It’s cold, rainy and my husband is lying on the couch surrounded by tissues after contracting some sort of holiday plague from the relatives. It’s time for comfort food. It’s time for butter and sugar and cheese and calories. It’s time for creamy tomato soup and some fabulously greasy grilled cheese.
I never really felt it necessary to upgrade tomato soup and grilled cheese. Sure, I’ve tried fancy cheeses and roasted tomatoes and adding all sorts of spices; but it was never as comforting as the original and why reinvent the wheel? Give me a can opener and some Kraft singles and I’m happy. But today biscuits came into the equation and I couldn’t resist.
Flaky, buttery, melt in your mouth biscuits. Yeah…I find comfort in that. Add cheddar cheese and chipotle powder and I found my grilled cheese alternative. Game changed, my friends.
Creamy tomato soup should be simple. Sugar, an onion, some heavy cream, chicken broth and tomatoes. Get canned diced tomatoes, fresh ones will water it down too much. We’re going for rich and thick here.
Give the onion a rough chop. We can be lazy here, it’s all gonna get blended anyway.
Cook onions, sugar, salt in olive oil until softened.
Add diced tomatoes, chicken broth and simmer.
Now add the good stuff, remove from the heat and if you’re like me; you’ll wish you had an immersion blender. I let it cool and whirled it in the food processor until completely smooth. If you’re insane about the texture, you can put it through a fine mesh sieve but I’m too hungry and lazy for that.
While the soup is simmering, get the biscuits together. Grate some sharp cheddar cheese, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking powder, salt, sugar, pepper and chipotle chili powder. I opted for about 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of the chipotle powder which gave it the perfect subtle heat, but it’s completely up to your taste. The original recipe I used called for 1 tablespoon which would have had me breathing fire.
Really cool tip I learned for getting those biscuits extra flaky. Freeze your butter beforehand until you’re ready to add it to the flour mixture. Use a coarse grater and grate fat strands of frozen butter into the flour. Then just lightly toss until it’s a nice crumbly mixture. Super easy for those who, like me, don’t own a pastry cutter.
Add the wet ingredients and toss until it just comes together. Overmixing will give you hockey pucks. I used a small ice cream scoop to spoon out the biscuits. Parchment paper would be ideal here, but all I had was tin foil so I just greased the heck out of it.
I paired this with a nice dark porter beer and officially had a food coma. Enjoy!
Creamy Tomato Soup
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- One 29-oz can diced tomatoes, liquid included
- 1 3/4 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
Heat Olive Oil over medium heat in a stock pot. Add onions, salt and sugar and cook until onions are soft (about 8 minutes)
Stir in diced tomatoes (including liquid) and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
Remove from the heat and stir in the heavy cream. If you have an immersion blender than your life is easy (and I hate you). Puree the soup until desired smoothness. If you do not have an immersion blender, I would recommend letting the soup cool down a bit to avoid any violent disasters. Ladle the soup into a blender or food processor being very careful not to overflow. Blend until desired smoothness and reheat if necessary
*Adapted from Savory Sweet Life
Chipotle Cheddar Biscuits
Makes 15-20 Biscuits
- 2 1/3 cups flour
- 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp chipotle chile powder (or to taste)
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) frozen butter
- 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
- 1 egg
- Additional coarse salt for topping
Preheat over to 400 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with either parchment paper or greased tin foil
Whisk together flour, pepper, chipotle powder, baking powder, sugar, salt and cream of tartar.
Grate frozen butter into the flour mixture and toss until the mixture looks like coarse sand. Alternatively, you can cut the butter into small pieces and work into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter. Add the cheese and stir until fully incorporated.
In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk and egg. Add to the flour mixture and stir just until the dough comes together. Do not overwork the dough.
Using a spoon or small ice cream scoop, drop the dough into small mounds (they don’t need to look perfect) on the baking sheets. Space the biscuits about two inches apart and sprinkle each with some coarse salt.
Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
*Adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking