The brisk of New England fall has officially set in. And with that, comes one of my favorite times of year- time for soup. This is strange seeing as 3 years ago you might hear me regularly say, “I’m not a soup person”- I think I’ve told you this story before- but anyway. Times are a’changin’ and yes my friends, I love soup. It’s easy to make on a Sunday to have for lunch all week, it’s warm, and as long as you stay away from the cream based ones- they’re generally pretty healthy.
I had just the other morning gone through my folder of recipes- I have a small, 1/2 inch binder with recipes I’ve printed from things I liked online, but there are also ripped pages from EveryDay Food, Martha Stewart Living, and The Best of America’s Test Kitchen magazine. I admire ATK so much- I love what they do- I love how they do it- why didn’t I think of that as a career path at the age of 18? Culinary arts, so I can play with food all day, testing recipes, re-working them for the ultimate result? I will be sure to tell my 18 year old self the right way to go once I get myself a time machine.
Anyway, onto the soup! This weekend I opted for a tomato version- I was really craving a grilled cheese and tomato soup, the ultimate comfort lunch. I took the tomato soup recipe from ATK- their Creamless Creamy Tomato Soup. I had the ingredients, I had the hand blender, and I had the craving for a smooth, velvety tomato soup, sans the cream. (There would later be enough cheese in my grilled cheese to make up for the lack of calories in my soup. Gotta take it where ya can, right?)
I got the base of the soup ready- olive oil, garlic, onion, bay leaf:
Add the tomatoes: (two 28 oz. cans of whole tomatoes, which were on sale, nice!)
The secret to making the soup creamy without the cream, as the ATK article explains, is bread. So while the tomatoes are cooking down, prepare your bread- 3 slices of good quality white bread- I used part of an Italian loaf.
Feel free to eat the crusts while things are working away if, like me, you are starving while you’re cooking.
This is the point at which I used my hand blender (once the bay leaf was removed).
I then added 2 cups chicken broth, and let the soup return to a boil.
While that was boiling away I went to work on my grilled cheese. I ended up going for an adult tuna melt-Cabot sharp cheddar, Cabot monterey jack, and spinach.
I then put a scoop of tuna on top and a couple more slices of cheese, and buttered up the bread.
And because I’m nothing if not resourceful around here, I used my substitute for a panini: my grill pan, and then my cast iron skillet as a weight.
Once the soup was ready and the melt all melted it was time for lunch:
This was awesome. That is all.