Sunday, February 14, 2010

Roasted Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese

As we all learned growing up, nothing goes better together than tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. These recipes are really great updates to your old standards.

I like this soup because it is not only very low in calorie and fat, it is also very filling.

Roasted Tomato Soup

3 lb. ripe Roma tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise

1/4 cup olive oil

1 Tbsp. salt

1 1/2 tsp. ground pepper

2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 cups chopped onions

6 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

1 - 28 oz. (798 ml) can plum tomatoes and juice

2 cups torn fresh basil leaves

1 tsp. thyme

4 cups chicken stock

Preheat oven to 400 F. Toss tomatoes with oil, salt and pepper. Spread in one layer on baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes. In large pot over medium heat, heat oil and sauté onions, garlic and red pepper flakes until onions start to brown. Add canned tomatoes, basil, thyme and chicken stock. Add oven-roasted tomatoes, including any liquid on baking sheet. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Puree in batches to a coarse mixture. Serve hot or cold.

Spicy Roasted Tomato Soup
A little bit more work but always worth the effort - from Chef Emeril Lagasse

4 pounds fresh tomatoes, quartered

10 cloves of garlic

1 small carrot, peeled and finely chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil


freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup minced shallots

2 tablespoons grated fresh horseradish

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

3 cups V-8 juice

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

juice of 2 lemons

1 pint of yellow tear drop tomatoes

1/2 cup thinly sliced red onions

1/4 cup small fresh basil leaves

1/4 cup small fresh tarragon leaves

1/4 cup small fresh chervil leaves

1/4 cup small fresh flat leaf parsley

drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. On a baking sheet, toss the tomatoes garlic, carrots and olive oil together. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes, or until the tomatoes are tender. Remove from the oven and cool completely. In a food processor with a metal blade, combine the roasted tomatoes, shallots, horseradish and parsley. Puree until the mixture is smooth. Add the V-8 juice, Worcestershire sauce, and juice from 2 lemons. Puree until the mixture is smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the mixture from the food processor and chill completely. In a mixing bowl, toss the tear drop tomatoes, red onions, basil, tarragon, chervil and parsley. Season with a drizzle of the extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. To serve, ladle the soup into each bowl. Garnish each soup with the tomato and herb salad.

Yields: 6 to 8 servings.

For this grilled cheese, I used two slices of Smoked Gouda (31 cents) and two slices of Serrano Ham (81 cents) on really good, fresh bread. I like to try different things, so this is definitely a great way to get really good ingredients at a low price.

That is also the huge advantage of shopping at an authentic Italian market – you can buy individual slices of cheese and meats – something I really like as I cook for one most of the time.

This was absolutely the best grilled cheese sandwich I have ever made and it cost $1.52.

Bon Appetit!