I’m not sure there is anything simpler than tomato soup and grilled cheese. I for one, am somewhat picky when it comes to tomato soup or juice because I hate that metal taste that comes from the can. At the same time, I rarely used to make tomato soup because my daughter Juliet would never eat it.
A couple years ago, a small group of us including Juliet went to Medieval Times. If you aren’t familiar, it’s a dinner and a show concept where they do things like jousting, horse tricks, sword fights and falconry while you are eating a feast without utensils. It’s great fun and the food isn’t bad.
Anyways, so we went there for a fun night out and they served tomato bisque that you would drink out of a bowl. I thought for sure my veggie hating daughter wouldn’t even try it, but it was one of those rare moments she had of daring. Amazingly she loved it, and now she asks me to make it quite often.
This tomato bisque is very simple. Fresh tomatoes, cream and basil – that’s the base. A little salt, sugar and a touch of cayenne to give it an interesting back heat, makes it the perfect concoction to dip these grilled cheese dippers in.
Speaking of grilled cheese. One of my secrets to making an amazing grilled cheese is a touch of seasoning between the cheese slices. Typically I use a light dusting of garlic powder, but I have also used an herb seasoning blend which works well too. When you bite into that gooey sandwich, you’ll understand. The light bulb will go off. I promise. It seriously just elevates a typical grilled cheese to a new level, practically without doing anything.
I did also want to point out that picture above. Do you see that crispy cheese on the end? Oh. My. Goodness. That is my favorite part! I really should just throw a bunch of cheese in a pan and get it crispy and forgo the bread all together…. But then it might be hard to dip in that tomato bisque.
- 6 pounds fresh tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon basil, rough chopped
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
- 12 slices of bread
- 12 slices of your favorite cheese
- Garlic powder or herb blend seasoning (optional)
- In a large soup pot fill with water, cover and bring to a boil. Cut a small X on the bottom of each tomato. Once the water is boiling, put the tomatoes in for 1 minute to soften the skins. Remove tomatoes with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl of ice water to cool. Empty the soup pot heat the olive oil in the bottom over medium high heat.
- Peel the tomatoes, remove core, roughly chop them and add them to the pot. Add salt, sugar and basil and cook in their own juices until tomatoes are soft and cooked through. About 10 minutes. Using either a blender in batches or an immersion blender, puree the tomato mixer until smooth. Over low heat, bring the soup back up to a simmer, add heavy cream, cayenne and additional salt to taste. Serve in bowls or mugs.
- To make grilled cheese spread butter on one side of 6 slices of bread. On a medium hot griddle or large frying pan over the stove, put the bread butter side down. Cover bread with one slice of cheese. Sprinkle seasoning lightly over the cheese, cover with other slice of cheese. Spread butter on one side of the other slices of bread. Place on top of the cheese completing the sandwich. Cover to allow the steam to melt the cheese for 1 to 2 minutes. Flip the sandwiches over. Cook another 1 to 2 minutes or until golden brown. Cut into thirds lengthwise creating dippers.
- If needed, make the grilled cheese in batches while the tomato bisque simmers.