My Beauty Babes series has been such a success that I recently decided to use the same formula and bring on board some brilliant foodies to help me bump up my food content, with a particular focus on Meals for Moms options – affordable and easy meals that the whole family will enjoy!
Today is the very first one in this new Meals for Moms series and has been contributed by Megan Kate Swan who blogs over at her new blog, Swan.
Megan is a Private Chef who loves traveling, vlogging, cats and food making her the perfect contributor to Becoming you! Thanks Megan for this delicious soup recipe – ideal for winter…
Roasted Tomato & Garlic Soup with Crispy Cheese Toasties (10-12 servings)
For the white bread
4½ tsp. instant dry yeast
¾ cup plus 2 2/3 cup warm water, divided
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp. salt
3 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
9-10 cups all-purpose flour
3-4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted (for brushing)
For the soup
1.5kg Rosa ripe tomatoes, halved with seeds scooped out
¼ cup plus 2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. flaked sea salt
1½ tsp. black pepper
2 tbsp. butter
2 white onions, sliced
1 yellow pepper, chopped
6 cloves garlic, whole with skin on
½ tsp. chili flakes
1 can whole tomatoes
2 cups fresh basil leaves, torn
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
4 cups chicken stock
For the Toasty
6 tbsp. salted butter
300g block mature cheddar
300g block gouda
For the white bread
This dough will yield x2 23cm loaves.
To make the dough, dissolve the yeast in ¾ cup of warm water in a large mixing bowl or your mixer bowl if kneading with a stand mixer and using the dough hook. Stir in the sugar, salt, remaining 2 2/3 cups water, butter, and 5 cups of the flour. Mix on low speed until the dough begins to come together. Gradually add in the remaining 4-5 cups of flour about ½-1 cup at a time at first, more gradually with the last cup, until the dough is smooth and slightly tacky but not sticky. Continue to knead about 6-8 minutes, until a smooth ball of dough has formed.
Transfer the dough to a lightly greased large bowl, turn once to coat, and cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Let rise in a warm place until the dough has nearly doubled in bulk, about 60-90 minutes.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently punch down to deflate the dough. Divide into two equal portions. Press one portion of dough into a rectangle, about 20 x 10 cm.
Starting on a short end, roll the dough up tightly into a log and pinch the seam shut. Roll the ends under the loaf.
Transfer to a greased 23 x 13 -cm loaf pan and press down gently to reach the sides of the pan. Repeat with the second portion of dough. Cover the pans loosely with a clean kitchen towel and let rise once more until nearly doubled, about 30-45 minutes.
Place an oven rack in the lowest position and preheat the oven to 200˚ C.
Just before baking, lightly brush the tops of the loaves with some of the melted butter. I sometimes like to sprinkle seeds or rolled oats on top for some texture. Bake for 15 minutes. Rotate the pans 180˚ and continue baking until an instant read thermometer reads 88˚ C in the center of the loaf, about 15-18 minutes more. (If the tops of the loaves reach your desired golden brown before the baking time is complete, cover the tops loosely with foil to prevent over-browning.) Transfer the pans to wire racks to cool. Let cool briefly, and then turn the loaves out onto the racks. If desired, brush lightly with additional melted butter. Let cool completely.
For the soup
Preheat the oven to 200˚ C. Combine the tomato halves, 6 garlic cloves with their skin on, ¼ cup of olive oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl; toss well to combine. Spread the tomato halves out on a large baking sheet. Roast the tomatoes & garlic for 45 minutes, this allows a nice caramelization of the tomatoes juices.
In a large heavy based pot over medium heat, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil with the butter and heat until the butter is melted. Add the onions, yellow pepper & red pepper flakes to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly soften, about 7-10 minutes. Add in the canned tomatoes, roasted tomatoes, basil, thyme and chicken stock.
Allow the roasted garlic cloves to cool enough to handle, and then squeeze the softened, roasted garlic into the pot with the rest of the ingredients. Roasting the garlic brings out a beautiful sweet flavor in them, I like to keep a small jar of pre-roasted garlic in the fridge to add to dishes too.
Bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, 40 minutes.
Use a hand blender to puree the soup until completely smooth, you can also use a blender or food processor. If you do, be sure to vent the steam and be very careful not to spill the hot liquid!
To assemble the Crispy Cheese Toasty
Slice your freshly baked bread, once cooled.
Grate both cheeses, and mix together in a bowl. Assemble sandwiches.
Place a pan on a medium heat, add a dollop of butter and allow butter to melt. Once the bubbles from the butter have disappeared – add your sandwiches and allow to toast evenly on the either side. Make sure your heat isn’t too high, or your cheese won’t melt well, and the bread will burn. Remove the toasted sandwich from the pan onto kitchen towel to cool and season with salt and pepper.
Dish up your soup into warm bowls and serve with a crispy cheese toasty. If your living a carb conscious life, grate some Gruyere cheese into your soup – trust me you won’t regret it.
Images & Text: Megan Swan