Who doesn’t like a gooey cheesy grilled sandwich dipped in warm tomato soup? For me it’s the ultimate comfort food. A very easy and simple recipe but it’s a satisfying meal you want after full day’s work. A cup of soup and half a grilled cheese sandwich also makes a simple yet elegant lunch.
I am currently reading The Food Lab by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt. It’s an ultimate book for understanding science behind food. Use high quality organic canned tomato for this recipe instead of tasteless tomatoes you get in supermarket. This whole recipe takes about 20 minutes from start to finish and every ingredient is a pantry staple.
You can use two types of cheese here, one is a melting for all the gooeyness like American or Cheddar and another is optional for exterior like Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino. Use any combination of melting cheeses you like. Key to a great grilled cheese lies in low and slow cooking. Coming to bread use whichever you like from good quality white to rye. I like using either white or whole wheat.
Recipe from The Food Lab
For tomato soup
3 tablespoon unsalted butter
175 grams/ 1 1/2 cups onion, diced
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1600 grams/ 2 cans, 28 ounce each whole peeled tomatoes with their juice, Muir Glen recommended
1/2 cup whole milk or heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons whiskey, vodka or brandy (optional)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (garnish)
2 tablespoons fresh herbs (basil, parsley or chive, optional)
For grilled cheese
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 slices bread
120 grams/ 4 oz/ 4 slice melting cheese (American/ Cheddar/ Swiss)
15 grams/ 4 tablespoons grated cheese, optional (Parmigiano-Reggiano/ Pecorino/ aged Gouda)
To make tomato soup
1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until softened, don’t let it get brown about 6 minutes. Add pepper flakes and oregano.
2. After 30 seconds, add the flour and cook another 30 seconds.
Add tomatoes, scrape the bottom of pan and add milk/cream. Stir occasionally and bring it to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes.
3. Using immersion blender or standing blender, puree everything. Add whiskey/vodka/brandy and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
4. Serve with drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, some herbs and may be a crack of black pepper.
Make grilled cheese
1. Melt ½ tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium heat, cast iron recommended and add two slices of bread. Swirl them around and lightly toast them for about 1 minute.
2. Put them on cutting board toast side up. Top with the melting type cheese and make a sandwich. Repeat same with remaining slices.
3. Melt another ½ tablespoon of butter in the skillet over medium low heat and add pinch of kosher salt. Add the sandwiches, swirl them and cook for about 4 minutes each side, until golden brown.
4. If using grated cheese put it on a plate, coat the hot sandwich with it and return to skillet for 1 minute on each side. Cut them in half and serve.