There have been a few changes in our household over the past two weeks. I’m not quite sure what took over me (ok, yes I do – the general season of Fall), but I decided to do a bit of updating. Moving things around here, updating a piece there, a new punchy fabric to sit on, as well as a completely new dining room and finally completing L’s room. Big sigh. I get why people hire designers. But it’s over, and I’m in love.
My sense of style and design always seems to be shifting but I have to say I’m currently stuck on the pairing of the unexpected. The surprise that items shouldn’t go but they do, there is just something that seems so fresh about the juxtaposition of it all. M seemed a bit hesitant as he started to see items roll in and matching items roll out…’Courtney, those don’t go.’ They will, once I’m done. I promise.
So, I found it only fitting for our first meal in the new dining room to be a completely expected and traditional pairing to calm down M’s nerves. What goes better together than grilled cheese and tomato soup? Not much. I thought it would be fun to kick up that pairing to a gourmet roasted garlic and tomato soup with toasted buttered baguettes and sharp cheddar baked on top. Sort of like a french onion soup would be served – baked, hot, browned, and bubbling away. Helloooo. We dined on our grilled cheese and tomato soup under our sparkley chandelier. The end results? The soup (and room!) were a hit. Whew.
Scroll below for the perfectly paired recipe and some snapshots of the updates.
- 3 pounds of halved Roma tomatoes
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 4 whole garlic cloves
- 4 cups of chicken stock
- 1 tsp freshly minced thyme
- a sprinkle of red pepper flakes
- a fresh French baguette
- sharp cheddar
- To make the soup: Roast 3 pounds of halved Roma tomatoes tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper in a 400 degree oven. Also throw in 4 whole garlic cloves wrapped in foil. Let everything go for an hour.
- Remove from oven and cool down a bit. Pulse the tomatoes and garlic in a food processor or blender - until you reach just a slightly chunky consistency. Pour into a pot on the stove and stir in 4 cups of chicken stock, 1 tsp freshly minced thyme, and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil then simmer for 25 minutes.
- To make the topping: Slice a fresh French baguette into thin slices, toast, then butter on both sides. Ladle soup into ovenproof bowls, top with pieces of the baguette and shred some sharp cheddar on the top.
- Into a 375 degree oven they go for 10 minutes. If the top of the bread/cheese combo isn't as browned as you'd like, flip on your broiler for a minute or so.
Yes, this is a pairing I’d never change. Ever.