Well, I know it’s 17 degrees outside but there’s always time for soup. And let’s face it this weird warm spell will never last. I will just about make the decision to not wear another polo neck and it will dip to below freezing again. I have been super keen to share this recipe with you, so to hell with the early spring and let’s still eat comfort food. What could be more divine than a bowl of Roasted Tomato Soup with a Grilled Cheese to dip into it. It’s not obligatory to eat soup while wearing a bobble hat, a t-shirt is perfectly acceptable.
I eat a lot of soup. I try to take soup to work with me to avoid eating the delicious, but hugely fattening, lunch our chef cooks for us everyday. It’s portable, warming and always tasty. I love tomato soup, even the Heinz variety, but homemade trumps shop-bought any day. Add to this a crisp grilled cheese sandwich, and you are rewarded with a comforting lunch which will bring a smile to anyone’s face. Even the grumpiest individual who can’t believe it’s still February *me*. Tomatoes are so watery and tasteless at this time of the year, tinned really are best for this soup. Roasting them with plenty of garlic first makes for a brilliant base along with slow sautéed onions and chicken stock. The end result is rich, smooth and full of flavour. My tip for the best grilled cheese, to serve alongside this, is to spread your bread with mayonnaise instead of butter. I can’t remember where I got the tip from, but whoever it was, I thank you. The mayo makes for a crisper sandwich and doesn’t burn as easily as the butter. Making it perfect for dipping into your Roasted Tomato Soup. This divine soup recipes comes to me via the ever brilliant Bon Appetit, with huge heart, and stomach, warming thinks.
If you are trying to be good, just stick to the flavourful soup, but if you feel like something crisp and cheesy, whipping up a batch of these genius Grilled Cheese may make the end of February fly by and see you well into March.
This recipe will feature on Lucy Loves later this week.
Roasted Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Recipe
Serves 4 for lunch or as a first course
You will just need dishes and a hand blender or stick blender
2 x 400g tins whole tomatoes
8 garlic cloves, peeled but left whole
4 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 large onion, or 2 smaller, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
900ml chicken stock
A good pinch caster sugar
8 slices white bread, or brioche
4 slices strong cheese, or used grated
Mayonnaise, around 8 teaspoons
Splash olive oil
Basil to garnish, and maybe a drizzle of double cream
Pre heat your oven to 180 degrees fan assisted.
Take a baking dish and tip in the tinned tomatoes with the juice. Give them a squeeze to break them apart, being careful not to squirt tomato juice everywhere. Drop in the garlic cloves, season well with salt and pepper, stir well then drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Place the dish into the oven for around 40 minutes, stirring halfway through.
While the tomatoes roast, roughly chop the onion and place into a large saucepan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season well with salt and pepper then cook for around 5 minutes or until starting to soften. Put the lid on, turn the heat down and cook for a further 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are golden and full of flavour.
When the 20 minutes is up, turn up the heat and stir in the tomato paste. Cook for a couple of minutes or until it turns darker. Tip in the roasted tomato and garlic and stir well, pour in the stock and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, lid on, stirring occasionally.
When the time is up, blend with your hand blender or in a jug blender then return to the pan to keep warm.
For the grilled cheese sandwiches, take the bread and spread each slice on one side with around a teaspoon of mayonnaise. Place a cheese slice on the side without mayonnaise then top with the other slice of bread. Add a splash of oil to a large frying pan and heat over a medium flame. Place the sandwich into the pan and cook for a couple of minutes or until golden. Turn over and press down with a spatula and cook the other side for another minute or two. The cheese will be bubbling and the sandwiches will be crisp. Pop them into the warm oven while you cook the rest of the batch.
Serve the soup, piping hot, with a garnish of basil and a splash of double cream, if you like. Cut the grilled cheese sandwiches into quarters and serve along side the soup for dipping.
Any leftover soup will keep in the fridge for a couple of days or it freezes well.