Winter Tomato Soup & Crispy Baked Kale with Gruyere Cheese

FRIDAY

Winter Tomato Soup {Slow-Cooker}  |  Crispy Baked Kale with Gruyère Cheese

Tomato Cluster

This tomato soup is one of our family’s favorites.  It cooks in the slow-cooker which makes it a favorite of mine.  The vermouth adds such a wonderful flavor and don’t be stingy with the dried tarragon.  Using a hand-held immersion blender, once the soup has finished cooking, also saves time {check out the one I use over to the right under “Some of My Favorite Things}.  Any left-over soup can be re-heated in the morning for a wonderful accompaniment to scrambled eggs!

Winter Tomato Soup {adapted from Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook, by Beth Hensperger & Julie Kaufmann} 

  • ½ cup {1 stick} unsalted butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 {28-0unce} can imported Italian whole tomatoes with their juice {I prefer the San Marzano brand}
  • ½ cup dry vermouth
  • 1 heaping tablespoon sugar
  • 1 heaping teaspoon dried tarragon
  • Sea salt to taste
  1. In a large skillet, over medium heat, melt the butter.  Add the onion and cook until golden, about 15 minutes, stirring often to cook evenly.
  2. Combine the tomatoes, vermouth, sugar and tarragon in the slow-cooker, add the onion and butter, scraping out the skillet into the slow-cooker.   Cover and cook on LOW for 5-6 hours.
  3. Purée in batches in a food processor or with a hand-held immersion blender.  If you don’t like the tomato seeds, push the soup through a strainer set over a large bowl & return strained soup to the slow-cooker.  Season with salt & serve.

The  Crispy Baked Kale with Gruyère Cheese is a new recipe for us.  This family adores kale…mostly because of its texture.  Kale is hearty & is able to keep its “crunch factor” even with the most generous helping of dressing, while most other lettuces get soggy.  In fact, I can make a kale salad for dinner and, more often than not, I will enjoy the left-overs for lunch the next day.  When kale is cooked , it turns the most beautiful green!  This baked version of kale is super easy & it was the perfect side-dish to our tomato soup this evening.  The original recipe calls for a specialty, Alpine-style cheese, called “Tarentaise”, that can be easily substituted with Gruyère.   I was planning on using Gruyère until I stumbled upon Tarentaise at the Cowgirl Creamery in San Francisco…

Cowgirl Creamery SignTarentaise CheeseCrispy, Baked Kale with Gruyère Cheese {adapted from Food & Wine}

  • 2 {4-ounces each} pieces of sourdough bread, crusts removed, bread torn into ½-inch pieces
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 pound lacinato kale, washed & dried, large stems discarded & leaves chopped
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 cups shredded Tarentaise or Gruyère cheese.

Note:  the original recipe calls for the addition of chopped fresh thyme.  I chose to omit the thyme this evening because the soup was infused with a generous helping of tarragon.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.  In a large mixing bowl, toss the bread pieces with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil & spread on a baking sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly toasted.  Let the croutons cool on the baking sheet.
  2. In a large pot, heat the remaining ¼ cup of olive oil.  Add the shallot & onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 7 minutes.  Add the minced garlic to the pot and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add the kale, cover and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until tender-crisp, about 8-9 minutes.  Season with salt & pepper.
  4. Transfer the kale mixture to an 8-by-10 inch baking dish, that has been coated with cooking spray.  Scatter the cheese over the kale and top with the croutons.  Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and the croutons are golden.  Let stand for 5 minutes, then serve.
Sourdough BatardCollage
Onion Shallot Garlic
Onion Shallot Garlic Minced
Kale Collage
Tarentaise Grated
Baked Kale Collage
No pictures of the finished dinner plate tonight…Max arrived home this evening after a week of traveling on the East coast {his first distance trip without us}!  He had SO much fun & I was SO happy to see him tonight!!!  He ate every bite of that cheesy baked kale & had two servings of the tomato soup.  After a shower, and goodnight hugs, he poured himself into bed…I don’t think we will see him before noon tomorrow!
~
So another week ends…time for a sunset. Photos by Mallory {taken while waiting for Michael’s ferry this evening}…
Golden Gate Bridge at Sunset {from Belvedere}

Golden Gate Bridge at Sunset {from Tiburon}

Looking back at Belvedere Island at Sunset

Looking back at Belvedere Island {from Tiburon} at Sunset

Maddie waiting for Daddy...

Maddie waiting for Daddy…

THANKS, Love & Hugs Mallory!

Have a LOVELY Weekend!

K-Initial1

 

 

 

Winter Tomato Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Winter Tomato Soup {adapted from Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook, by Beth Hensperger & Julie Kaufmann}
Serves: 4-5
Ingredients
  • ½ cup {1 stick} unsalted butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 {28-0unce} can imported Italian whole tomatoes with their juice {I prefer the San Marzano brand}
  • ½ cup dry vermouth
  • 1 heaping tablespoon sugar
  • 1 heaping teaspoon dried tarragon
  • Sea salt to taste
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet, over medium heat, melt the butter.  Add the onion and cook until golden, about 15 minutes, stirring often to cook evenly.
  2. Combine the tomatoes, vermouth, sugar and tarragon in the slow-cooker, add the onion and butter, scraping out the skillet into the slow-cooker.   Cover and cook on LOW for 5-6 hours.
  3. Purée in batches in a food processor or with a hand-held immersion blender.  If you don't like the tomato seeds, push the soup through a strainer set over a large bowl & return strained soup to the slow-cooker.  Season with salt & serve.

 
Crispy Baked Kale with Gruyere Cheese
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Crispy, Baked Kale with Gruyère Cheese {adapted from Food & Wine} Note:  the original recipe calls for the addition of chopped fresh thyme.  I chose to omit the thyme this evening because the soup was infused with a generous helping of tarragon.
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 2 {4-ounces each} pieces of sourdough bread, crusts removed, bread torn into ½-inch pieces
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 pound lacinato kale, washed & dried, large stems discarded & leaves chopped
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 cups shredded Tarentaise or Gruyère cheese.
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.  In a large mixing bowl, toss the bread pieces with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil & spread on a baking sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly toasted.  Let the croutons cool on the baking sheet.
  2. In a large pot, heat the remaining ¼ cup of olive oil.  Add the shallot & onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 7 minutes.  Add the minced garlic to the pot and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add the kale, cover and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until tender-crisp, about 8-9 minutes.  Season with salt & pepper.
  4. Transfer the kale mixture to an 8-by-10 inch baking dish, that has been coated with cooking spray.  Scatter the cheese over the kale and top with the croutons.  Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and the croutons are golden.  Let stand for 5 minutes, then serve.

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