My other half has been craving grilled cheese and tomato soup lately. My first instinct was to run to Citerella and grab some of theirs because -let’s face it- it’s pretty good, but then I remembered that I have a food blog. What kind of food blogger would I be if I didn’t offer him something homemade?
My favorite kind of tomato soup is creamy and loaded with basil, so I automatically knew I wanted to do that. I also wanted to infuse the soup with as much tomato flavor as possible, so I decided to roast some little, cherry tomatoes until they were sweet and caramelized. I also had some sun-dried tomatoes, which offer an intense flavor as well.
As for the grilled cheese, we used a mixture of young, melty, creamy asiago and a sweet Manchego on a buttery brioche bun. YUMMY.
What You’ll Need
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 cup packed sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 large shallots, minced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 28-oz. can of whole peeled tomatoes, plus half a can of water
- 1 quart of chicken stock (homemade, low sodium is best)
- 1 large bunch of basil (about 2 cups, packed)
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 1/4 cup of heavy cream
- salt & pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400F, rinse the cherry tomatoes and spread them out onto a flat baking sheet. Drizzle with EVOO and a sprinkle of salt, and let them roast in the oven for 30-45 minutes or until wrinkled and a little browned.
Meanwhile, set a large pot on the stove on medium low heat. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of EVOO and 1 tablespoon of butter. When the butter melts, sauté the red pepper flakes, minced garlic, and minced shallots. Sprinkle a little salt to draw out the moisture, and cook until translucent and fragrant. Remove the thyme leavews from the stems, and add them into the pot.
Using a food processor, pulse the sun-dried tomatoes with a little olive oil (about 1-2 teaspoons) until they’re broken up. Add them to the pot with the roasted tomatoes and chicken stock. Add the canned peeled tomatoes, fill the can 1/2 with water and swoosh around to get all the excess tomato juice, then add that to the pot too. Use a wooden spoon or a potato masher to break everything up.
Rinse the basil and remove the leaves from the stems. Add to the pot with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then let simmer for 45 minutes.
When you’re ready to serve, use a blender or an immersion blender to create a smooth consistency, hit it with some heavy cream (we used about 1/4 cup) and serve with your favorite grilled cheese sandwich.