A piping hot bowl of your favourite tomato soup made right at home, served with a creamy and crispy grilled cheese sandwich, golden brown and oozing with cheese - now that's a dinner combination that just can't be beat!
3 tbsp (45 ml) olive oil
2 large sprigs basil
1 onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp (10 ml) white sugar
4 cups (970 ml) canned crushed tomatoes, with juice
2 cups (470 ml) chicken broth
1/4 cup (60 ml) whipping cream
Salt to season
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
12 slices sourdough bread
12 tbps (180 ml) butter, room temperatures (divided for spreading)
6 slices orange cheddar
6 slices provolone
6 slices Havarti
2 tbps (30 ml) butter
Cracked black pepper, to garnish
Whipping cream, to garnish
For the Tomato Soup
Heat the oil in a medium soup pot over medium heat.
Add the basil sprigs to the oil and sizzle gently to infuse for three to four minutes, until aromatic. When ready, remove the basil and discard.
Add the onions and garlic to the basil-infused oil and sweat for five minutes, until soft and translucent.
Add the sugar and cook for one minute, until just dissolved.
Add the tomatoes and chicken broth, stir, and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook for 30 minutes until the flavours marry.
Carefully transfer the hot soup to a blender (in batches, if needed) and blend until silky smooth. Use a kitchen towel or oven mitts to protect your hands and start by pulsing the soup in short bursts to reduce the risk of the hot soup splashing out of the blender.
Return the blended soup to the pot and season with salt, add the cream and bring to a simmer.
Keep warm until ready to serve.
For the Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Warm a non-stick skillet or griddle large enough to hold six slices of bread over medium-low heat.
Evenly spread butter on one side of all the bread slices.
When the skillet or griddle is warm, place half of the slices, butter side down, onto the cooking surface.
Top each piece of bread with one slice each of orange cheddar, provolone, and Havarti cheese.
Top with another slice of bread, butter side up.
Cook for about three minutes, until golden brown and crispy.
Flip and cook for another three minutes, pressing down on the sandwich gently with a large spatula.
When both sides of the sandwich are golden brown, warmed through, and the cheese has melted, remove from the skillet or griddle and keep warm while plating the soup.
When ready to serve, remove the Tomato Soup from the heat, stir in the butter until just melted and emulsified.
Ladle the soup into serving bowls and garnish with a drizzle of cream and fresh cracked pepper.
Slice the warm Grilled Cheese Sandwiches in half, place alongside, and serve immediately. Enjoy!