There are a lot of recipes and variations for tomato soup floating around the internet right now, several of which I am very excited to try.
There are recipes out there that call for several different ingredients, including apples, sambal oelek, apple cider, wine, and heavy cream.
But with little time to get through the grocery store on a busy Saturday afternoon, I knew I could rely on this simple, no-fuss, and super-healthy tomato basil soup recipe to be delicious.
I knew it would be good because my entire staff polished it off when one of my coworkers lovingly crafted it for a staff Thanksgiving party.
What makes it so special is that it uses authentic roasted tomatoes, as opposed to canned, bringing out an intense, smoky flavor.
It’s old-fashioned, super-light, and the roasted tomatoes and fresh basil play a leading role.
Sign me up.
Oh but wait, it doesn’t stop there.
Then I made mini-grilled cheese sandwiches to dunk into it.
I kind of wanted to call them “Grilled Cheese DunkAroos,” but I just didn’t think that it would engage my readers in quite the same way.
I used my trusty Cuisinart Griddler and Panini Press to give the sandwiches rustic-looking grill marks, but you can achieve a nice effect in a griddle pan or regular nonstick pan as well.
You’ve gotta splurge a little for the bread and cheese, and I would not recommend serving these sandwiches to small children, as the bread could be tough for them to bite through.
So save this dish for a big kid or adults-only dinner.
But don’t forget to dunk!
Warm yourself up with some roasted tomato soup this winter, and let the inner kid in you shine through!
Roasted Tomato Basil Soup with Grown-up Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Recipe adapted from Stephanie S., Chicago, Illinois
Serves 3-4. Double the recipe for a crowd or if you want leftovers.
- 3 pounds plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
- Kosher or sea salt
- Fresh ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
- A pinch (about 1/8 teaspoon) dried crushed red pepper
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1/3 cup skim milk
- A handful of fresh basil (about 10 leaves), plus more for garnish
- Foil (for roasting garlic)
Preheat oven to 400°F. Wrap garlic cloves in a tight foil packet. Place tomatoes, cut side up, on large baking sheet. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Add foil packet of garlic to tray. Roast until tomatoes are brown and tender, about an hour. Remove foil packet of garlic halfway through, about 30 minutes.
Unwrap garlic packet and squeeze garlic cloves out of their peels. Transfer garlic and tomatoes to a food processor and puree with a handful of fresh basil, thyme, and crushed red pepper. Transfer tomato mixture to medium pot, add stock and milk, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for at least 25 minutes. Season to taste.
Garnish with a grind of fresh pepper and extra basil leaves.
For Grown-Up Mini Grilled Cheese Sandwiches:
- Ciabatta bread or wide baguette, sliced
- Aged sharp white cheddar, gouda, or gruyere cheese, grated
- Bella Vitano cheese, grated
- Fresh ground pepper
- Olive oil or butter, softened
- Dijon mustard
Preheat a panini press or griddle pan over medium-high heat.
Brush one side of each bread slice with olive oil or softened butter. Turn the slices over and spread each with mustard. Place the cheese on the bread slices, top with fresh ground pepper. Top each sandwich with one of the remaining bread slices, oiled/buttered side up.
Working in batches, place the sandwiches on the panini press or pan and cook (turning once if using a pan), until the bread is golden brown and the cheese is melted, about 3 minutes per side. Serve on a platter or large bowl, allowing guests to grab as few or as many as they please, and enjoy dunked into the soup.
This dish is also great served with a simple mixed green salad or my lentil salad.