I love grilled cheese and tomato soup--this fabulous pair became one of my favorite meals when my husband and I started dating because it's a specialty of his that he would make for me. Of course, he makes his soup from the Campbell's can and the sandwiches are Kraft singles on Wonder bread, but the love is there just as much as if he had made it all from scratch.
Last week, I made some Roasted Tomato-Basil Soup and Mozzarella Paninis for us and here is how I did it!
3lbs roma tomatoes, chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 cup olive oil
generous sprinkling of kosher salt and fresh-cracked pepper
In a roasting pan, add all of the above ingredients and toss gently, making sure all of the tomatoes have had contact with the olive oil.
Roast in a preheated 350 degree oven for an hour or so, stirring once or twice.
Once your tomatoes have been removed from the oven, add them to a medium saucepan with 2 cups of chicken broth. (I used some that I made and stored in the freezer, however those boxes of Swanson broth are a great time-saver and taste great.) Simmer for 20 minutes or so, and add one large handful of fresh basil (don't bother chopping). Remove from heat.
Puree until smooth in batches in your blender or food processor and return to saucepan-hold on low heat until ready to serve. It's fine this way, but if you're like me and you need some extra richness, add 1/2 cup of heavy cream. Yum! This makes 3-4 servings.
As for the paninis, I used some ciabatta bread and spread pesto (I used the kind from the jar--I didn't have enough basil to make my own) on both sides of the bread and layered a few slices of mozzarella and thinly sliced tomato. Butter the outsides of the bread and wrap sandwich in foil, and press. If you have a fancy panini press, good for you--use it! If you're like me and do not own such a magnificent uni-tasker, wipe the dust off the ol' George Foreman Grill and slap that sandwich in the grill and press down hard! Let sandwich press for 5-10 minutes, or until it smells done (I know it's not technical, but you'll know when it's done because it will smell toasty and fabulous!) What a fabulous meal! Here are the results...
Thanks to my friend Suzanne Dickey for teaching me to use my George Foreman grill as a panini press--she's brilliant!