Although Dallas hasn’t been too chilly, seeing all of the winter storm pictures and videos had me CRAVING the ultimate comfort food – Tomato Soup. Something about this time of year makes me want to curl up in front of the TV with a cozy blanket and piping hot bowl of delicious soup. With the two football games on this past weekend, I had a few friends over to enjoy this comforting meal with me… obviously, you can’t have Tomato Soup without Grilled Cheese – the below recipes will keep you warm even on the chilliest of days!
2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
6 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1 large Yellow Onion, Sliced (about 2 cups)
2 (28 oz) cans San Marzano peeled tomatoes
1 cup Chicken Stock
2 tbsp Sugar
1/2 cup Half and Half
3/4 cup Fresh Basil, chopped (about 12 leaves)
1/4 tsp Dried Oregano
1/8 tsp Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
Salt & Pepper
In a heave sauce pot or dutch oven (my preference!) heat the oil. Add in the sliced onion and a pinch of salt. Stir until the onion starts to cook. After about 5 minutes, add in the garlic. Cook the onions and garlic for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Next, add in the tomatoes, chicken stock, and sugar. Bring to a simmer, and cook uncovered for about 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
After the soup has been simmering, turn down the heat. Add in the half and half, fresh basil, oregano, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes. Mix well with spoon. Now comes the fun part – blending the soup! I think the best tool for this is an immersion blender (like this). Place the immersion blender so that the blades are touching the bottom of your pot. Carefully, turn the blender to low, and slowly turn (you don’t need to push the blender down, but ensure that it stays touching the bottom – if you lift it from the bottom, you may get splattered with soup). As the soup starts to blend, you can raise the speed until you have a smooth soup (probably about 2-3 minutes). Give it a taste, and add some salt and pepper as needed.
Makes 6 servings.
12 slices of Bread (I like a hearty grainy bread)
2 cups shredded Cheese (I like Gouda or a good Sharp Cheddar)
6 tbsp Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature
Butter the sides of the bread that will be hitting the heat. Pile a healthy amount of cheese onto one side of the bread. Place sandwich in a pan on the stove, and place something heavy on it (perhaps a plate). Cook for a few minutes & then flip, until bread is toasted on both sides and cheese is melted. I have a panini maker that makes these sandwiches a cinch – highly recommended! Enjoy your grilled cheese dipped in this delicious soup… YUM.