Dinners for us are often elaborate and fairly heavy, but sometimes I crave something light, fresh and delicious that can still be considered comfort food. While a can of tomato soup can do the trick in a pinch, I like to avoid all things processed, so spending the extra time making it from scratch always trumps any other way! Accompany it with a grilled cheese made with a hearty grainy bread and some aged cheddar cheese and I am in heaven! Even my tomato hating boyfriend helped himself to seconds!
The trick to any recipe is to make sure that your ingredients are extremely fresh. In this case the tomatoes should be especially ripe because they will be the star of this meal. You want to make sure they are perfection, so look for the tomatoes that are a beautiful vibrant red, with a smooth and slightly shiny skin, avoiding any that have dark spots or bruises. The tomatoes should also be heavy and dense and slightly firm when you lightly squeeze them. The tomato should smell sweet and earthy at the stem. A strong sweet smell indicates that the tomato will be more flavourful.
Adapted from Sprouted Kitchen (Serves 4)
What you will need:
For the Soup:
About 8 Large Ripe Tomatoes quartered and most of the seeds removed.
1 Medium onion
10 Garlic Cloves
2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tsp. Sea Salt
Fresh Ground Pepper
2 Tbsp. Chopped fresh Parsley
3 Cups Low Sodium Vegetable or Chicken stock
2 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
Fresh Oregano + Basil to garnish with.
For the grilled Cheese
8 slices of hearty grainy bread
8 slices of aged sharp cheddar (or another one of your favourite cheeses)
First you want to preheat the oven to 350 degrees. smash up your garlic and remove the skin, cut the tomatoes and the onion into quarter wedges. Then with your fingers, push out some of the seeds and hide the garlic cloves inside them. On a parchment covered baking sheet, spread the tomatoes and onions out and drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle some salt and pepper on them, add the chopped parsley and toss gently with your hands. Roast on the middle rack for 30-40 minutes until the tomatoes have broken down and reduced to about half their size. Remove and let them cool down a bit.
Once the tomatoes are cooled, warm the stock adding the tomato paste and stirring until dissolved. Then add all of the roasted ingredients into the stock and let it gently simmer for 5-10 minutes. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh chopped basil and oregano
Spread butter on the outside of the slices of bread, add two cheese slices to each and fry in a non stick pan on both sides until the bread golden brown and the cheese is nice and melted.
Serve immediately and enjoy!