Friday, March 13, 2009

PostHeaderIcon Recipe Friday: Creamy Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese on Foccacia

Nothing beats a bowl of hot tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwiches. This recipe takes the old standby up a notch.

For the soup:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans Italian style diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 cups chicken broth or stock
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic or red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 4 ounces cream cheese or 1/2 cup half & half
  • chopped fresh basil or parsley for serving

In a large pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion and carrots and saute for five minutes. Stir in garlic and saute an additional minute. Add tomatoes, broth, red pepper flakes, vinegar, and honey. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes, or until all vegetables are tender.

Transfer to blender and blend, or use an immersion blender directly in the pot.* Return to pot, and add cream cheese (or half & half). Simmer on low for another 10 minutes, stirring until cream cheese is completely incorporated. (If using half & half, reduce time by 5 minutes.)

Garnish with parsley and basil and serve with Grilled Cheese on Foccacia (below).

For the Grilled Cheese:

Mix cheeses in a small bowl.

Brush bread slices with olive oil (top & bottom slices). Place four slices in heated skillet or on griddle. Evenly distribute cheese on top of the bread. Top with remaining bread and press down with a spatula. When the cheese begins to melt, flip the sandwichs to brown evenly on both sides.

Serve with Creamy Tomato Soup.

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