January 18, 2011

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup and Fontina Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Sweet mother of deliciousness.

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup is one of my all-time favorites.

And who doesn't like a grilled cheese?

Especially one made with fontina cheese.


The soup recipe is a revamp...I originally posted it here, but it was confusing and without pictures.

It is adapted from an Ina Garten recipe.

...that's right, the Barefoot Contessa.

I love that woman.

Anyway, here is the food porn and recipes.

The ultimate comfort food!

Yes, I realize that I say that about everything.

That is because food in general is very comforting to me, so comfort food is especially comforting...


Just eat it.

 I realize that this recipe calls for ridiculous amounts of fresh basil (4 cups), but just trust me on this, ok?


 Oh, you know I had to add Fontina cheese to the soup too! But you could also use Parmesan.

If that doesn't get your tastebuds watering, I don't know what will.

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup (serves 6) adapted from Ina Garten
  • 3 lbs ripe tomatoes (preferably roma tomatoes)
  • 1/4 cup, plus one tablespoon olive oil 
  • 6-8 cloves of garlic (left whole)
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 4 cups basil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 quart low sodium, fat free chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon chicken bouillon 
  • 1 28 oz can of whole plum tomatoes (I use San Marzano) 
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Slice the tomatoes in half, throw into a large zip-top bag. Add 1/4 cup olive oil, garlic cloves, salt, pepper, sugar and crushed red pepper.  Spread mixture onto a large baking sheet, making sure tomatoes are cut side up.

Roast for 45 minutes.

In the meantime, add one tablespoon olive oil and one tablespoon butter to large dutch oven or soup pot. Saute onions over medium heat until tender.

Add roasted tomatoes and garlic (including all of the juices) to dutch oven. Add broth, basil, bouillon, thyme and can of tomatoes.

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for one hour.

Using an immersion blender, puree mixture until there are no large chunks of garlic or basil. Cook for an additional 20 minutes.

Check seasonings, add more salt, pepper, or sugar as necessary.

Serve garnished with your favorite Italian cheese!


Printable Recipe

Fontina Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (serves 4)
  • 8 slices of your favorite artisan bread (I used rosemary-olive oil)
  • 8 ounces fontina cheese (or other melt-able cheese)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
Butter the outside of all 8 slices of bread. Add 2 ounces of cheese to the inside of 4 slices of bread. Top with remaining 4 slices of bread (remember - butter out, cheese in).

Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the sandwiches (working in batches if necessary), cook for 3 minutes or until the bottom of the sandwich is golden brown.

Reduce heat to low. Flip sandwich and cook other side until golden brown and cheese is melted.


Printable Recipe

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