Roasted Tomato-Basil Soup with Spicy Tuna

My mom made the best tuna melts—toasting them to melty perfection in a skillet with butter—and we usually ate them with chicken noodle soup. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized that tuna is great with tomato soup, too. Scooping up the bits of tuna in this soup brings me right back to mom’s kitchen table. If you’d rather not add a spicy element to your soup, just omit the crushed red pepper flakes.

Prep time 25 minutes
Serves 6

For the soup:

2 pounds (905 g) medium to large ripe tomatoes
1 pound (455 g) cherry tomatoes or other small tomatoes
1 large onion, halved and sliced
6 cloves garlic, smashed
1/4 cup (59 ml) avocado oil
1/4 cup (60 ml) plus 1 tablespoon (15 ml) balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
6 cups (1.4 liters) Simple Chicken Stock
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon (20 g) honey (if necessary)
1 bunch fresh basil, leaves removed and thinly sliced into a chiffonade
For the spicy tuna:
7 ounces canned (198 g) tuna, drained
1 tablespoon (15 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon (15 ml) balsamic vinegar
1/2 garlic clove, minced
1 large sprig fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, plus more for serving
Pinch of sea salt and black pepper

1 Preheat the oven broiler.
2 Place the tomatoes, onion, and garlic on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle the avocado oil and 1/4 cup (60 ml) of balsamic vinegar over the vegetables. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon sea salt over the top. Using your hands, toss everything together and spread it out evenly on the pan.
3 Broil the vegetables for 10 to 12 minutes, until the smaller tomatoes begin to split and the onions begin to turn golden brown in spots.
4 Transfer the roasted vegetables to a 4-quart (3.8 liter) slow cooker. Add the stock, bay leaves, and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt.
5 Cover and cook on low for 5 hours.
6 Blend the soup, preferably using an immersion blender.
7 Add the remaining 1 tablespoon (15 ml) balsamic vinegar, honey, and basil leaves. Blend lightly, leaving small bits of basil. Taste, and add more salt if needed.
8 Place the ingredients for the spicy tuna into small bowl and combine thoroughly.
9 Serve the soup with a spoonful of the tuna and additional pepper flakes.