicken a bit.
Remove from heat, add one cup of the broth and puree with a hand blender (or traditional blender). Add the remaining 5 cups of broth and puree until smooth.
Bring the soup back to a simmer and cook for another 10 minutes.

Serve in bowls topped with plenty of tortilla chips and crumbled goat cheese.

Variation: finish with sliced avocado, cilantro, white onions, and a squeeze of lime.
If you like a creamier soup base add a splash of half and half, or stir in some extra goat cheese.


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