I've had this recipe bookmarked for months, and I finally tried it this weekend. I don't know if I'll ever want to eat plain old tomato soup and grilled cheese again. This recipe brings all the glory of french onion soup gratinée to tomato soup. I adapted the recipe from Smitten Kitchen - mostly because I didn't reread it again after I bookmarked it back in October.
Roasted Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Topper
adapted from Smitten KitchenServes 4
3 pounds Roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 small/medium sized cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves or 1/4 teaspoon dried
1/4 teaspoon (or more to taste) dried crushed red pepper
4 cups vegetable stock
1 1/2 tablespoons grated raw onion
Salt and pepper
Grilled Cheese Topper
4 slices of rye bread, whole wheat sourdough or bread of your choice, toasted until hard
1 cup coarsely grated sharp white cheddar (or more to taste)
Preheat oven to 400°F. Wrap garlic cloves in a tight foil packet. Place tomatoes, cut side up, on large baking sheet. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Drizzle tomatoes with olive oil. Add foil packet of garlic to tray. Roast until tomatoes are brown and tender (garlic will be very tender), about 1 hour. Cool slightly.
Meanwhile, heat broth over low heat in a dutch oven and add thyme and red pepper flakes. Unwrap garlic packet and peel cloves. Transfer cloves, tomatoes and any accumulated juices to dutch oven and blend with an immersion blender until the soup is a chunky puree. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 25 minutes. Stir grated onion into the warm soup. Remove from heat and adjust seasonings to taste.
Preheat broiler. Arrange four ovenproof soup bowls or crocks on a large baking sheet and fill with soup. Float toast slice(s) in each bowl and divide grated cheese generously over top. (If you’re using a wide bowl, you might find that you want more cheese to create a thick, broiled lid.) Place soups on tray under the broiler for 3 to 5 minutes, until cheese on top is bubbling and brown at the edges. Serve immediately.