Step away from the can of tomato soup!
THIS is the grown up version of cream of tomato soup! But have no fear, the grilled cheese sandwich is the still perfect pairing for the soup. This chunky fresh tomato soup takes advantage of the gorgeous tomatoes ready to harvest in the garden and of the abundant fresh basil. Its texture is thick, satisfying and very tomato-ey. Cutting the grilled cheese sandwich into crouton-sized pieces on top is a fun twist that had my 18 year old exclaiming to always make it this way from now on! An American classic.
TOMATO -BASIL BISQUE
2 T butter
1/2 c diced onion
1 T minced garlic
2 c chicken stock(if using bought, get low sodium or reduce the quantity of salt in recipe)
4 lbs of fresh tomatoes, peeled, diced( or 2 cans 28 oz each, of crushed tomatoes, no salt added) (to peel the tomatoes, cover with boiling water for 1 minute, drain, peel, then chop)
1/2 c chopped fresh basil leaves
1T salt or less, to taste, if using salted broth
1 1/2 t freshly ground pepper
1T honey or sugar
1 c heavy cream
shredded basil to sprinkle on top
Method: Sauté onions in butter until transparent and soft. Add garlic and sauté a minute more. Stir in tomatoes, broth and seasonings and cook through, about 1/2 hour on medium heat to start, then to a simmer. Stir in cream and heat gently for a minute more. When ready to serve, sprinkle with additional basil and croutons.
GRILLED CHEESE CROUTONS
Simply make your favorite grilled cheese sandwich, cut it up in 1 inch pieces and toss a few on top of the soup, serving the extra pieces on the side. If you are not familiar with grilled cheese sandwiches, take 2 slices of thick white bread(Texas Toast is perfect). Spread some mayonnaise and a smear of Dijon mustard (or just butter if you prefer) on each slice. Add a heaping amount of shredded gruyère-swiss cheese on one half, top with other slice of bread.
Butter both slices of bread on the outside. Grill until golden brown on the outside and the cheese is melted inside, in either a panini press or in a pan. If using a pan, you’ll need extra butter to coat and you will need to flip the sandwich once, to get it golden on both sides, about 2-3 minutes per side. Let cool slightly, cut in 1 each pieces and serve on top of soup. MMMmmm good!