Back to the Basics
Boy do I love a nice gourmet meal. You say “molecular gastronomy” and my ears perk up, my mouth starts to water, and my curiosity is seriously peaked. Yet, there is something about a nice warm bowl of simple tomato soup with a side order of grilled cheese that hits the spot just the same.
So, today I let myself get carried away into nostalgia and made a spontaneous tomato soup with grilled cheese on the side. But before I get into my recipe, as usual, I want to impart some more perspective on why sometimes getting back to the basics is a much needed practice to help us get grounded and centered in the things that matter to us the most.
The world is filled with interesting things to explore. And as a wandering soul myself I have endless interests to keep me busy from morning to night. I want to try it all, taste it all, touch it all, and basically experience everything that my heart desires. But there are still certain comforts that I love to come back to, standards, classics, and traditions that keep me anchored to the simple pleasures that exist in everyday life.
Exploring new and exciting adventures is certainly a wonderful part of life, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. But it is equally important to remember that we can find simple joys in the simple things, things that don’t need private jets or Champagne sunsets, things that don’t require hours of tedious effort or lists of expectations. Just simple, easy, pleasures that take us back to simpler days when all we needed was a warm hug and a steaming bowl of soup to warm our bones. Today, for me, that was a simple bowl of savory tomato soup.
Okay, so here’s my general recipe (remember, I’m not one for measuring ingredients all that much, so feel free to do it to your specific tastes).
Fire roasted tomatoes
Organic chicken bone broth
Extra virgin olive oil
Gluten-free multi-grain bread
White cheddar cheese
Chop up onions and sauté in sauce pan with some olive oil.
Add roughly cut basil and chopped garlic.
Stir in a pinch of salt and some garlic powder.
Once the onions have sweat a little, add in the cube of bouillon and stir it in until it dissolves.
Add in the fire roasted tomatoes.
Add in a table spoon or so of butter (optional).
Add in the chicken bone broth.
Add in a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper.
Let simmer on low heat.
Once it has simmered for a few minutes, carefully take a hand blender and slowly start to blend. I like to keep the lid positioned away from myself at an angle so that the soup doesn’t splash all over me. It’s hot, so please be careful.
In a skillet, dress the pan with a little bit of olive oil.
Place a few slices of bread into the skillet. Keep on low heat and occasionally flip them over making sure that they don’t burn.
Add some slices of cheese on top of the open faced bread and then cover with another piece of bread. Close with lid for a few seconds.
Keep flipping the grilled cheese sandwich over several times, making sure that the bread doesn’t burn. Cover with lid until cheese has melted somewhat, but not too much.
Then serve the soup with a fresh basil leaf and sliced grilled cheese on the side.
And voila, simple tomato soup with grilled cheese but, more importantly, a simple uncomplicated pleasure to soothe your soul.