one of my go to comfort foods is tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwiches. i just can't help but love it. but i wanted to give that simple dish a little twist and italian-ize it a little and this is what i ended up with- a tomato caprese soup that is just perfect for a cozy day in - or after a long day outside in the cold - or whenever you fancy some.
tomato caprese soup[serves 4]
2 tbs olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 glove of garlic, minced
5 dried tomatoes, chopped
1 stalk of celery, chopped
1 tbs tomato paste
28 oz. canned tomatoes
2 c + extra vegetable stock,
1 bouque garni (thyme, bay leave, parsley - tied together with some bakers twine)
1 tbs sugar
salt & pepper
1/2 to 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 bunch fresh basil
mini mozzarella balls
in a large pot heat olive oil on medium and sauté onions until translucent. add garlic and dried tomatoes and celery sauté for another 3 minutes then add tomato paste and sauté for one more minute.
pour canned tomatoes into your pot and bring to a boil, add 2 c veggie stock, bouquet garni, salt, pepper and sugar, stir well, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and let simmer for 20 minutes.
remove bouquet garni then puree soup with an immersion blender. add more veggie stock if soup is too thick.
add balsamic vinegar and cream, season to taste with salt, pepper and sugar.
divide soup into 4 oven safe soup bowls, top each soup with a couple basil leaves and place a couple mini mozzarella balls on top. place bowls under the broiler of your oven and broil them for about 4 minutes or mozzarella is melted and golden - keep an eye on them.
serve with some toasted slices of ciabatta bread.
this soup freezes easily. i like to cook a big batch and freeze the leftovers in portions to have some on hand for a quick bowl of hot soup on a lazy day or to warm up after being outside in the cold.
if you can't find any mini mozzarella balls, just either dice or slice a regular mozzarella cheese.
want to go the extra fancy route, drizzle soup with some balsamic reduction.
now my mouth is watering and i wish i had some leftover soup but as i shared it with my loved ones after i took these pictures, there is none left.