I really feel bad for you guys. Here I am living it up in sunny Miami, while my fellow Brooklynites are stuck with a curfew while the city shuts down due to a blizzard. I’m truly thinking of you while I sit here relaxing at the beach! :- p
And just to show you how much I care, I’m sharing this comforting roasted tomato soup with muenster breadsticks in honor of Snowmaggedan 2015! I know you all stocked your houses to the hilts, so chances are, you have the ingredients on hand (and then some), so lets get cookin’!
They’re calling this NorthEastern historic and crippling and I’m calling this recipe duo soul-warming and pure comfort food. It’s the perfect kind of meal to eat at the fireplace while piles of fluffy white snow accumulate outside your window. Winter Storm Juno’s got nothing on you.
We start our not-so-little snow feast with roasted tomato soup. If you’ve never roasted tomatoes before, it’s time to start! They become so deliciously sweet – perfect with sweet roasted garlic and shallots. Topping off the soup with pesto and fresh basil just takes it over the top.
You can’t have tomato soup without cheese and bread! I love me some grilled cheese with tomato soup, but roasted tomato soup requires something a bit more sophisticated – like breadsticks! Don’t be overwhelmed by the thought, I keep things simple using a quick & easy pizza dough (you can even use store-bought dough). And for the filling – I use my ultimate favorite cheese of all time – MUENSTER! Muenster is a white cows-milk cheese that melts incredibly well. Natural & Kosher makes convenient pouches of shredded muenster that are perfect for making grilled cheese, mac ‘n cheese, pizza, or quesadillas. I like to twist my breadsticks so I get lots of the toasted crispy cheese all around, but you can also make these more traditional and keep the cheese inside (see recipe for how).
Now back to sunny Miami – we’re keeping away from the pool today because it’s all of 55 degrees,, and the natives are pulling out their Uggs! I’m still on a high from The Miami Marathon (hashtag Miami Famous) this past Sunday, which I was lucky enough to walk/run in honor of The Friendship Circle.
Running a marathon was something I’ve always wanted to do, but I never thought I’d really do it. When my friend Rochel Leah recruited me for Team Friendship, I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting myself into. Little did I know, I’d have to train 4 times a week to complete 13 miles, when I could barely meet a single mile mark.
Six weeks of training proved nearly impossible in 20 degree weather (and less!), but I pushed myself to my limit and walked/ran as much as I could. Four times a week didn’t happen, but I managed quite a few training sessions, increasing my mileage to as much as 10 miles. I covered Prospect Park, Brooklyn Heights, Dumbo, Williamsburgh, Long Island City and more! I can’t wait to share pics and more about my experience in a future post. In the meantime, you can still support my run and help me reach my fundraising goal here!
I’m off to relax in the sun, but stay warm you guys, I’m thinking of you!
Roasted Tomato Soup:
10 plum tomatoes
6 cloves garlic, peeled
2 shallots, peeled
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup vegetable stock
1/2 tsp dried oregano
pesto, for garnish
fresh basil, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Slice the tomatoes and shallots in half lengthwise and place them on a baking sheet along with the garlic cloves. Coat the vegetables with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes.
Place the roasted vegetables in a pot with their juices. Add stock and oregano and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes and season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Using an immersion blender or food processor, puree the soup until smooth. Adjust the consistency by adding more stock, if needed.
Ladle the soup into cups and garnish with pesto and fresh basil. Serve with muenster breadsticks (recipe follows).
Yields: 6 half cup servings.
Thanks to my son’s teacher, Frayda Brown, for this super easy pizza dough recipe!
1 tbsp dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 cup warm water
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp salt
4 oz. Natural & Kosher shredded muenster
Natural & Kosher grated parmesan
Place the yeast, sugar and water in a large bowl and let it rest until foamy. Add remaining ingredients and mix until a dough forms. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and place in a warm place to rise, about 1 hour.
Roll the dough out into a rectangle, adding flour as needed, to keep it from sticking. Spread the muenster cheese over the bottom half of the dough and fold the top half of the dough over the cheese. Using a pizza cutter, slice the dough into sticks and twist carefully. Place the strips on a parchment lined baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with garlic powder and parmesan cheese and bake at 400 degrees until lightly browned, about 20 minutes.
VARIATION: Try mixing some shredded muenster directly into the dough for more cheesy goodness.
SHAPING: If you prefer to keep the cheese inside the dough, roll out small strips of dough into rectangles, fill with shredded cheese and roll into a long rope, pinching to close on all sides. Brush with oil and proceed as above.
Yields: about 12 breadsticks.