Creamless Creamy Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese and Caramelized Onion Sandwiches

by Jennifer

My husband declared, “This dinner is great!”, and it was.  Even better, the soup is so easy, and you can make it earlier in the day and reheat for dinner if afternoons/evenings are crazy.  I love caramelized onions in grilled cheese sandwiches;  my son prefers to eat his with a fork on the side.

Creamless Creamy Tomato Soup – from Cook’s Illustrated

Serves 4 – 6.

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling on top
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 28-oz. cans whole tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 TBS brown sugar
  • 3 slices soft sandwich bread (they recommend white;  I used soft whole wheat bread), crusts removed and torn into 1” pieces
  • 2 cups vegetable or no-chicken broth (or chicken broth, if you prefer)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

Heat 2 TBS oil in a large pot over medium-high heat;  add the onions, garlic and bay leaf and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and their juice, using a potato masher to crush the tomatoes into small chunks.

Stir in sugar and bread;  bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat to medium and

cook until bread is completely saturated, about 5 minutes.  Remove bay leaf and discard.

Add 2 TBS oil before pureeing the soup, either in batches using a blender, or using an immersion blender.  Add broth to pureed soup, and freshly ground black pepper to taste; heat over medium heat until hot.

Serve each bowl with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of chives.

Grilled Cheese and Caramelized Onion Sandwiches

Nothing could be easier or so good-feeling inducing.  Make as many as you want (there are five in my family).

  • Whole grain/whole wheat bread, two slices per person
  • Your favorite good-quality cheese – I used aged raw milk cheddar, thinly sliced
  • 1 TBS extra-virgin olive oil per onion
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Unsalted butter, margarine, or butter-flavored cooking spray

Slice onion very thinly;  for every onion you use, heat a TBS of olive oil in a large pan over low heat, then cook the onion, stirring occasionally, for 30 – 40 minutes,

until it is tender and browned and your house smells delicious.  Season with salt and pepper.  You can make these ahead, up to a day, then reheat in the microwave for 30 – 60 seconds before making the sandwiches.

Prepare sandwiches with cheese – enough so it’s gooey, but not so much that you don’t get good melting in the middle – and if you’re using the onions, layer the onions between two layers of cheese.  Heat a large griddle over medium-low heat.

Butter the top slice of bread, then arrange sandwiches, buttered side down, on the griddle.  Butter the top slices of the sandwiches.

Check after a few minutes;  if the bottom is golden, flip, and cook until both sides are golden and cheese is melted.

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