Poof, (blues) be gone.

I had a dream. A dream about soup and sandwiches.

More specifically: Creamy Tomato Soup + Grilled Cheese -- comfort food, defined.

I'm not sure if it's the gloomy weather, or the end-of-summer doldrums, but something about a simple soup and cheesy sandwich seems so right.

If I'm eating this, the corners of my mouth are slightly, almost undetectably turned up.
If I'm eating this on a rainy day, watching a movie and refusing to change out of my sweatpants, things just got magical.

I'm doing something right.
When you're making a meal as simple as this, the only thing you need to worry about is using the best ingredients you can get your little, comfort food-lovin' paws on. A proper grilled cheese shouldn't have any orange cheese in the middle. Last I checked, milk only comes in one color...white.

Get crazy with it. Be creative with a mash up of cheeses and condiments. Maybe even do a little dance while the sandwich fries. Just ideas, folks:

Fontina + Pickled Figs.
Brie + Green Apple.
Gruyere + Caramelized Onions.
Chevre + Olive Tapenade.


As for the soup, this recipe is pretty perfect. San Marzano tomatoes and fresh herbs are the stars here. Plus, sandwich bread replaces the need for cream, which makes my stomach all kinds of happy.

Do yourself a favor: Make a big pot, don your favorite lazy outfit and bask in the sweet simplicity of a rainy day dinner. Post-summer blues don't stand a chance.
Look Ma' No Cream! Creamy Tomato Soup
Serves 6-8
2 Tbs. olive oil
3 shallots, sliced
1 garlic clove, sliced
1 medium carrot, sliced
2 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped
3 (14-ounce) cans whole San Marzano tomatoes
1 Tbs. brown sugar
3 pieces fresh white sandwich bread, crusts removed, torn into pieces
2 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
1/2 cup fresh basil, finely sliced (to garnish)
salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and add shallots, garlic and carrot and saute until the shallots and garlic are translucent and carrots are softened, about 4 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, thyme, sugar, and bread, and stir together, gently breaking down the tomatoes as you go. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat so the soup simmers and continue to cook until the bread is saturated and begins to break down into the soup.
Using an immersion blender (or transfer to a traditional blender in batches), puree the soup until smooth. Add the stock, return to a boil and season to taste.
Serve immediately and top each bowl with a drizzle of olive oil and fresh basil.