Friday, February 1, 2013

cream of tomato soup + grilled cheese for a crowd

Let's take a break from butter + sugar, just this once, to talk about this soup. It's the best. It's super easy. You might even have everything you need already in your fridge and pantry, which means you can go from being cold and hungry to eating homemade soup in half an hour.

This recipe is the kitchn's adaptation of Deborah Madison's recipe. I've made both, and I prefer this version with it's higher cream-to-tomato ratio. I'd also like to vouch for the baking sheet method of grilled cheese sandwich production for the crowd. Works like a charm!

borrowed photo

Cream of Tomato Soup
serves 8

3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 large onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
3 tsp. dried basil
1/8 tsp. cloves
4 Tbsp. flour
1 28-oz can fire roasted tomatoes
1/8 tsp. baking soda
4 cups stock or water
2 cups milk*
salt + pepper

Step 1: Make it happen. Melt butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onion and celery and cook until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Stir in basil, cloves, and flour, cook another 2 minutes. Pour in tomatoes, baking soda, and stock. Simmer for ten minutes on medium-low heat.

Step 2: Remove from heat. If you are lucky enough to have an immersion blender, go to town. If not, carefully ladle half the soup into a blender. Remove the little cap from the lid and place a clean kitchen towel over it. Carefully blend for a few minutes, then pour into a large pot. Blend the second half of the soup and add to the pot. Stir in milk, season with salt and pepper, serve with a grilled cheese sandwich.

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches for a Crowd
makes as many as you need

For each sandwich:
+2 slices whole wheat bread
+1 slice Tillamook sharp cheddar
+1 Tbsp. butter

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees while you get a pot of soup simmering on the stove.

Step 2: Prep the sandwiches. Butter one side of each slice of bread, add cheese and any other condiments you like.

Step 3: Bake 'em. Arrange sandwiches on a baking sheet. Bake for five minutes, flip, and bake another 5 minutes for a perfectly buttery-toasted accompaniment to cream of tomato soup.

* Vegans! You could totally skip the milk, or use soy/almond/coconut/rice milk, and earth balance or olive oil instead of butter to make this vegan.

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