Sometimes all you want is a good, no-fuss, simple meal; one that might remind you of childhood, when you’d give your dad that pouty face and say you were starving. He’d stop whatever he was doing and make you a grilled cheese sandwich (just a little burnt because that’s the way you liked it) and cut it into four triangles, with a bowl of tomato soup on the side. That’s what I wanted the other night…
Except that I had to make it myself, and I really wasn’t in the mood to cook. What I stumbled upon is probably something that all of you do all the time, and I’m just incredibly late to this party, but I’m sharing anyway in case there’s a contingent out there like me who hadn’t thought of this yet.
Normally, my soup-making process is fairly labor intensive. For some reason, it becomes a huge project for me, with several pots being used and just about every blending device we own dirty. They usually come out great, and thankfully soup can be made ahead so guests are none-the-wiser to my crazed, soup-splattered kitchen.
But the thought of all that effort and cleanup was too much, so I lazily threw all the heirloom tomatoes I had into a baking dish and put them in the oven to roast. What came out was the the start of the best tomato soup I’ve made yet, and all I had to do was wash a baking dish and a blender.
Okay, I also might have given Andy the pouty face so he’d make the grilled cheese sandwiches…I’m a pro at that one.
Roasted Heirloom Tomato Soup
2 pounds heirloom tomatoes
3 large cloves garlic
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut each tomato in half and deseed. Peel shallots and cut into eighths. Peel garlic and slice in half.
Put tomatoes, shallots and garlic in a glass baking dish. Season liberally with salt and pepper, and toss with just enough olive oil to coat tomatoes. Turn tomatoes cut side up.
Roast in oven for about 40 minutes.
Transfer contents of baking dish (including juices) into a blender and puree until on large chunks remain. Check seasonings.
Note: If consistency is too thick, blend in a small amount of vegetable broth until desired consistency is reached.
Serve with grilled cheese sandwiches of your choice. (Ours was ham and gruyere.)
This was exactly the meal I wanted…the mini ham and gruyere sandwiches were perfect for dipping, and the soup was so simple but so flavorful. Each bite was bursting with ripe tomato, their flavor enhanced by the roasting process.
Apparently, the moral of this story is: from laziness comes really, really good tomato soup. And if you played your cards right, also really good grilled cheese sandwiches. I could be the next Aesop with morals like this, huh?