Monday, January 17, 2011

Soup and Sandwich

I love soup. I love sandwiches. I absolutely drool over the two of them together. One of my favorites is just a classic grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup. Usually I do a can of Campbell's Tomato Soup and my sandwich is buttered white bread with cheddar cheese. But sometimes I want something a little fancier.

Now, when I say "fancy" I don't meet "weird" kind of fancy. I still use cheddar cheese. I don't use abnormal butter or anything like that. I just change it up a little. I use sourdough bread and when I butter the bread (I actually prefer I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Spread) I then sprinkle a little garlic salt on the bread. Then I grill it like usual. When it's cooled off a little, I cut it into strips so I can more easily dip it into my soup. (Grilled cheese sandwiches MUST be dipped in soup) I call these dippers. Dippers are more fun to eat than regular shaped sandwiches too. If I'm REALLY feeling like I have extra calories to spare, I'll butter and grill BOTH sides of the bread. I know, it's genius. I have to give the credit for that idea to my husband. Thanks.
(This is NOT homemade tomato soup, I didn't have that kind of time today)

For the soup, I like to throw some roasted red peppers in my tomato soup. Here's the recipe I use:

Tomato Soup
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 rib celery, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 4 pounds very ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 jar of roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves, rinsed and patted dry
  • Salt and freshly ground black or white pepper
In a medium enameled or other nonreactive saucepan, heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onions, 2/3 of the minced garlic, the chopped celery and chopped carrot and sauté until tender, 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the crushed red pepper and tomatoes and continue to cook, covered, until the tomatoes give up their liquid and begin to fall apart, about 15 minutes. Add the water and orange juice and continue to cook, covered, until the tomatoes have completely broken up, about 15 minutes longer. Add the roasted red peppers. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
While the soup is cooking, combine the basil leaves, remaining 2 cloves of garlic, and remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil in a blender and process until very smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste and set aside, refrigerated and covered with plastic wrap, until ready to use.
Remove the soup from the heat and puree, in batches, in a blender, or use a stick blender. The soup may be served either hot or cold – if you plan on serving it hot, return the pureed soup to a clean saucepan and keep warm until ready to serve. If you plan on serving it cold, pour the soup into a heatproof bowl and let come to room temperature, then chill in the refrigerator at least 2 hours and up to 2 days before serving. (Remember to taste the soup and re-season if serving it cold.) When ready to serve the soup, ladle into bowls and garnish with drizzles of the basil-garlic puree. The soup will be fine after this amount of time, but I like to cook it for an hour or two longer. If you want it creamier (and fattier) add a cup or two of cream.


Laurel said...

That sounds delicious. Ridiculously so.

The Bluemel Family said...

I LOVE this soup! It makes me happy whenever I eat it. Everyone I know who has tried it says so too. Its filling, and there is always the gooey cheese sandwich to go with. I'll have to try the garlic on the sandwich. Delicious!