8 December 2009

roast tomato soup with tiny toasties

I wonder what percentage of tomato soup is made on a dreary Monday evening?

Yesterday was no except, rain, wind and getting dark early. I normally crave soup or stew on days like that, this time it was a rich tomato soup. I'd noticed several of my favourite food blogs had come up with tomato soup recipes recently along with the traditional American addition of grilled cheese (or cheese toasties) - which I'd never had before with it.

I like to roast my tomatoes for soup, it really brings the flavour out and turns not so special supermarket tomatoes into something wonderful. When I'm making a quick and cheap lunch soup I roast canned chopped tomatoes instead of fresh ones.

Roast Tomato Soup with Tiny Cheese Toasties

For Soup
6 large tomatoes - peeled (with a vegetable peeler or boil and peel skins off)
2 fat cloves of garlic
approx 200ml of chicken stock (I had some in the freezer that I'd made a couple of weeks ago)
1/2 red onion
splash of double cream

For Toasties
French stick

(You can also experiment with gruyere, emmental or even something like double gloucester)

For the Soup

Cut peeled tomatoes into quarters and add to a roasting tin with the cloves of garlic (keep the skins on the garlic, you want them to roast inside and become sweet and flavoursome) and a drizzle of good olive oil. Roast on high on the top shelf for approx 10 - 15 mins.
When they are ready mush them up with the back of a spoon. Take out the garlic cloves , remove skins and chop roughly.

Fry diced red onion in a little olive oil and butter until soft, add in garlic cloves followed by tomatoes. Simmer for a few minutes before adding the stock. Bring to the boil and then simmer slowly for 10 minutes. Blend and then stir in a little double cream once off the heat.

For Tiny Cheese Toasties

Cut french stick into as many slices as you'd like toasties, approx 1 inch thick.
Add a little english mustard to one side of each piece of bread.

Fry half the slices, mustard side up, in a little butter until brown on one side. Remove from pan and do the same with the other slices - this time layering with thinly sliced parmesan and cheddar, pop the first set of fried slices on top. Cook slowly until the cheese melts. I found a lot of american recipes use a weight to help the cheese melt, I used my heavy casserole lid.
If the bread starts to brown too much and the cheese isn't melting remove the top layer and pop them under the grill to melt the cheese.

Ladle soup in to a big bowl and serve with the toasties. I guarantee this will warm you up from top to toe!