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classic comfort: tomato soup and grilled cheese

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The sun finally started to shine again in Seattle, but with it came a drop in temperature. I’m okay with that because I was tiring of the rain, greyness and selecting outfits around my rainboots. I wish I could share this weather with my friends in New England and the Midwest; I’m sending sunny and melting thoughts your way! I can share this classic cold weather dish with them though. Tomato soup and grilled cheese are classics that we all remember from our childhood, but you’re never to old to enjoy it and it was just what I needed for dinner to warm up.

This recipe comes together in a matter of minutes and I suspect most of you already have the ingredients in your pantry and fridge. I used diced tomatoes and basil for a classic combination. You can also use canned whole tomatoes or stewed tomatoes, whatever you have to work with. Season with a little salt and pepper and garlic powder and your pretty much done. I also tossed in a couple spoonfuls of sugar to tone down the acidity of the tomatoes. Just toss everything into a food processor or a blender then heat and serve.

Soup alone wasn’t enough for dinner so of course I made grilled cheese. A slice a bread, some cheddar and I was all set. This tasted so good. Whenever I buy tomato soup at the store I need to season it anyway to give in flavor, this way I cut out the middleman and make it to my liking with almost fresh ingredients. I wasn’t going through the trouble of cooking and peeling skins when tomatoes aren’t even in season right now. Save yourself the trouble as well, use canned.

Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese

1 can/container tomatoes (I used diced, use what you have)
4-7 basil leaves, torn slightly
salt and pepper
garlic and onion powder (omit onion powder if you don’t have any)
dried basil seasoning
2-3 tsp. sugar
parmesan cheese, optional

sliced bread
cheddar cheese

In a blender or food processor puree the tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper, and garlic and onion powder. Pour into soup pot and heat up. Taste your soup as it heats up and add more seasonings to achieve the flavor that suits you. Add only a little sugar at a time, you don’t want a sweet soup, this is just to balance the acid of the tomatoes.

Top with extra basil, parmesan cheese and a little extra salt.

If you need instructions on making a grilled cheese sandwich; well…here they are. Heat a pan over medium heat and toss in a small pat of butter. Slice your cheese, put it between two slices of bread, put in heated pan. As cheese melts and the bread side down piece browns, flip to brown other side. I weighted down my sandwich so I didn’t have to stand there putting pressure on my flipper.

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