Some things never get old. Sleeping in, for instance. Or a promotion. This is how I feel about a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup. It's an easy comfort meal that doesn't disappoint. This soup recipe is light on the creamy so it still tastes like tomatoes.
Now before I get into the details of the recipe, here's the deal. This isn't the meal to make if you want dinner on the table in 15 min. I was on the phone with a good friend while she was making the soup and she was almost taking my name in vein. She said, "what's with all the steps?????" By the sound of her voice I think she was practically sweating and, well, a little annoyed. But then, about 45 minutes later, she hung her head with shame, left me a voice mail and admitted, "THAT WAS THE BEST SOUP EVER!"
This recipe is fantastic and I'm going to even be as bold to say you are going to like it so much you should just go ahead and double it.
soup (this looks like a lot of work b/c it's a lot of words, but don't worry, it's not bad):
2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes packed in juice, drained, 3 cups juice reserved
1 1/2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 large shallots, minced (about 1/2 cup)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Pinch ground allspice
2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons brandy or dry sherry (optional)
Salt and cayenne pepper
1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with foil. With fingers, carefully open whole tomatoes over strainer set in bowl and push out seeds, allowing juices to fall through strainer into bowl. Spread seeded tomatoes in single layer on foil. Sprinkle evenly with brown sugar. Bake until all liquid has evaporated and tomatoes begin to color, about 30 minutes. Let tomatoes cool slightly, then peel them off foil; transfer to small bowl and set aside.
2. Heat butter over medium heat in large saucepan until foaming. Add shallots, tomato paste and allspice. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots are softened, 7 to 10 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, until thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds. Gradually add chicken stock, whisking constantly to combine; stir in reserved tomato juice and roasted tomatoes. Cover, increase heat to medium, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, to blend flavors, about 10 minutes.
3. Working in batches, add a cup or so of soup to blender and blend until smooth. Do this until soup is at your desired consistency. Add cream and warm over low heat until hot, about 3 minutes. Off heat, stir in brandy and season with salt and cayenne. Serve immediately. (Soup can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Warm over low heat until hot; do not boil.)
grilled cheese sandos:
good bread--your choice
cheese (preferably mild cheddar) grated
Butter both sides of bread, heat a skillet of medium heat, and lightly toast sandwiches until both sides are golden and the cheese is melted.