Yesterday happened to be my birthday. And what a wonderful day it was! As I grow older every year, I keep thinking that my birthday doesn’t really matter any more. It’s just another day, and my age is just a number. And despite all that, I keep having the BEST birthdays! Maybe it’s lower expectations or something- haha. But I am lucky enough to have spent the day with my kids AND my husband. We had decided to use some free passes to a local golf course for my birthday outing. I haven’t picked up a golf club since I got pregnant with my first child over 3 years ago. Although I played miserably, we had a great time. I really do love any sport that allows cocktails while you play. Enough said.
My Dad came out and watched the kids, and after we got home we had one of my all-time favorite dinners of corned beef and potatoes. Presents, cards, and cake followed. It was, in my mind, perfection. I made this cake from my very favorite baking website. It was easy, pretty, and delicious. I WILL be making it again. And again. And again. Check it out here:Sprinkle Bakes: No Bake Strawberry Milk Cheesecake.
I took a few pictures (not many) of my birthday celebration which I will share below. I wanted to enjoy my day, not spend all day documenting it, so you get what you get. Enjoy!
Now, on to the real purpose of this post! Picture this: It’s cold, rainy or snowing outside. It’s Sunday afternoon. You’re in your sweatpants curled up on the couch with a book, or a computer, or watching a football game, or maybe a movie. The kids are playing, or sleeping, or at Grandma’s house for the day…
What sounds so good right now? I’ll show you. It’s this:
Say it with me… grilled cheese and tomato soup. But not just any old tomato soup, and certainly not one that came from a box or a can. You can do so much better than that. How about homemade roasted tomato soup with garden tomatoes, onions, garlic, chicken stock, basil and heavy cream. And a grilled sandwich with cheese oozing out the sides of deliciously buttered toast. Want to know the secret to a really great grilled cheese? Put a little mayo on it. Just a little. Just enough. I ALWAYS wondered why my Grandma’s grilled cheese put mine to shame, and I finally noticed her put mayo on it about a year ago. Mystery, solved.
And how cute is that little mug??? My husband’s Grandparents got a set of them (with different recipes on them) for me when they were vacationing. The other 3 are hanging above my sink, and I love them so much! They are a perfect little accessory for my kitchen- pretty to look at and functional as well.
This recipe is simple and straightforward, and I didn’t change a thing. Except to add dried basil because mine looks all dried out and wilt-y, which I suppose will happen to a plant when you forget to water it. Ahhh, well. I tried. Here’s your link: Roasted Tomato Soup Recipe : Tyler Florence : Recipes : Food Network.
Also, if you like a bit more spice and heat to your soups, I urge you to try this one: Roasted Tomato Soup Recipe | Steamy Kitchen Recipes. It’s another favorite, and just a little different from your typical tomato soup. I love them both!
- 2½ pounds fresh tomatoes (mix of fresh heirlooms, cherry, vine and plum tomatoes)
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 small yellow onions, sliced
- Vine cherry tomatoes for garnish, optional
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup chopped fresh basil leaves, optional
- ¾ cup heavy cream, optional
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
- Wash, core and cut the tomatoes into halves. Spread the tomatoes, garlic cloves and onions onto a baking tray. If using vine cherry tomatoes for garnish, add them as well, leaving them whole and on the vine. Drizzle with ½ cup of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, or until caramelized.
- Remove roasted tomatoes, garlic and onion from the oven and transfer to a large stock pot (set aside the roasted vine tomatoes for later). Add ¾ of the chicken stock, bay leaves, and butter. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until liquid has reduced by a third.
- Wash and dry basil leaves, if using, and add to the pot. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth. Return soup to low heat, add cream and adjust consistency with remaining chicken stock, if necessary. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Garnish in bowl with 3 or 4 roasted vine cherry tomatoes and a splash of heavy cream.