I had a plan for lunch today. My plan was tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. Perfect fall lunch, right?
Well, it would be if it wasn’t 75 degrees outside!
Really though, I’m not complaining. It was the perfect chance to open the windows and doors and air out the house one more time before cold temperatures abound.
And despite the warm temps, I made this famous fall lunch anyway. And it was still perfect, even if I was sweating in my kitchen while the oven was on.
I’ve made tomato soup before (creamy tomato soup, basic tomato soup) but both were creamy versions (which of course, I enjoyed). This time, I wanted something more tomato-based than cream-based, and I found the perfect recipe in two places, first at Iowa Girl Eats, then at Smitten Kitchen.
Both the above blogs inspire me on a regular basis, but I put them in two different categories. Smitten Kitchen falls into my romantic category. These blogs often contain recipes with ingredients I’ve never heard of, challenging and complicated procedures, and end results that will blow every taste bud away.
On the other hand, Iowa Girl Eats falls into my realistic category. These blogs provide quality recipes that I can cook any night of the week and rely on for a potluck. They may not be as challenging, but they taste darn good.
Both categories are valuable in their own way and in fact, both are favorites of mine to read. And the fact that this recipe landed on both blogs was a testament to both its quality and quantity, and why I had to make it as soon as possible.
Something else I grappled with in the making of this recipe was whether to use canned organic tomatoes or fresh, non-organic (and out of season) tomatoes. The recipe calls for fresh but this time of year is not the time to find locally grown tomatoes. That said, I decided to go with fresh to keep the recipe true to form. You could substitute canned I suppose, but the taste really comes from the roasting of the tomatoes. Next time, I’ll make this when tomatoes are actually in season (late summer) but I’m glad I was able to try it out today.
First, I washed the heck out of the tomatoes. Tomatoes are one food I try to solely buy organic varieties (they’re quite the sacrifice of industrial farming) so eating non-organic makes me nervous. I’m willing to sacrifice every now and then but most of the time, I only buy local or canned organic tomatoes. Just FYI.
Then I sliced the tomatoes in half and generously sprinkled with salt and pepper, then drizzled with olive oil. I also balled up unpeeled garlic cloves in foil and placed on the baking sheet.
Then, I roasted. For an hour. It felt like forever considering I hadn’t read the recipe before cooking!
I processed the tomatoes and garlic.
And added them to chicken broth, thyme, and red pepper flakes.
Once that boiled, I ladled soup into oven-proof bowls and topped with a toasted ciabatta and lots of shredded cheddar.
Add a grilled cheese…
Stare at the cheesy lid, waiting for it to cool (be sure to have a napkin handy for drool)…
This was a very pure tomato soup. The irony of that statement does not escape me, considering my diatribe above about organic vs. non-organic tomatoes. It was though, pure in it’s true-t0-tomato form. The cheese added the missing cream component with a nod to French onion soup by adding that crusty ciabatta.
Try it soon, no matter what your stance on tomatoes. Find the original recipe at Smitten Kitchen.
Question: Do you prefer creamy tomato soup, or more tomato-based? Do you change meal plans if the weather doesn’t match your meal?