When you are looking for recipes for an easy and quick melaveh malkah buffet, soup and sandwiches are not usually on the menu. But after serving this combo in mini form last year at a big corporate Chanukah event I catered, it has now become my favorite—and easiest—go-to staple dish for a dairy buffet. The soup and sandwiches can all be prepped a few days before, with only 15 minutes needed to bake and assemble before your party. Serving the soups in small glass ball jars (which I found in Walmart for 99 cents each) helped keep the soup steamed, and the sandwiches stayed warm when I laid them on top with a toothpick. But the beauty of this combo recipe is not just in the simplicity of prep and presentation. Whether it is served hot or at room temperature, your party guests will enjoy a taste of delicious comfort food that will have them coming back to the buffet line more than once.

3 tablespoons olive oil
12 large Jersey tomatoes, halved
3 large yellow onions, cut into large chunks
7 to 8 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1½ teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
2 teaspoons dried basil
¾ cup heavy cream (to keep calories down, you can substitute with ¼ cup cream and ½ cup whole milk)
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375ºF. Using a pastry brush, coat a baking sheet with some of the olive oil.
  2. Place the tomatoes, cut side down, on prepared baking sheet. Wedge the onions and garlic in between the tomato slices. Using the pastry brush again, brush the remaining olive oil over the tops of all the vegetables. Sprinkle all the spices evenly over the vegetables. Bake for 45 minutes, until tomatoes and onions are fully roasted and easily pierced with a fork.
  3. Place vegetables with all the pan juices in a soup pot. Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth and creamy. Stir in heavy cream.
  4. Bring soup to a simmer over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Yield: 12 to 15 servings (6- to 8-ounce cup)

For more great recipes, check out this weeks issue of Whisk by Ami