Roasted Tomato Soup

I remember the first time I met Collin.  It was at my friend’s party and I was 20 at the time.  I decided to drive up to Dallas and visit my good friend, Mr. H to celebrate the annual TX/OU game. He raved to me that I’d love his roommate: tall, blonde, blue eyes, six-pack abs — yep that sounds like my type! However, first impression I didn’t think he was all that and a bag of chips, to be honest I found him to be quite rude. There he was standing outside with a muscle shirt on with some dirty ripped jeans, holding a beer in one hand and rubbing his abs with the other — who the hell was this guy?

Sup, my name is Collin.

He extended his ab rubbing hand towards me, I raised my brow at him.

Hi, I’m Joy.

And that was pretty much the end of our conversation. He turned around to laugh at his friend’s dirty joke as his cup of beer sloshed inches away from my new stiletto shoes. What a dick. Little did I know the seemingly self-absorbed meathead with the cut off shirt would be my future husband. Who would’ve thunk it?

The weekend ended up being pretty much uneventful. Oh yes, he helped me set up my wireless internet and that’s how we actually started to talk afterwards because he had added his screen name to my buddy list. But there was one thing I couldn’t get over…he was just so so cute with his blue eyes (and abs). Call me shallow but ladies, he had it going on. So one day I decided to message him, you know, just to say “Hello” again and the rest? Well you know how it goes.

I fell deeply and madly in love with the tall blonde boy with the blue eyes and abs. After months of online conversations, ab boy turned out to be quite easily one of the funniest, caring and most eccentric guys I’ve ever met. He liked to do impressions and often made goofy jokes, he always helped me with my Physics homework (because that shit is impossible), he was an Electrical Engineer major and spent most of his time building underwater submarines, he shopped at the local Chinatown market because he enjoyed buying the gigantic one pound box of WuMu noodles for a shocking deal of $2.99 – what can I say? I knew this was love.

Five years later, my love for ab boy just keeps growing day by day. Granted I’ve now downgraded his abs to a cute little smushy belly, he swears to me he’s bringing it back this year for our wedding. It doesn’t matter to me though — abs or no abs he’s won my heart forever. He’s the perfect fit for me, like PB&J or peas and carrots or cheese and crackers!! (can you tell I’m hungry?) I count my blessings every day that somehow in this vast world I was able to find my one and while some may call young love naive, I can guarantee this is the man I will spend the rest of my life with. (He eats chicken feet and pig ears for christsake what more could a Chinese girl ask for??)

I’ll cut this love shpeal short, I’m sure the faint-hearted are puking from this mushy love declaration and can barely contain their mangled expressions of agony so I’ll spare you, for now.  It’s just that he made me the most wonderful heart-shaped blueberry pancakes with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice this morning since we were stuck at home due to the Ice Storm in Dallas.  Anyways, just enjoy this Roasted Tomato Soup.   It has a nice kick and like all things in life, everything is better when you add a little spice to it ;) (ya know what I’m saaaayin?).

Ingredients for Roasted Tomato Soup: (serves 4-6)

Prep time: 10 minutes; Total cooking time: 1 hour

  • 2 pounds fresh tomatoes
  • 7 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs, optional
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream, optional

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Wash, core and cut the tomatoes into halves. Spread the tomatoes and garlic cloves onto a baking tray lined with foil. Drizzle with 1/2 cup of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, or until caramelized.

Remove roasted tomatoes and garlic from the oven and set aside.  In a large pot melt the butter at medium high heat.  Once it is bubbling add the diced onion, carrots and cayenne.  Saute until onions are translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add 3/4 of the chicken stock, bay leaves, and roasted garlic and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until liquid has reduced by a third.

Wash and dry herbs and add as a garnish when ready to serve. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth. Return soup to low heat, add cream and adjust consistency with remaining chicken stock, if necessary. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Garnish in bowl with fresh herbs and crostini if preferred.


  1. Posted 3 Feb ’11 at 5:15 am | Permalink

    Mmm how fabulous and comforting. Especially the crostini floating elegantly in each bowl. Aww you guys have such a cute story! I’m also a Chinese girl with a long-term white (even red-headed!) boyfriend but our start(s) were much more tempestuous. And since he turns his nose even at my homemade Chinese sweet rice wine, I know full well how rare it is that you’ve found a man who will eat those really unusual-to-Americans things. Congrats and I hope you’ll share some wedding photos after-the-fact =D.

    • Posted 21 Feb ’11 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

      Hee hee Xiao how funny! Collin is seriously unusual when it comes to the things he eats, my mother is convinced he is in fact Chinese and I am white. He even eats tendon (which is my mom’s favorite) while I find it just…”meh”

      I sometimes think he eats weird things because it makes my mom so happy, what a suck up.

  2. Posted 3 Feb ’11 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    wow, these pictures are stunning. absolutely stunning. i really want to have this soup. what a perfect meal for a day of being stuck indoors. did you bake too? it seems like a lot of people baked today because of the storm. i really feel awful for you guys stuck in the snow, but it’s also such an interesting experience. and i love snow!!

    • Posted 21 Feb ’11 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      I baked ALL DAY so I wouldn’t get cabin fever. I love the snow too but the ice was freaking HORRIBLE. You couldn’t drive in it or even walk in it (I tried and I busted ass pretty hard).

      By day 3 I was ready to bust down the doors haha but thankfully all is back to normal and Texas is back in the 70s :) Thank you for your lovely comment!

  3. Posted 3 Feb ’11 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Awwww……Joy, that’s funny yet sweet to read how both you and Colin started off. So excited to hear you are getting married this year. I can’t wait to see your wedding pictures. I can just imagine how gorgeous both of you look! Both of you are just such a perfect match! Don’t worry about Colin’s diminishing abs. I think they somehow slowly disappear when a man gets married…haha :D I do hope he gets them back though. Love your soup. Looks so healthy and delicious……mmmmm. Wishing you and Colin ‘A Very happy And Prosperous Chinese New Year!’

    • Posted 21 Feb ’11 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      Mary!! Thank you for the sweet words :) It’s true, he blames his belly on me!! But I always say “I never force you to eat anything…” he then becomes quiet and gives me a disgruntled face. Men. Go figure.

  4. Posted 3 Feb ’11 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Looks great and sounds fantastic and fresh! Love the colors!

    • Posted 21 Feb ’11 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Vania!

  5. Posted 3 Feb ’11 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    I just found your blog through foodgawker – I live in Dallas too so you’re description caught me eye. I can’t believe how cold it has been! This soup looks like the perfect way to warm up. Your photography and styling are amazing as well.

    • Posted 21 Feb ’11 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

      Thank you so much Carrie, how lovely to meet a fellow Dallas-ite! The weather was pretty ridiculous but I am so glad we are having beautiful weather now :)

  6. Posted 3 Feb ’11 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    I have some beautiful fire-roasted canned tomatoes from Muir Glen that would be perfect for this soup! Great recipe Joy!

    • Posted 21 Feb ’11 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Brian :) !!

  7. Posted 3 Feb ’11 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    This was such a sweet story! I’m really looking forward to trying this recipe now! Thank you :)

    • Posted 21 Feb ’11 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Terrica :) !! I hope you enjoy it!

  8. Posted 3 Feb ’11 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    Gorgeous photos! We haven’t been having cold weather here in San Francisco, but I’m still very tempted to make this!

    • Posted 21 Feb ’11 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      Kasey I love San Francisco, it’s been so many years since I’ve been back. Fisherman’s Wharf, Chinatown, the beautiful people, I just can’t get enough :)

  9. Posted 3 Feb ’11 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    I hate tomatoes, but this recipe looks fabulous as do the pictures. Congrats on getting such a good man. It gives hope to a single girl:)

    • Posted 21 Feb ’11 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Steph! I have high hopes you will find your perfect man too :)

  10. Posted 3 Feb ’11 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    What a sweet story! I’m a Dallas girl too and this whole “snowed in” thing is reeeeally getting to me!!!

    • Posted 21 Feb ’11 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

      Gosh wasnt that weather crazy??? I hope that doesnt happen again, I was so miserable by the 2nd to 3rd day.

  11. Posted 3 Feb ’11 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    Try some Organic Three Hoots Olive Oil from Napa, Ca. The creamy and aromatic notes of the oil are perfect for finishing soup. They also bottle delicious Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc.

    Join the Owls Club and receive a free $22 bottle of Organic Olive Oil.

    Chef Grant

  12. Posted 3 Feb ’11 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    We often end up with those we least expected don’t we? Well I’m happy that you have found your bliss and wish you two the very best.

    Gorgeous soup, the attention to detail is superb, from the garnish to the way the light is reflecting off the surface of the soup – beautiful!

    • Posted 21 Feb ’11 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Sylvie for the kind words. It is so funny how we always find someone when we least expect to!

  13. Posted 3 Feb ’11 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    This was the post (picture of which) that drew me in on foodgawker!
    Your photography is inspiring, while these pictures are flawless!
    Read your about, feels like the girl next door…very sweet..
    Your blog is bookmarked for sure..
    So glad to connect with you..

    • Posted 21 Feb ’11 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

      Thank you so much Radhika, I am so glad to have met you! I look forward to getting to know each other through our blogs :)

  14. Posted 3 Feb ’11 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

    BTW, have you considered making a post(s) on photography yet? So much to learn from ya…

    • Posted 21 Feb ’11 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

      Radhika I have never considered making a post but thank you for the suggestion — I will do one soon :)

  15. Posted 5 Feb ’11 at 3:27 am | Permalink

    aawww Joy! What a beautiful love story! You two make such a cute couple! {Hugs}
    While you are in love with Colin and I’m in love with this roasted tomato soup! I’m drooling! :) Gorgeous Pics as usual! :)

    • Posted 21 Feb ’11 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Sara! Hee hee you’re so funny haha

  16. Posted 9 Feb ’11 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    I love your story about how you fell for your fiance! And kudos to him on the heart shaped pancakes… he knows the secret to a girl’s heart. :)

    This soup looks amazing! I can pretty much smell the steamy aroma wafting through my computer. Yum!

    • Posted 21 Feb ’11 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Lindsey!! LOL his heart shaped pancakes were adorable, it made me love him more :)

  17. RavieNomNoms
    Posted 9 Feb ’11 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    I love tomato soup, such a comfort for me.

  18. Posted 9 Feb ’11 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    Awesome post….I love the meeting Collin story. ;)

    The soup look amazing…wonderful for cold weather. The only thing it needs is a grilled cheese on the side for dunking.

    • Posted 21 Feb ’11 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

      You are spot on with the grilled cheese!! Thanks for the lovely comment :0

  19. Posted 11 Feb ’11 at 2:02 am | Permalink

    Tomato soup is my most favorite. I eat it everyday. Now I have a new one to try. Love your love story too.

    • Posted 21 Feb ’11 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

      Thank you so much Sandra :) Tomato soup is one of my favorites too!

  20. Posted 11 Feb ’11 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    This is my go-to soup. I love your take on it.

    • Posted 21 Feb ’11 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

      Thanks so much Joy, you have such a wonderful name :) (okay that was corny, I just had to do it!)

  21. Posted 15 Feb ’11 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    Not only do I love the pics, but the ingredients in this soup. I am intrigued by the garlic count :) Thanks for the recipe!

    • Posted 21 Feb ’11 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

      Adelina I am such a garlic lover hahaha, it doesn’t pack too much of a garlic punch after roasting it though but adds a nice depth to the soup!

  22. Posted 27 Feb ’11 at 1:45 am | Permalink

    beautiful blog, and adorable story! wishing you many happy years w/ab boy. and the soup looks fabulous!

2 Trackbacks

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Isabelle Boucher, Joy Zhang and Joy Zhang, Joy Zhang. Joy Zhang said: [ New Post ] Roasted Tomato Soup to help you fight the treacherous Winter weather … [...]

  2. By Running Chick on 20 Feb ’11 at 8:41 pm

    Sunday Lunch…

    It’s been a while since I’ve done a food post, but today I made the mostest yummiest lunch and I couldn’t pass up sharing. Roasted Tomato Soup I used this recipe as the base, and tweaked it just a little.  I felt like it needed a bit more tomato…

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