Sunday, January 10
Soup on Sunday: Tomato-Fennel & Grilled Gouda Sandwiches
More heavy snow and freezing weather swept into parts of Britain overnight. According to weather forecasters there is no immediate let-up in sight! This is the coldest spell in more than 30 years, and I for one am searching for ways to keep warm!
My latest antidote is tomato-based soups. This tomato-fennel soup from Country Living, paired grilled Gouda sandwiches, sounds like the perfect solution for today.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups (about 1/2 bulb) chopped fennel
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 cans (28-ounce) peeled whole tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1/3 cup heavy cream
Pour oil in a large Dutch oven and heat over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until softened. Add the fennel and onions and cook until onions are translucent (about 5 more minutes). Add the tomatoes, zest, rosemary, and pepper flakes and cook for 5 minutes. Add the reserved tomato liquid, 2 cups of water, sugar, and salt. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until fennel is very tender, about 45 minutes.
Transfer the soup (in small batches) to a blender or food processor and purée until smooth. Add the parsley and thyme to the last batch and purée until smooth. Return the soup to the Dutch oven and stir in the heavy cream. Ladle hot soup into bowls and serve immediately.
Grilled Gouda Sandwiches
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/8 teaspoons ground red pepper
1/8 teaspoons) fresh-ground black pepper
8 slices (1/2-inch-thick) rustic bread
1 clove garlic, halved
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
8 ounces Gouda, sliced 1/4 inch thick
Assemble the sandwiches: Combine the butter and peppers in a small bowl and set aside. Rub one side of each slice of bread with garlic and place 4 slices, garlic-rubbed side down, on a work surface. Spread the top of each of the 4 slices with 1 teaspoon of the mustard and 2 ounces of the Gouda. Place the remaining slices of bread, garlic-rubbed side up, on sandwich bottoms and set aside.
Grill the sandwiches: Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Using a pastry brush, coat one side of the sandwiches with the butter mixture. Place the sandwiches, buttered side down, in the hot skillet and cook until golden -- about 2 minutes. Brush the tops of the sandwiches with the remaining butter mixture, turn the sandwiches over, and cook for 2 more minutes. Place the skillet in a 400 degree oven and bake until the cheese is completely melted -- about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
Photo credit: Beatriz Da Costa