From our food contributor, Shaina Olmanson.
This tomato soup and grilled cheese combo gets an update in the form of golden brown roasted cauliflower florets. It’s just the right combination of classic and new just in time for fall.
I’m giving in, but not without a bit of stomping my feet and audible sighing. Autumn is here, and with it there is a crispness to the air that didn’t accompany my summer evenings. I find myself continually reaching for my sweaters, and although they’re still kicking out a few tomatoes, the production in my garden is slowing mightily.
I even wore boots last week, pulling them from the closet where they sat all summer as I ran around in sandals and low profile tennis shoes, skipping along the pavement in the sunshine. I zipped them up over my jeans and stared in the mirror at my sweatered reflection before heading to the market. There I grabbed as many tomatoes as I could find, hauling them to my car and then home where I rinsed them and diced them and stewed them in a large pot, trying to preserve the flavors of summer for the winter that is just around the corner.
At the end of the session, several pots of tomatoes later, I let the final batch cook down a bit longer, added a sautéed onion and some herbs, and then blended it together as the oven warmed the house right as the sun started to fade. I suppose fall isn’t so bad when it means the return of oven-warmed rooms and the smells that come with baking and roasting.
This soup gets a bit of a twist by placing the roasted cauliflower right on top. Cut your cauliflower into tiny florets so that they can suspend themselves right at the top of the bowl, just getting a bit of a dunk in the thick tomato broth.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup minced yellow onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 32 ounces stewed tomatoes
- ½ cup water
- 3 tablespoons minced basil
- 2 cups milk
- kosher salt to taste
- For the roasted cauliflower:
- 3 cups cauliflower florets
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh oregano
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for5 minutes until translucent. Stir in the garlic.
- Add the stewed tomatoes and the water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and and simmer for 25 minutes.
- While the tomatoes are simmering, preheat oven to 425ºF. In a large bowl, toss together the cauliflower, olive oil, oregano, honey, salt, and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through, stirring once.
- When the tomatoes have simmered for 25 minutes, remove from heat and blend in a blender until smooth. Pour back into the pot and heat over medium-low heat, stirring in the milk, basil, and salt. Cook until hot, but do not boil.
- Serve with cauliflower sprinkled over the tops of the soup bowls.