Friday, January 13, 2012

Comfort Food~Creamy Tomato Soup and Grilled cheese

When it's cold outside, I absolutely can't get enough soups, and right now, it is COLD in Kentucky for the first time this winter! So this was an obvious choice for dinner tonight. Enjoy!

Olive Oil, 5-6 tablespoons
5 ripe tomatoes, peeled
1 medium onion
2 carrots
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 small can tomato paste
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons dried basil or 1/4- 1/2 cup fresh basil
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons pepper

I blanche my tomatoes to start this recipe...I drop the tomatoes into a pot of boiling water where they stay until the skin starts to crack. At this point, I drop them into a water bath, then peel the skin off and tear the tomatoes apart with my hands, but you can dice them instead.  I find that leaving the skin on creates these little hard bits in your finished soup.
In the same big pot you boiled the tomatoes in (just to save on dishes later) heat oil over meadium heat, then add diced carrots and onion and cook about 10 minutes, then add garlic for another 3-4 minutes.  At this point, I put this mix into the blender to puree the carrot pieces.  I've waited until the end to blend, but always find chunks of carrots that sneak through.
Return the carrot mix back to pot, then you add the rest of the ingredients, and then bring them to a boil. Once you get a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pot. Let simmer for about an hour.  Let soup cool a bit, maybe 15 minutes, and puree in a blender, or use an immersion blender to puree if you have one. 
For the grilled cheese, I just use Country White bread, butter both slices and put a thin slice or two of Velveeta cheese in between before browning in the skillet until the cheese is melted.  Hope y'all enjoy this on a cold winter's night!

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