Look, it's not a newsflash - you know the drill. It's cold. It's damp. It's gray. It's time for tomato soup and grilled cheese. But you're not six. You don't want canned soup and plastic cheese. You want to be able to wax poetic about this de rigeur comfort food. You want flavor, dammit, and you want it now.
I can help you with that. I got what you need. You need bacon (you know you want it). You need roasted red peppers (oh, that charred sweet flavor). You need gruyere and comté (fancy-pants cheese. Really, 'nuff said).
Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Soup ~ serves 6-8
4lbs (64oz) whole peeled canned
3 large red peppers
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups mirepoix
1 pint chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 cup tomato paste
salt & pepper to taste
heavy cream ~ optional
Bacon & Apple Grilled Cheese ~ per sandwich
2 slices whole wheat bread
1 oz gruyere
1 oz comté
2-3 slices bacon
1/4 cup thinly sliced apple
Heat olive oil in a stock pot. Add mirepoix and sauté until just turning translucent. Meanwhile, char the red peppers on the grill or under the broiler. When cool enough to handle peel off charred skin, remove stems and seeds. Add to stock pot along with tomatoes, tomato paste, stock, and bay leaf. Simmer 20-30 minutes. Remove bay leaf and process with an immersion blender. Season to taste with salt and pepper and heavy cream.
For the sandwiches, crisp up bacon to desired doneness. Butter one side of each slice of bread. Lay on a griddle or in a skillet. Add cheese to each side, then apples, and finally the crispy bacon. Once cheese begins to melt close the sandwich together and cook til golden brown. Serve immediately with a cup of hot soup. Attempt to take photos without eating sandwich. Fail deliciously.