2 heads garlic, ends trimmed to expose the cloves
1 loaf rustic Italian bread
1 stick butter
8 cloves garlic, grated
A handful parsley, chopped
Roma or plum tomatoes, quartered lengthwise
EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for drizzling plus 2 tablespoons
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons pickled thyme leaves
2 tablespoons butter
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1 large bay leaf
1 quart chicken stock
1 28-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes
1/2 to 3/4 cup heavy cream, to your taste
For the soup, heat oven to 400°F. Drizzle garlic with EVOO, sprinkle with salt and pepper then wrap tightly in foil. Roast 45 minutes to 1 hour until caramelized and soft. Cool to handle then squish cloves away from the skins; mash into a paste.
On a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle tomatoes with EVOO and season with salt, pepper and thyme. Roast 25-30 minutes until the edges caramelize and the tomatoes soften.
Turn off the oven and turn on the broiler.
Heat a soup pot over medium heat and add EVOO, 2 turns of pan. Melt butter in hot oil then add onions, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Cook onions until very soft but not caramelized, 15-20 minutes. Add stock and tomatoes, and bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer 20 minutes to break down tomatoes. Add in roasted tomatoes and pasted garlic. Purée soup with a stick blender, stir in cream to taste. Keep over low heat until ready to serve.
For the garlic bread, slice open the loaf of bread lengthwise, leaving an edge attached. In a small pot, melt the butter over low to medium heat; add the grated garlic to the butter. Toast the bread under the broiler for about 5 minutes. Brush or pour the garlic butter over the bread, sprinkle with parm then return to the broiler until the cheese stars to bubble. Top with chopped parsley.
Serve soup with cheesy garlic bread alongside.