Cozy Garam Masala Roasted Tomato Soup with Eggplant, Basil and Mozzarella Grilled Cheese

With so little rain this summer, it’s been hard to feel the inspiration necessary for the making of a good cozy soup. Because, as we all know, rain=cozy and cozy=soup. Last weekend, my day arrived.  Finally. It was a chilly Sunday with a steady rain. Perfect. I spent my morning planning for the school year and sipping espresso at Alterra… and dreaming of cozying up with a warming soup.

This tomato soup goes a step or two past your ordinary tomato soup. First, the tomatoes are roasted. Roasted tomatoes=cozy. And THEN, I added garam masala. In case you aren’t familiar, garam masala is the coziest of the cozy spice blends. It’s an Indian spice blend that generally includes lots of peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, cumin seeds, and cardamom. All things cozy. Think chai and you are on the right track. So picture roasted tomatos with chai-like spices… oh and I also added coconut milk which brings it to an absolute state of cozihood. Perfect.

So we’ve got that magical little number… and then I decided that while my oven was already roasting the tomatoes and onions, I might as well roast some other veggies! Eggplant was the winner. I chose to pair the roasted tomato soup with an eggplant, mozzarella and basil grilled cheese. Throw in some good red wine and a blanket and you’ve got a winner of a rainy evening.

Cozy Garam Masala Roasted Tomato Soup with Eggplant, Basil, Mozzarella Grilled Cheese

This soup was adapted from ohsheglows.com. The grilled cheese came from my brain and a craving. 

Ingredients: 

    Roasting vegetables

    About 15 roma tomatoes, washed & sliced in half
    1 large sweet onion, peeled & sliced
    2-3 large garlic bulbs, prepared for roasting
    extra virgin olive oil, kosher salt, & pepper, for vegetables
    Soup
    3 cups roasted tomatoes
    2 tbsp roasted garlic flesh
    all of the roasted sweet onion
    1 can coconut milk
    3 cups vegetable broth
    2 tbsp tomato paste
    2 1/2 tsp garam masala
    1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
    1 tsp salt or to taste
    1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
    Eggplant Grilled Cheese
    1 Eggplant
    Fresh basil
    Shredded mozzarella
    Whole grain or sprouted bread

    Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 400 and line 2 baking sheets with aluminum foil.

    2. Roasted Tomatoes: Give the tomatoes a good seasoning of S & P. Roast in the oven for about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
    3. Roasted Garlic: Peel away the outer layers of the garlic bulb skin, leaving the skins of the individual cloves intact. Using a knife, cut off 1/4 to a 1/2 inch of the top of cloves, exposing the individual cloves of garlic. Place the garlic heads in a baking pan and drizzle a couple teaspoons of olive oil over each head. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 400°F for 30-35 minutes, or until the cloves feel soft when pressed.
    4. Roasted Onions: Lightly drizzle olive oil onto onions . Give the onions a good seasoning of S & P. Roast about 30 minutes until golden and darkening on the edges.
    5. Roasted Eggplant: Slice the eggplant to be about 1/2 inch thick. Rub olive oil on both sides of the slices and give it a good sprinkle of salt. Pop it in the oven with the other veggies and roast for about 25 minutes.
    6. Soup: Add 3 cups roasted tomatoes, 2 tbsp roasted garlic flesh, and all the onion into a large pot. Add coconut milk, tomato paste, and broth. Stir well.
    7. Stir in the seasonings and spices to taste. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 5-10 minutes.
    8. Carefully pour the soup into the blender in batches. Pulse for a few seconds until smooth. (Your life will be easier if you have an immersion blender, but I don’t. So I have to do it the hard way.)
    9. Grilled Cheese: Heat a griddle or a skillet to medium heat. Butter the pan. Place half of your bread slices on the hot pan. Sprinkle the mozzarella on the bread and place the eggplant slices on top of them. Let the cheese get melty and gooey. When it has melted, place a layer of basil leaves on top of the eggplant. Place another piece of bread on top of each sandwich. Flip the sandwiches and squish them down with the back of your spatula. They will be ready when the cheese is gooey and both pieces of bread are crispy and golden brown.
    10. Dip your grilled cheese into this super warming soup and get cozy.
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    2 thoughts on “Cozy Garam Masala Roasted Tomato Soup with Eggplant, Basil and Mozzarella Grilled Cheese

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