JANUARY 3, 2013



Frank Anderson has cooked alongside Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook since the early days, long before the duo opened Los Angeles's Animal, later followed by Son of a Gun, where Anderson is now chef de cuisine.

"The three of us are still as close as ever," says Anderson, "but thankfully we don't live together anymore." Anderson grew up on a farm in Maine, and when thinking about what dishes to add to Son of a Gun's menu, he often returns to food he ate as a kid, such as the recipe he shared with us for creamy tomato soup.


Frank Anderson's:
See Recipe See the recipe for Frank Anderson's Roasted Tomato Soup




Anderson favors the classic tomato soup accompaniment: a grilled cheese sandwich. He likes to use French baguette for the bread, and prefers an assertive cheese such as Drunken Goat, a Spanish goat's-milk cheese that has been cured with red wine.


To give his tomato soup maximum flavor, Anderson roasts the tomatoes and mirepoix, then combines them with tomato paste to deepen the flavor. He finishes the soup with crème fraîche to give it an especially silky texture.

Roasted Tomato Soup


2 servings (with leftover soup)


Medium carrots, 4 (roughly chopped)

Medium yellow onions, 2 (roughly chopped)

Medium leek, 1 (roughly chopped)

Tomatoes on the vine, 4 pounds (quartered, vine reserved)

Thyme sprigs, 8

Kosher salt, 1 tablespoon (plus more to taste)

Freshly ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon (plus more to taste)

Extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons

Water, 8 cups plus 3 tablespoons, divided

Tomato paste, one 6-ounce can

Crème fraîche, ¼ cup (plus extra for serving)


Chef's knife

Cutting board

Measuring cups and spoons

Food processor

Fine-mesh sieve

4-quart pot

Rubber spatula

Rimmed baking sheet pans

Mixing bowls

Wooden spoon

Blender or immersion blender


1. Preheat the oven to 450°. Into the bowl of a food processor, add the:

  • Chopped carrots
  • Chopped onions
  • Chopped leek

Process until roughly ground, about five 1-second pulses. Set a fine-mesh sieve over a 4-quart pot. Use the rubber spatula to scrape the mixture into the sieve and press down on it to extract as much liquid as possible. Add the tomato vine to the pot and set aside.

2. Turn the ground vegetables out onto a rimmed baking sheet, spread into an even layer. On another rimmed sheet pan, place the:

  • Tomato quarters
  • Thyme sprigs

Arrange the tomatoes cut-side up and sprinkle with:

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil

Add both baking sheets to the oven. Roast the tomatoes until they begin to collapse, about 25 minutes. Remove the tomatoes from the oven and set aside.

3. Rotate the pan with the ground vegetables and continue roasting until the tops are browned, about another 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and scrape the roasted vegetables into the pot with the vegetable liquid and tomato vine (set the pan aside). Add:

  • 8 cups water

Start bringing the water to a boil over high heat.

4. Set the sheet pan used to roast the vegetables over a medium burner and add the:

  • Tomato paste

Cook until the tomato paste darkens, about 45 seconds, then add the remaining:

  • 3 tablespoons water

Use the wooden spoon to stir and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add this mixture to the pot with the vegetables, tomato vine and water. Once the water has come to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the stock tastes full-flavored, about 40 minutes. Set a fine-mesh sieve over a large bowl and strain the stock. Clean the pot and pour the strained stock back into it.

5. Meanwhile, heat the broiler to high and cook the tomatoes under the broiler until they are nearly black on top, about 5 minutes.

Discard the thyme sprigs.

6. Scrape the roasted tomatoes into the pot with the strained stock and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the tomatoes collapse completely, about 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and cool 10 minutes before blending in batches or use an immersion blender to purée the soup. Once the soup is smooth, add:

  • ¼ cup crème fraîche

Blend again and add more salt and pepper if needed. Divide into 2 bowls and serve with a dollop of crème fraîche.

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