When I was a little girl it seemed like I was sick all the time with either colds or some sort of virus. Soups became my best friend and comfort food (my favorites were Campbell's Tomato Soup with milk or Chicken Noodle) paired with a round grilled cheese sandwich.
We had what was called a Toas-tite. You'd lay a piece of bread on one side of this contraption, place a couple slices of cheese on the bread, top it with another slice of bread then seal. Place it on the burner and toast on both sides. The end result was an incredible grilled cheese sandwich where the center would swell up making a nice hot gooey cavity of cheese.
- 3 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons good olive oil (EVOO)
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions) (I used one large yellow onion)
- 6 garlic cloves, minced (I roasted a head of garlic in EVOO, wrapped in foil with the tomatoes)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 (28-ounce) canned plum tomatoes, with their juice
- 4 cups fresh basil leaves, packed (I used 2 cups)
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 quart (32oz. or 4 cups) chicken stock or water
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
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 along with a head of garlic that's been wrapped in heavy duty foil and drizzled with EVOO). When tomatos and garlic are done, set aside to cool. Then peel the skins off the tomatoes, discarding the skins.
In an 8-quart stockpot over medium heat, saute the onions and
Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes.
After pureeing and doing a tase test I felt something was missing. I added a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar and for me it was just right.