Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tomato Orzo Soup with Grilled Cheese

This is kind of like grown up SpaghetiO’s which I am not ashamed to admit was one of my favorite childhood foods (along with bagel bites). My roommate and I decided that we are going to make Sundays soup days so that the apartment can smell good all day. This was a delicious start. I made grilled cheese to go with the soup. I used the recipe for simple ciabatta that can be found here. I mixed cheddar and jack cheese and then cooked the sandwiches in the oven so that I could make them all at once. Plus it means you don’t have to get a skillet dirty. Butter the outsides of the sandwiches and set them on a foil lined baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for about 12 minutes- flipping half way through. If they aren’t browned enough, just turn on the broiler for a few minutes.

Tomato Soup with Orzo and Grilled Cheese
makes 5-6 servings

2 28 oz cans of whole San Marzano tomatoes
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 bay leaves
1 cup orzo
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Take the tomatoes out of the can and reserve the juices. Squeeze the excess juices out of them (be careful they splatter). Put the tomatoes on a pan and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for about 30 minutes, or until they are dry and slightly caramelized.
Meanwhile, sauté the onions and garlic in the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat until softened. Add 1 tablespoon of the balsamic vinegar and stir until evaporated. Add the flour, tomato paste, and salt then add the remaining tablespoon of balsamic vinegar- scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Pour in the reserved tomato juices and the bay leaves. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for about 20 minutes.
Add the roasted tomatoes to the pot and simmer for another 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and then use an immersion blender to puree the soup. Add the orzo and simmer for another 30 minutes, or until the orzo is cooked through.

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