Do you remember those Campbell's Soup commercials where the kid comes home from school and the mom puts out a warm bowl of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich?
It always looked so warm and tasty.
Unfortunately I have always hated tomato soup as it is no longer a fresh vibrant tomato, nor is it slow-cooked tomato sauce. It's something kind of sad in a middle stage.
However, on the afternoon after we got home from London there was little in the house, I'd only grabbed a few things from the store, and it was a cool and rainy night.
I decided to attempt some tomato-ish soup and grilled cheese.
I wanted that picture from the commercial!
I started with the usual suspects of diced onion/shallot and 2 cloves of garlic in a bit of olive oil. I then added 2 carrots that I had peeled and diced. Once those had started to soften I added a pint of sliced grape tomatoes, because that was what I had grabbed at the store, and a few cups of chicken stock.
Add a pinch of dried thyme, some salt, and a bay leaf.
After about 20 minutes I removed the bay leaf and puréed the soup with an immersion blender.
Popped the bay leaf back in and left the soup on low heat to give it more time to combine flavors.
I happen to love having muenster cheese in my deli drawer. It's great melted over corn chips for nachos and makes nice, gooey grilled cheese sandwiches seasoned with a pinch of garlic salt.
Tip: butter the bread instead of just melting it in the pan and everything will come out evenly.
Instead of adding cream to the whole batch of soup, I just put a dollop in each serving. That means that the leftovers will freeze nicely, as dairy doesn't always freeze well in soups (it tends to separate.)
If you wanted to get really decadent, use a spoonful of mascarpone cheese instead of cream.
Happily for my arteries, I was lacking in that much decadence at the moment.
Still it was a fairly tasty meal, and very satisfying.
And while I have not come close to perfecting my recipe for tomato soup, I'm guessing this tasted a damn sight better than anything out of a can!