I recently made the family some homemade tomato soup and some extra crispy (and extra smashed) grilled cheese sandwiches. Break out that waffle iron folks, both recipes are below!
HOMEMADE TOMATO SOUP
- 6 large tomatoes
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 carrots, cleaned and chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- olive oil
- 1/3 cup beef broth
- 1 tsp hot sauce
- kosher salt
- fresh ground black pepper
- fresh basil
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Place all of the whole tomatoes into an ovenproof pyrex dish and place in the oven; roast the tomatoes for about 40 minutes until tender.
Meanwhile, in a medium size pan heat a quarter cup of olive oil. Drop in your chopped carrots with some kosher salt and cook for about five minutes. Next add the chopped bell pepper and chopped onion. Cook for another ten minutes, stirring occasionally. Finally add the chopped garlic and cook for about five more minutes. Remove from heat and check those tomatoes. When the tomatoes have softened and the skin begins to wrinkle remove the tomatoes and turn off the oven. Allow the tomatoes to cool for 10-15 minutes.
When the tomatoes are cool enough to handle peel off the skins, cut out the stems and run them through a food mill, blender or food processor. This is a messy affair with lots of liquid runoff – reserve as much liquid as possible. Pour the pureed tomatoes, hot sauce and beef broth into the saucepan with the other vegetables and place over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and stir occasionally, then add fresh chopped basil. Taste and add additional salt and pepper as necessary. When the soup tastes just right blend the ingredients with a stick blender. If you prefer a smoother soup carefully strain the hot soup through a sieve. Garnish with fresh basil.
DOUBLE-CRISP CHEESE SANDWICHES
You’ll need a waffle iron or a panini grill for this. You’ll also need white bread, olive oil (or softened butter) and some grated cheese. This isn’t rocket science folks. You’re going to lightly oil the bread slices on both sides while the grill is preheating. Make sure the grill is nice and hot before you start. For the grated cheese I used a mix of cheddar, mozzarella and parmesan. If you want to get fancy you could use gouda, or any other semi-soft cheese. Heck, you could just sprinkle a little parmesan between the bread slices! Here’s the secret though… you’re going to smash/toast the bread once before filling. Place four slices of the oiled bread onto the grill and cook for 5 minutes. Check the bread to make sure it’s golden brown, don’t pull the slices off too early. Now carefully remove the slices to a plate and set aside until you have cooked all of the bread you’ll need for the sandwiches. OK – place the cheese onto one slice and top with a second slice. Don’t overfill, you want this to be really smashed and crispy. Place the sandwiches onto the grill and cook for about 5 minutes. When you eat these you’ll wonder why you ever need to eat anything else again in your life. Enjoy! ~TH~
- Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Grilled Cheese (greatist.com)