Living a tasteful life

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Creamy Tomato Soup + Gouda & Fontina Grilled Cheese

Nothing is more comforting than a hot, creamy, rich bowl of tomato soup to warm you up on a chilly day.  However, living in Charleston, we haven't really seen "chilly" weather just yet. I believe the high today was 81...not that I'm complaining.

But none the less, I have had tomato soup on my mind for quite some time now.  This past weekend we took a trip to the mountains to Bryson City, NC. Not only was it the perfect weather to break out some Fall attire, but also the perfect weather to make some tomato soup!

We did a lot of cooking while we were at the cabin and this was the perfect recipe that didn't require me staying in the kitchen all night. And of course we had to have a gooey grilled cheese sandwich to accompany the soup.

I like most any tomato soups, but the thick and creamy ones are my favorite. This particular recipe is full of fresh flavor and is healthy if you omit the heavy cream, but we were on vacation so I went for it!  Everyone needs a good go to soup recipe, which is why I wanted to share this one with you. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

These gorgeous fresh tomatoes were the star of the show

Along with some fresh chopped veggies for sautéing

After adding the liquids in with the vegetables, cooking for 30 minutes and blending, the end result looked like this.

And let's not forget the grilled cheese

This was the finished product. Sorry for the lack of good quality photos...I was not in my own kitchen so I was working with what I had.

Creamy Tomato Soup + Gouda & Fontina Grilled Cheese
Soup Serving Size 6 to 8
Tomato Soup
3 pounds of large fresh tomatoes
1 cup of celery (approximately 2 stalks diced)
1 cup of diced carrots (I used the shredded ones in a bag)
2 cups diced onion (one large)
3 teaspoons fresh minced garlic
11 ounces of Tomato Juice (low sodium)
1 cup of Chicken Broth (low sodium)
6oz can of tomato paste
½ Cup of EVOO
Salt & Pepper
1 tablespoon of butter
Dried Parsley
1 pint Heavy Cream (optional)
Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Fresh sourdough bread
2 slices Gouda cheese
1 hunk of Fontina cheese
2 tablespoons butter
1. Rinse and core tomatoes. Slice them in half horizontally and remove the seeds. Tip: To save the juice from the tomatoes when removing seeds, scrape them into a strainer. Have the strainer placed over a bowl to catch the liquid left behind. Once all tomatoes have been seeded cut each tomato into 4 chunks, making them easier to manage when cooking.
2.  Pour olive oil into a medium to large size Dutch oven. Add minced garlic, diced onion, carrots and celery, sautéing over medium to high heat for 5 to 7 minutes.  Next add in the chunks of fresh tomatoes. 
3.   Add chicken broth, tomato juice, tomato paste, salt & pepper to taste, cover and let simmer for 30 minutes.
4. Once the soup has simmered for 30 minutes, pour into a blender and mix well. (or use an immersion blender) After the soup has been well blended, pour back into the pot on low heat.
5. Add butter and heavy cream to the soup, stir and let simmer on low heat for 5 minutes.
6. Garnish with parsley when serving.
For the Grilled Cheese
1. In a small size skillet heat a tablespoon of butter on low/medium heat.                                  
2. Take sourdough bread and place 2 slices of Gouda cheese on one side of the bread. Layer the Gouda with thin cut slices of Fontina cheese. You may substitute any type of cheese, but these had great flavor and really complimented the soup.
3. Cook the sandwich in the skillet (adding butter to coat the bottom of the pan as needed) until brown on both sides and cheese has melted all the way through.


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