What says fall more than a big, cozy bowl of tomato soup coupled with a gooey grilled cheese sandwich to dunk? Nothing!
But...along with the cozy feelings of this traditional meal comes the processed, additive laden, not-really-food, food that makes your body feel icky.
With this updated recipe, you can still enjoy all the fall feels while doing your body a favor by giving it the plants it needs to feel its best!
In this recipe I used part fresh tomatoes and part canned tomatoes. This is mostly because I still have a monstrous tomato plant that isn't done popping out cherry tomatoes, but also I LOVE the flavor of freshly roasted tomatoes. If you want to go completely canned, it will still be delicious, just skip the baking part and add 14 oz canned tomatoes.
I used canned cannellini beans to give the soup it's creamy texture and a boost of iron, fiber, and all of the good things. And a touch of coconut sugar to balance all of the flavors. Yum!
So cozy up, turn on a favorite scary movie (I like Hocus Pocus because it's not really scary or Scream because I've seen it so many times I know what's going to happen), light your pumpkin-scented candle, and enjoy this delicious fall recipe.
Makes about 4-5 large bowls
1 pint of cherry tomatoes*
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 tablespoons tomato paste
1 28oz can diced tomatoes
3 cups vegetable broth
1 15 oz canned cannellini beans (or white bean of your choice), drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons of butter or olive oil
1 teaspoon coconut sugar
salt and pepper to taste
Handful of basil
Loaf of bread- I use a gluten free option that now makes loaves of bread, found in the freezer section.
Favorite cheddar cheese, thinly sliced
Preheat the overnight to 350 degrees. Lay whole cherry tomatoes out on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and let them roll around to spread the oil evenly. Bake in the oven for about 10-15 minutes so they start to burst but don't burn.
In a large pot over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and let it warm. Add onion and sauté for about 5 minutes or until they become translucent. Add tomato paste and stir, cooking for 1 minute.
To the pot, add the roasted tomatoes, canned tomatoes, and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and then turn heat down to medium/low until the soup is simmering. Let it simmer for 20-30 minutes.
Stir the beans, butter, and sugar into the pot. Using an immersion blender**, blend soup until you have reached your desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste. You may want to add more sugar, salt, or butter, depending on your taste preference, so try it out.
Pour soup into your bowls and top with basil!
Grilled Cheese Dippers
After roasting the tomatoes, leave the oven on at 350 degrees.
Cut your loaf of bread into slices. Lay the bread out on the baking sheet you used for the tomatoes (putting to work the leftover oil).
Top each piece of bread with a slice of cheese so the bread is mostly covered. Bake for 5-7 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly.
Let the bread cool for a few minutes before you handle.
My favorite way to enjoy this soup is using the grilled cheese dipper as a spoon! Or you can rip the dippers apart and throw them in the bowl, letting them really soak up the soup flavor. You do you.
Meal Prep Tips
Make a large batch of this soup for the week, portioning out the soup into glass containers. Rather than having the grilled cheese dippers, top the soup containers with shredded cheese. Bake the bread in the oven without the cheese. Take it out of the oven and let it cool. Once cool, break it into little croutons. When you warm up your bowl, top it with the croutons!
* If you don't want to use the fresh tomatoes, skip the first step completely and add 1 14oz can of diced tomatoes when you add the 28oz can, 42 oz diced tomatoes total.
**Don't have an immersion blender? That's ok! Very carefully pour the soup mixture into a regular blender to blend it. Or, if you are ok with a chunkier texture, you could take a muddler or a mashing tool and smash the soup.
Want it vegan? Use olive oil instead of the butter and bake the bread with a drizzle of olive oil and s&p in lieu of cheese.