On a cold winter night, not much satisfies the comfort food quota quite like tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. It is possibly the perfect food combination… outside of chocolate and peanut butter, that is.
Like most of us, I grew up on the Campbell’s tomato soup in a can. I still like to keep cans in my cupboard to throw dinner together when the comfort food mood strikes. The thing with the canned soup, like most canned foods, is it is full of preservatives. I’m not super strict about that sort of thing, but it is something I try to control whenever I can. That’s why I love this recipe so much. It really isn’t difficult to make your own tomato soup from scratch and of course it is much better when you make it yourself.
Another fun fact about this recipe? I got it from the one-and-only KELLY KAPOWSKI! That’s right, my tens of readers, the love of Zack Morris’ life and eventual wife, the cheerleader we all wanted to be (except when she cheated on Zack with Jeff, that creepy older guy from the Max! Ugh, that was the worst!). Tiffani Thiessen (no more “Amber”) has a pretty great show on The Cooking Channel. She makes food for all her famous friends and has some delicious recipes. I came for the nostalgia factor and stayed for the yummy recipes. Seriously, if you get The Cooking Channel, you should check it out.
It really is very easy:
(original recipe found here)
4 pounds plum tomatoes (I used Roma), halved and seeds removed
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
1/4 teaspoons sugar
6 sprigs thyme
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 cups vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup heavy cream (I just used regular milk)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (or about half that amount of dried)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, lay out your tomatoes in single layer. Drizzle the tomatoes with 1/4 cup olive oil, salt and pepper, and sugar. Scatter the thyme sprigs. Roast until soft, about 1 hour.
Let cool slightly, until they are cool enough to handle. Discard the thyme and peel the skin off the tomatoes. This is actually a lot easier than it sounds!
In a large pot, add the rest of the olive oil, the onions, and a pinch of salt. Cook until the onions are soft and starting to brown a bit on the edges. Add the garlic and cook for about a minute or so. Add the tomatoes, vegetable broth, and bay leaf. Simmer, partially covered, for about 30 minutes.
Turn the heat down to low and add the cream (or milk) and chopped basil. Let simmer for another 5 minutes or so. Remove the bay leaf and use an immersion blender to puree the soup. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can ladle the soup into a blender and puree it that way. Make sure to do it batches and not overcrowd your blender. Season with more salt and pepper if you need to.
The best way to serve this is with grilled cheese, of course. I think it may be some sort of law. Delicious perfection, right here!