Is there a more classic lunch combination than tomato soup with grilled cheese? Here, roasted tomatoes are turned into a flavourful soup, topped with gooey open-faced cheese toasts that act as lids; alternatively, melt and serve them alongside the soup.
Roasted Tomato Soup
canola or olive oil, for cooking
12-15 plum or Roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1 tbsp (15 ml) butter
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1–2 tsp (5–10 ml) fresh thyme
1 28 oz. (796 ml) can San Marzano-style or diced tomatoes, with their juices
4 cups (1 L) chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 cup (125 ml) half & half or heavy (whipping) cream
salt and pepper, to taste
6 thick slices crusty bread
grated aged cheddar or Parmesan cheese, or a combination
Preheat the oven to 450˚F. Spread the tomatoes out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment or foil; drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 20–30 minutes, until soft and starting to turn golden.
In a medium pot set over medium-high heat, heat another drizzle of oil along with the butter and sauté the onion for 3–4 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for another minute. Add the roasted and canned tomatoes along with the chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and let cook for 20 minutes, or until the tomatoes are very soft. Remove from the heat, add the cream and purée with a hand-held immersion blender in the pot. (Alternatively, carefully transfer to a blender to purée until smooth.) Season with salt and pepper and divide between oven-proof bowls or ramekins set on a rimmed baking sheet.
Toast the bread – if it’s thick, it’s easy to do in the preheated oven. Butter it if you like, and sprinkle generously with cheese. Float a cheese toast atop each soup and place in the oven for 5 minutes, or until bubbly and golden. (If you like, turn on the broiler for a minute or two to speed up the process.)
Serve immediately. Serves 6.
Per serving: 330 calories, 11.6 g fat (5.3 g saturated fat, 4.5 g monounsaturated fat, 1.7 g polyunsaturated fat), 42.5 g carbohydrates, 25 mg cholesterol, 13.5 g protein, 4.5 g fibre.
Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, November 2013.