Friday, September 28, 2012

Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese

I'm not really sure when or why this obsession started but I am an absolute grilled cheese fanatic! And don't even get me started on tomato soup. Campbell's tomato soup is a staple in my kitchen. But wouldn't you know, it's not really the healthiest of choices: it's packed with sodium and sugar (as most condensed soups are), so I have been avoiding buying it lately.

The other night I had an extreme craving, it was intense (like camping... get it? *nudge nudge*). And, can you believe, I had nary a can of the delicious red stuff, like I said I've been avoiding it. BUT, I did just happen to have four large tomatoes. I thought to myself, as I often do, "I could probably whip together some tomato soup from these... How hard could it be?" Later that night, as I was enjoying my wonderful warm cheesey sandwich covered in tomato-ey soupiness I answered myself: "Not hard at all... not... hard... at all."



So here's what I did. (I only made enough for two bowls because I didn't want too much leftover, so double or even triple to recipe for a larger batch).

First, I cored the tomatoes (no goopy middle in my soup!) and cubed them. Then I sliced half an onion, crushed a LARGE clove of garlic, (seriously, it probably was about 3 regular sized cloves). I put all of this into a large pot and then I added 2 bay leaves (they're kinda old so I have to use two). I also poured in a cup of water, and tossed in a chicken boullion cube, 2 teaspoons of black peppercorns, and 1 teaspoon cloves.



I brought this to a boil and left to simmer, covered for 20 minutes.



After 20 minutes I poured it into the food processor and blended until it was smooth. (For a thinner soup, run it through a food mill instead of the food processor. I don't have a food mill but I've been told it's a magical experience to make soup with one.)


I then made a roux in the empty pot using 2 tablespoons of butter, melted, and 2 tablespoons of flour. I cooked that over medium heat until it was light brown and then poured the vegetable mixture back into the pot. (look at that beautiful moment captured on film, a bubble popped... electric) (<--- that was a Gwen Stefani reference)


I added 1 teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons sugar and brought it back to a boil. Then I let it simmer again while I made my grilled cheese.

I melted some butter in a pan,


placed a slice of bread on top and spread it around to coat the bread in the butter,


sprinkled some cheese over the bread (ALWAYS use shredded cheese in grilled cheese. It may be a bit more technical to flip but it melts much more evenly),


topped it with another slice of bread,


and cooked until the cheese was mostly melted, (oops! slightly burnt)


Before flipping I added some more butter and let that melt, then I placed the sandwich over the butter and spread it around again.

Then I dished out some tomato soup into a bowl, cut the sandwich in half and settled down to watch an episode of Futurama. ;)


Oh my, that looks so good; I'm going to have to make this again!



One thing is certain, I will not be needing to buy Campbell's in a can anymore.