Ironically enough, my moms maiden name was Campbell, and this soup is the staple soup we ate as kidsjoked about the coincidence every time she ladled it into bowls. Of course, this is freshly made, not from a can, unless you count tomatoes you put up yourself for use in the dead of winter. Once you make this, you will discover how easy it is and might actually crave it in January or February. Buy high quality, organic canned tomatoes. You wont be disappointed. Of course, I recommend making this when the tomatoes are at their very best. The integrity of the soup is apparent with the first spoonful. Serving it with a grilled cheese sandwich just makes sense. Who doesnt love this combo?
Serves 6 - 8
68 ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into wedges, or home-canned tomatoes, drained and cut into wedges
2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups scalded milk
1⁄2 cup sliced fresh basil (1 bunch, packed)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces soft Brie or Camembert
16 thick slices sourdough or another high-quality bread
(I like sourdough ficelle, cut on a dramatic bias for long, graceful slices)
1⁄2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1. Preheat the oven to 150˚F.
2. Put the tomatoes in a baking dish just large enough to hold them in 1 layer. Pour the oil over them to coat all the wedges evenly. Roast the tomatoes for 4 hours, or until they are fully wilted. If possible, leave them in the oven for twice the timeor overnightfor the best result.
3. Transfer the tomatoes, oil, and accumulated juices to a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. As soon as the tomatoes simmer, lift them from the oil with a spoon (you want some of the oil and juices, although not all) and transfer to a blender or food processor. Add some of the oil and juices, depending on your taste preference. Blend in batches while slowly adding the scalded milk and basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside and keep warm.
4. Evenly distribute the cheese among 8 slices of bread. Top with the remaining slices of bread to form cheese sandwiches. Butter the top and bottom of each sandwich.
Originally published in Sustainably Delicious by Michael Nischan. Reprinted with permission.
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