I recently spent a week in New Mexico taking a cooking class on authentic southwestern cooking with Jane Butel. It was so much fun and really educational. Now I'm in the midst of looking at ways I can incorporate the things I learned into my cooking – so you might be seeing a fair amount of southwestern influenced recipes from me for awhile. In this recipe, I roasted a mixture of several kinds of heirloom tomatoes and separately roasted a few poblano peppers. Additional flavors come from chopped basil, onion, balsamic vinegar and blue cheese. I finished it with a sprinkle of finely minced basil leaves and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar-blue cheese. You can put this through a food mill, or even a blender, to get a smoother soup, but I prefer a more rustic texture I get with my food processor. You can spike up the heat or calm it down by how many roasted poblano peppers you put into it. Adding just one pepper gives the roasted pepper flavor without any heat; four peppers make a pretty spicy soup. It's good hot or cold, but you'll need less salt if you're serving it hot.


5 pounds mixture of heirloom tomatoes, big juicy ones are best!
2 tablespoons garlic, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 cups chopped yellow onion
1 red pepper, chopped
3 poblano peppers
1/3 cup finely chopped basil, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, divided
1 tablespoon sherry
1 ounce crumbled gorgonzola blue cheese, divided


Step 1
Preheat the oven to 300F. Slice the tomatoes into 3/4\

Step 2
Roast the poblano peppers until the skins are blackened. Remove from the oven and place in a bowl of ice water for 3-4 minutes. This will make peeling the thin skins much easier. Peel, remove the seeds and coarsely chop. Set aside.

Step 3
Saute the onion, red pepper and remaining tablespoon of garlic in the remaining olive oil until soft. Add the roasted tomatoes, roasted peppers, basil and remaining salt, pepper and basil. Cook for about 10 minutes to mingle the flavors and break up the tomatoes.

Step 4
Pour the soup in batches into a food processor and process to get the consistency you want. Pour the soup back into the pot. Add 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, 1/2 ounce of blue cheese, and sherry and stir in to at least partly melt the blue cheese.

Step 5
Place the rest of the balsamic vinegar in a small pot on the stove and heat. Add the remaining blue cheese and melt. Drizzle on top of the soup. Sprinkle with some finely chopped basil.