On rainy cold days, nothing beats a grilled cheese sandwich dipped in a creamy tomato bisque. This old fashioned tomato soup always warms my heart on a cold and gloomy day.
As you all know, fall is slowly approaching, so, you know what that means! Bring out your Campbell’s tomato soup cans! Just kidding, Don’t do that. No seriously, soup is really easy to make, you should make your own with fresh ingredients.
Why? It tastes a lot better than a can of tomato soup. Less preservatives and doesn’t taste like metal.
Taste like metal you ask? How? Tomatoes are pretty acidic, the pH range is somewhere between 3-4 for can tomatoes, where fresh tomatoes are between 4-5. Canned tomatoes are typically more acidic than fresh tomatoes due to the impact of the canning process. To prevent the tomatoes reacting with the aluminum in the cans, manufacture companies coat the inside of the cans with chemicals (polyethylene).
So, how does it still taste like metal then? Well, do you think the manufacture companies perfectly time the cooking process of the tomatoes in the can? NO! Due to overcooking the tomatoes, the metal can still oxidize through the polyethylene and over a period of time, the aluminum cations may seep through, giving you that gross metal taste. This is the same case with “organic” canned tomatoes.
I know, I know. It’s fall, and tomatoes will not be at the peak of their season, so we end up using canned tomatoes. But don’t sacrifice fresh flavors because of the changing seasons!
Tomatoes not in season tend to be sour and not very ripe. But It’s okay! Nothing a little sugar and roasting can’t help 😉
Make sure your tomatoes are extra ripe. It makes for a delicious and creamy soup. If your tomatoes are not ripe enough, you may have a somewhat chunky tomato soup. 😦
Chiffonade your basil for a beautiful garnish.
I love pairing tomato soup with a grilled cheese sandwich.
The grilled cheese I have in the photos is a simple cheddar cheese sandwich. You can always enhance your grilled cheese sandwich by mixing sharp cheddar cheese and smoked gouda to boost your flavor palate.
Roasted Tomato Basil Bisque
Yields: 3-4 Servings
5 Very ripe Roma tomatoes
1/2 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4-5 teaspoons sugar, depending on how ripe your tomatoes are
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, finely chopped
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup lightly packed chiffonade basil
1 1/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 cup white wine
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 325 ºF. Toss the tomatoes in olive oil and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until the skin starts to break off and “shrink.”
In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened. Add the garlic, 1/2 the amount of basil, bay leaves, oregano and roasted tomatoes. Sauté for a couple of minutes, trying to crush the tomatoes. Then add the white wine and broth. Cover and let simmer for about 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Purée the soup in a blender or hand blender. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the sugar, parmesan cheese, cream, rest of basil and salt and pepper to taste. Heat, stirring, to a bare simmer. Serve hot and garnish with parmesan cheese.