Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tomato Basil Soup & Grilled Provolone Sandwiches

   B.J. (my 13 yr old son) and I made homemade tomato basil soup and grilled provolone sandwiches for dinner tonight. I found this recipe online (I can't remember where) and had to try it. I'm so glad we did.


·    3 pounds ripe Roma tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
·    1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
·    1 tablespoon kosher salt
·    1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
·     2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
·    6 garlic cloves, minced
·    2 tablespoons unsalted butter
·    1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
·    1 (28-ounce) canned tomatoes, with their juice
·     4 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
·     1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
·     1 quart chicken stock


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss together the tomatoes, 1/4 cup olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the tomatoes in 1 layer on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes.
In an 8-quart stockpot over medium heat, saute the onions and garlic with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the butter, and red pepper flakes for 10 minutes, until the onions start to brown. Add the canned tomatoes, basil, thyme, and chicken stock. Add the oven-roasted tomatoes, including the liquid on the baking sheet. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. 

     The original recipe suggests passing it through a food mill on the coarsest setting, however, I do not have a food mill, so I just crushed the big chunks of tomatoes with my slotted spoon as I stirred. I like a chunkier soup anyway. =)
     For the sandwiches, I used a store bought potato bread. The ingredient list was a mile long, but I didn't have time to bake my own bread in the machine tonight.  I'll find some good bread recipes to share another time.  I used a low fat provolone cheese and instead of buttering my bread, I used coconut oil and the sandwiches were DELICIOUS! 
What would I do different?
     I will probably use water instead of the chicken stock (lots of sodium) in the soup and/or leave out the kosher salt as well. It did taste a bit salty for me. I don't care much for salt. Other than that, this soup really hit the spot! 

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