I've really been wanting to try my hand at making homemade tomato-basil soup. So, I researched a few recipes, to see what were common/necessary ingredients and then played with the recipes a bit and came up with my own version. This soup was very satisfying in and of its own-self, and almost didn't even need the grilled cheese sandwich. But c'mon, what's a tomato soup without a grilled-cheese sandwich? That wouldn't be right, would be almost un-American! It'd be like the Fourth of July without any apple pie! So, without further ado, my recipe -
For the soup, you will need:
2 tbsp EVOO
1 red onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes (I used regular, but may use the basil tomatoes next time, for added flavor!)
About 2 cups of chicken stock
1/2 c heavy cream
leaves from two stems of fresh basil, sliced thin
salt and pepper for seasoning
fresh grated parmesan cheese for garnish
Begin by heating the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large soup pot. Add in the onions and season with salt (I didn't measure, but would say about a half a palmful of salt). Allow the onions to cook until they turn tender, stirring occasionally, about ten to fifteen minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for about another minute.
Add in the canned tomatoes and the chicken stock. Go ahead and add a little more salt as well as some fresh cracked pepper at this point, and stir well. Allow the soup to come to a boil and then let simmer about 15 minutes. My soup really got to bubbling, so if you have one of those splatter guards, I would recommend laying that over the soup pot to prevent the mess like what I ended up with! After simmering, I used my immersion blender, but you could use a regular blender or food processor (carefully), to blend together all of the ingredients in the pot. Once blended to desired consistency, it's time to add in the heavy cream as well as about 1/2 to 3/4 of your thinly sliced basil to the soup pot and mix well. Let it simmer for about another 10-15 minutes. Serve with a beautiful garnish of fresh-grated parmesan and additional basil, with a side of delicious grilled cheese sandwiches!
For the grilled cheese, I used:
whole wheat bread
mixture of cheddar and mozzarella cheese
black olives, chopped
green bell pepper, thinly sliced
To get started, I actually laid out a thin layer of the pepperoni on a microwave-safe plate and nuked the pepperonis for about 1 1/2 - 2 minutes to cook out a lot of the grease of the pepperonis (I don't want it dripping out of my sandwiches!) Now, it's time to assemble! Start with two slices of bread and butter only one side of each slice. The buttered sides will be the outside/grilled side of the sandwich. On the first slice of bread, add a layer of the cheese mixture, followed by pepperoni, black olives, green bell pepper and mushrooms. Lastly cover with another layer of the mixed cheese and the other slice of bread. The secret to making an awesome, gooey grilled cheese sandwich is to cook the sandwich over low heat, so the cheese really gets a chance to get all melty and gooey, while still getting a nice and crispy outside on the sandwich.
Serve while hot with a delicious bowl of tomato-basil soup! Bon Appetit!