There are so many delightful ways eat to eat tomatoes. Here’s a personal favourite; the grilled cheese croutons are what really do it for me!
For the soup
3 lbs ripe tomatoes, halved
½ large red onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, whole
2 tsp fresh thyme (you can use 1 tsp dried)
1 tsp dried sumac
⅓ cup olive oil
4 cups veggie broth
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup plain yogurt
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
For the grilled cheese
4 tbsp butter, divided
4 slices of your favorite crusty bread
2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
Preheat the oven to 400⁰F (204⁰C). Place the tomatoes, onion and garlic on a baking sheet. Sprinkle the thyme and sumac over the veggies. Drizzle with oil and mix everything together until it’s well coated. Place in the oven and bake until the tomatoes begin to caramelize and the onions are soft (25-30 minutes). Remove from the oven and transfer your tomato mixture to a large soup pot. Use an immersion blender to blend your roasted ingredients (especially the garlic).
Add the broth and simmer for 15 minutes. Taste your soup and balance it with sea salt and pepper.
While the soup simmers, make your grilled cheese. Melt 1 tbsp butter in your pan over low heat. Place 2 slices of bread in the pan and fry gently until they start to brown. Take them from the pan. Cover one slice with cheese and make a sandwich with the other slice. The browned side should be facing in. Now add 1 tbsp butter to the pan and cook the sandwich on both sides until they are brown. Repeat for the other sandwich. Slice your grilled cheese sandwiches into small croutons.
Serve your soup with a dollop of plain yogurt and a garnish of grilled cheese croutons and fresh basil.
Don’t want to make grilled cheese? Chop some halloumi cheese into small squares and fry in butter until brown and use these as croutons instead.
You can leave a couple of the tomatoes in the oven until they just start to burn a little. This will give your soup a wonderful smoky flavour.