I absolutely love this soup! I have made it so many times and it's oh so good every single time. It's super simple to make but the flavour deep and complex. This is the perfect example of how a few good ingredients can result in the most amazing thing. You don't always need to spend hours marinating or stirring, a long list of ingredients and having to run around between shops to find exotic ingredients. You just need a few ingredients, a little bit of time and let the magic happen. I promise you, this is a good recipe to have up your sleeve when you're expecting guests, or even if you want to treat the family in the middle of the week :)
1 kg plum tomatoes
1 whole garlic bulb
dried chilli flakes
1 litre chicken stock
1 red onion
bread - ciabatta or baguette
250-300 gr. grated cheese - I love Swiss Gruyére
Preheat oven to 200° fan. Cut the tomatoes in half and arrange on a baking tray, cut side up. Put a bit of olive oil under and over the tomatoes. Season with salt, fresh thyme and a little bit (or a lot) of dried chilli flakes. Roast in the oven for about an hour. You want them to have a bit of colour but not be to black. Half way through the cooking time, put the garlic bulb into the oven and cook it with the tomatoes for the last 30 minutes or so.
Remove from the oven an put the tomatoes in a blender or food processor. Squeeze out the garlic and put in with the tomatoes. Put a little bit of boiling water on the baking tray and scrape out all of the bits stuck to it, they are the best bits! Put in the blender. Blend as much as you want. I like a bit of a texture to my soup but you can blend it until completely smooth, it's totally up to you! Pour this into a saucepan along with 1 litre of chicken stock and the grated red onion. Let this simmer on low heat for 10-15 minutes. Season with salt and chilli flakes. In total I probably put around half a teaspoon of really hot chilli flakes, I don't want this to be spicy but have a nice background heat.
Divide evenly between 4 ovenproof soup bowls. Cut the bread into slices and put them on top of the soup and cover with a bunch of grated cheese. If you wanted to you could toast the bread before putting it on the soup but I usually don't do that. You really need more then you think. Put this under the grill and don't take it out until the cheese is melted and golden and bubbly.
The only way to serve this is with a glass of white wine :)