Tomato Pepper Soup and Caramelized Onion Panini

Time got away from me again, but I’m back! Classic comfort meal for any occasion and any time of year.

Tomato Pepper Soup:

Ingredients:

2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/2 large yellow onion, thinly sliced

2 bay leaves

1 tsp. dried oregano

sea salt and black pepper

2 tsp. balsamic vinegar

1 tsp. sugar

2 large ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped

1/2 large can whole tomatoes in juice

1/2 large bell pepper, roughly chopped (whatever color you have)

1/2 cup vegetable or chicken broth

Heat the olive oil over medium high heat in a soup pot. Add the garlic and sauté about a minute until it just barely starts to brown. Add the thinly sliced onions. Season with salt, pepper, oregano and bay leaves. When onions start to become translucent, add the vinegar and sugar and let cook down over medium heat until the onions are slightly caramelized. Add the fresh and canned tomatoes with their juice and the pepper. Turn heat back to medium high and bring to a simmer. Add broth, turn down to low, cover, and cook 35 minutes to let all the flavors come together. Turn off the heat, pick out the bay leaves and either eat as is, or use an immersion blender to puree into a smooth soup.

Serves 4.

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Eat up!

Caramelized Onion Panini:

Ingredients:

8 thick slices sourdough or other rustic bread

1 large ripe tomato, cut into thin slices

1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced

sea salt and pepper

2 tsp. balsamic vinegar

2 tsp. sugar

12 slices of your favorite cheese

butter and olive oil for cooking

In a small frying pan, heat 1 Tbs. olive oil and 1 Tbs. unsalted butter. Add the sliced onions and season with sea salt and pepper. Once onions begin to become translucent, add the vinegar and sugar and let cook down over medium heat until the onions become sticky and sweet. Remove from the pan and set aside. Wipe out the pan.

To assemble panini, arrange 3 slices of cheese, 2 slices tomato, and about 1/4 cup onions between two slices of bread. Lightly butter the outsides of the sandwich. Heat the small frying pan with just a drizzle of olive oil. Add the panini, one at a time. Use a small saucepan (preferably a heavy one) to press down on the panini. Repeat on the other side. Continue flipping and pressing, until each side is a deep golden brown and the cheese is nice and melty.

Serves 4.

 

 

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