Makes about 20 cups

Notes: Serve this robust soup hot or chilled, allowing 1 to 1 1/2 cups for a portion. Drizzle servings with sweet cream, sour cream, or yogurt; top with a tangy corn relish; or sprinkle with minced fresh basil and grated parmesan cheese.

How to Make It

Step 1

Rinse, core, and cut tomatoes in half crosswise.

Step 2

Fit tomatoes, cut sides up, in 10- by 15-inch pans (you'll need 3, or use 1 pan and refill). Brush the tops of the tomatoes in each pan with 1 tablespoon oil and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sugar.

Step 3

One pan at a time, broil tomatoes 3 to 4 inches from heat until tops are spotted black, about 20 minutes. Adjust pan position for even heat and remove tomatoes as they are charred.

Step 4

Meanwhile, in an 8- to 10-quart pan over medium-high heat, combine remaining oil, garlic, and onions. Stir often until onions are lightly browned and taste sweet, 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 5

In batches, smoothly purée tomatoes and onion mixture in a blender or food processor. To remove skins, if desired, rub tomato mixture through a fine strainer into a large bowl.

Step 6

Return tomato mixture to pan and add broth; heat to simmering, stirring. Add salt to taste. To serve cold, cover and refrigerate until chilled. To store, cover airtight and chill up to 3 days, or put in freezer containers in easy-to-use portions and freeze up to 1 year.

Step 7

Nutritional analysis per cup.

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