Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Bites

by brookefiore

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I thought I had paid my dues, I’d gone through box after box of
lotioned tissues, I’d taken my sick day; and as far as I was concerned
that was enough participation in cold and flu season to last me
another year. Unfortunately, just two weeks later I was fighting
another cold, with muted taste buds and a low grade fever.

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It was a beautiful Sunday morning and all I wanted to do was get
outside, take a walk, and continue to experiment with my camera.
Unfortunately, with a runny nose and another work week looming, I
opted to stay inside in the warmth of my kitchen. This of course meant
one of two things, cooking or crafting. Rather than knitting some
tissues I decided to make tomato soup…I’m kidding about the tissues
of course.
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As the onion whirrled in the food processor my sinuses quickly
cleared. My congestion was abruptly replaced with onion-induced
tears.It was like magic how quickly the onion went from whole to
thinly sliced. As you may have noticed, I’ve grown quite fond of my
food processor!

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I used a combination of two recipes I had found online as I hadn’t
ever attempted to make my own tomato soup before. In fact, I usually
avoid tomato soup. The acidity was unappealing and the sodium from the
canned versions quickly eliminated that option. Aside from
sodium-awareness, I found the process to be fairly low maintenance
with some occaisional stirring which led to a hearty lunch perfect for
fighting both head colds and the cold temperatures outside.

Tomato Soup

Serves 4-6 (depending on the appetite of your crowd)

Adapted from Eat At Home Blog, Adventurous Tastes Blog & Bon Appetit

1/2 stick unsalted butter

2- 14 oz cans of Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes

4 cups of water (or low sodium chicken broth)

1/4 cup low sodium tomato paste

5 sprigs of fresh rosemary (or thyme), tied with twine

1/2-3/4 of a small onion, thinly sliced

2 garlic gloves, pressed with the back of a knife

1 tsp sugar

1/4 – 1/2 cup light cream

a dash of white pepper, salt if desired

In a stock pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the rosemary sprigs (tied together), garlic and onion and saute until translucent, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add in tomato paste and cook for another 5 minutes. Add in diced tomatoes, 1 tsp sugar and water. Increase to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat down to medium high and simmer, stirring often for 45 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.

Working in small batches, puree the soup in a food processor or blender. Return to pot over medium heat and stir in light cream.  Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes longer and add white pepper (and salt if desired) to taste.

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For the Grilled Cheese:

Any type of cheese and bread you fancy! I used slices from a whole grain sesame loaf, sharp cheddar cheese and provolone cheese.

Using a pizza cutter for ease (or a knife), cut into bite sized squares to toss in with your soup. You could always go the traditional route and dip your corner in too.

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