Roasted Tomato Soup w/ the Best Grilled Cheese

For the soup:

  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 lbs roasted tomatoes (see recipe)
  • 3-4 cups home made chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup cream or crème fraiche
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper

For the roasted tomatoes:

  • 4 lbs tomatoes (we like Roma)
  • 1 large shallot, finely minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper

For the grilled cheese:

  • 8 slices rustic country bread (we like Red Hen Waitsfield Common)
  • 2 balls smoked fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  • Butter

Remove the skins and seeds from the roasted tomatoes and roughly chop them.  Set them aside.  In a large soup pot sauté the onions on olive oil over low heat until very soft and fragrant.  Add the garlic and cook about 2 minutes more.  Add the tomatoes and the stock.  Cover, bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.  Add a large handful of basil to steep as well.  Let the soup simmer until the tomatoes are mushy and the mixture is fragrant.  Remove the basil and transfer the soup to the pitcher of a blender.  Add the cream and blend until smooth.  Season and serve topped with more chopped basil.

Preheat your oven to 400°F.  Cut the tomatoes in half and place them in a large mixing bowl with the chopped shallots, chopped garlic, thyme, olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.  Toss until everything is evenly coated.  Place the tomatoes cut side up on a large baking sheet.  Roast for 20-30 minutes or until the tops turn a caramelized brown color.  Remove from oven and cover with foil to help the skins steam off.

Prepare the sandwiches by placing the sliced mozzarella on 4 slices of bread.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper, top with a couple basil leaves and place the remaining 4 slices of bread on top.  Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the sandwiches and cover the pan.  Flip when the first side is golden brown, adding more butter if needed.  Serve hot with soup!