Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup
‘Tis the season for comfort food. It’s gray outside and cold enough to freeze your tits off. For me, comfort food typically pairs well with cozy socks and hibernation.
My ultimate comfort food? Homemade grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. I’ll share the key to a perfectly crisp toast. Hint… it ain’t butter.
The ideal cheese selection is highly debatable. Sometimes highly processed American cheese hits the spot. Other times, an aged Gruyere or champagne cheddar will dazzle your taste buds. For this recipe I used a combination of pepper jack because I like the mild kick it provides, and muenster because it is creamy and I’ve always been a fan of the orange rim (I realize this does nothing to the flavor but I don’t care).
Tomato Soup - Ingredients and Instructions
Immersion blender, regular blender, or food processor
28 oz. can plum tomatoes - do not drain
1 can diced tomatoes - do not drain
1 yellow onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 large carton of chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup heavy cream (optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
Heat a large pot with olive oil and add in the onion and carrot. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook until soft and the onion is translucent.
Next, stir in tomato paste and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper again and bring to a simmer. Now add in the broth and simmer for 15 minutes, and then add the cream (if you want to).
Blend the soup until smooth - I recommend an immersion blender if you have one, but work with what you have. Stir in the butter, and taste to see if it needs more salt and pepper.
Grilled Cheese Sandwich - Ingredients and Instructions
Good bread from a bakery but nothing crazy. I find that sourdough bread, while delicious, takes away from the cheese, so stick with something bland.
Mayonnaise (good mayonnaise, per Ina Garten)
4 slices pepper jack cheese
4 slices muenster cheese
sliver of butter
Generously spread mayonnaise on outsides of the bread. SURPRISE! This works so much better than butter! Trust me!
Add a wee bit of butter to a non-stick skillet and assemble your sandwiches. The heat should be around medium-high so that the bread gets a nice sear, but the cheese will also start to melt.
Let the sandwiches cool like this before cutting or eating so that one side doesn’t get soggy.