Did I ever tell you about the time I though I’d invented Caprese salad? I threw myself into cooking in college, and although I wasn’t really all that great at it, I was the only one who was doing it, so people ate it.
I made an apple pie that I forgot to put sugar in that came out a bit savory, but the guy across the hall still polished it off. And then there was the cheesecake that I massively overcooked because I thought “a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean” turns out, that isn’t the case with cheesecakes. But I wanted to learn to cook, and without growing up in a cooking environment, I just had to get in the kitchen and work it out.
When I discovered the “cheese balls in water in those tubs” it was quite a culinary revelation for me. I’d never seen anything like it, and although it cost about an hours wage at time, it was completely worth it. I cut it up, added tomatoes, basil and some balsamic and though I was a genius. A few months later, after 3 part time jobs along with a full load of college classes, I’d save enough money for a plane ticket to Europe. I ended up in Italy, and realized that the Italians had discovered those same magical mix of ingredients centuries before I did.
Even though I had to concede the recipes origin to Italy, it’s still one of my favorite flavor combinations. I just can’t believe that someone who loves soup and caprese as much as I do took this long to mix the two together.
- 4 lbs tomatoes, quartered (4 to 6 large heirloom or beefsteak)
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup white wine
- ½ tsp minced fresh rosemary
- 1 cup chicken stock (or vegetable broth) plus additional as desired
- 2 tbs tomato paste
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup balsamic glaze
- 10 ounces burrata cheese or soft whole milk mozzarella
- 8 leaves basil, chopped
- Preheat oven to 400. Place tomatoes, cut side down, on a baking sheet that has been covered with aluminum foil.
- Roast at 400 for 20 minutes or until the skin starts to shrivel. Remove from oven, allow to cool slightly. The skins should easily peel away. Pull skins off tomatoes, discard skins.
- While the tomatoes cook, start the soup. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until softened and slightly caramelized, about 10 minutes.
- Add the garlic and stir for about 30 seconds. Stir in the white wine.
- Add the rosemary, stock, tomato paste, and skinned tomatoes. Allow to simmer until reduced, slightly thickened, and the tomatoes have broken down, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Using an immersion blender, puree until very smooth. Soup will be thick, add additional stock to thin as desired.
- Stir in cream over low heat for about 2 minutes.
- Pour into bowls, top with cheese, drizzle with glaze and sprinkle with basil.
You can either make balsamic glaze by reducing 2 cups balsamic and 2 tbs of white sugar or honey until thick and syrupy, or you can purchase it in most grocery stores near the balsamic vinegar.