A Little Open Face Sandwich with Roasted Tomato Soup

Much to my surprise and delight, my gals have been asking for another tomato soup.  We have come a long way.  Their earlier diet consisted of single flavored foods and not a vegetable to be consumed.  My girls were the original picky eaters, as was I when I was very young.  My mom would make me fried rice, and I would pick everything out of it and only eat the white rice.  So, faced with the same with my gals, I was not too worried.  I knew things would change with time.  Look at me now. 

I contemplated a variation to the last tomato soup I made, but first what to serve with it?  The sandwich is the classic pairing for a good tomato soup and so I decided to make a little open faced sandwich.  The key is good cheese and a bread that has a hearty rustic crunchy exterior with a soft pillowy interior.  I used The Essential Baking Company's Potato Bread.  Difficult to slice because of the crunchy exterior and soft interior.  But worth the effort.

The Cheese, Tomato, Poached Egg and Arugula Sandwich
4 thick slices of rustic bread
8 slices Beechers Flagship cheese (or other good cheddar)
2 heirloom tomatoes, sliced
4 eggs, poached
1/3 lb chanterelle mushrooms
Balsamic vinaigrette (1/4 cup olive oil, 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp dijon mustard, 1/2 tsp honey)

Saute chanterelle mushrooms in a little butter and salt and pepper.  Toast bread in the oven at 400f, about 5 minutes a side.  Place cheese on top and melt the cheese under the broiler until bubbling, 4-5 minutes.  Remove from oven, top with a couple slices of tomato, a poached egg, and a little arugula.  Add some chanterelle mushrooms to the plate and drizzle everything with a little of the vinaigrette.  Crunchy bread, sharp cheese, nutty arugula, a flavorful tomato, woodsy chanterelles, and a poached egg to give it a little girth.  Yum!

Roasted Tomato Soup
1 1/2 pounds Roma tomatoes
6 small garlic cloves, skin on
2 1/4 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup basil leaves, torn
Creme Fraiche (or mix a little sour cream together with a little heavy cream), optional

Slice tomatoes in half lengthwise and gently squeeze out the seeds.  Lay flesh side down on a large baking pan.  Drizzle with 1/4 cup of olive oil and sprinkle a little salt on top.  Place garlic cloves on a small sheet of aluminum foil.  Drizzle a little olive oil on top and wrap garlic in the foil.  Place packet on the same pan as the tomatoes.  Roast in the oven at 425f for 30 minutes, flipping the tomatoes over half way through.  Remove from the oven and let cool.  Remove garlic from foil and peel.  Place tomatoes, including any juices, in a blender to puree.  You may have to do this a couple of batches depending on the size of your blender.  Or if you have an immersion blender, you can put everything in the pot and blend it that way.  Otherwise, divide the tomatoes, garlic cloves and chicken stock evenly with each batch you puree.  Transfer to a large sauce pan and bring to a simmer.  Cover and let simmer for 10 minutes.  Stir in basil right before serving and add salt and pepper if needed. Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche if you'd like.  
Really, really good!


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