023 - Charred Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Sandwiches


023 - Charred Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

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Charred Tomato Soup

makes 8 servings 

For the Soup 

• 15 ripe red tomatoes, medium-sized

• ½ cup olive oil

• 1 yellow onion, julienned

• 4 cloves garlic, sliced as thin as possible

• kosher salt, to taste

• fresh ground black pepper, to taste

• 1 sprig fresh thyme

• 6 cups chicken stock

• 2 cups heavy cream

• sherry vinegar, to taste

• Set broiler to high. Slice tomatoes in half, removing any stems that might still be attached. Toss the halved tomatoes with ¼ cup of the olive oil, salt and pepper. Place the tomatoes cut-side-down on a baking sheet and place under the broiler until the skin blisters and browns. Remove from oven and set aside.

• In a heavy-bottomed pot, combine the other ¼ cup olive oil, the julienned onion, and the garlic. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sweat on medium heat until the onion becomes translucent.

• Add charred tomatoes, thyme sprig and chicken stock. Simmer for 30 minutes or until tomatoes are thoroughly cooked and breaking down.

• Strain tomato/onion/garlic mixture and remove thyme sprig. Be sure and reserve the cooking liquid. Working in batches, puree the solids and heavy cream in a blender until smooth. Add more soup liquid as necessary to make soup the consistency you prefer - if you like it thicker, add less liquid, if you prefer a thinner soup, use more. Return each blended batch to a single skillet and heat on low until completely mixed

• Add salt, pepper and sherry vinegar to taste.

For the Grilled Cheese Ingredients:
• 12 slices fontal, or other cheese that melts well

• 12 slices of your favorite bread

• butter

• Pre-heat oven to 350°F.

• Place cheese slices in between bread slices.

• Heat butter in the bottom of a nonstick skillet until it is completely melted and bubbling.

• Place sandwich in pan and toast until brown on one side, add a little more butter to the pan, and toast on other side. Transfer to the oven and allow cheese to melt completely.