Soup isn’t something I typically eat in the summertime. To me, it’s a hot food meant to be eaten on cold days. I’m not even a fan of gazpachos and other cold soups because I don’t like their texture. But sometimes, a soup recipe catches my eye in spite of the high temperatures, especially if that soup focuses on seasonal produce (aka corn, tomatoes, zucchini and/or summer squash). The most recent Food Network Magazine has a recipe for Triple Grilled Cheese with Tomato Soup that I had to try ASAP. I already had tomatoes that needed to be used up and Jared made this incredible Savory Zucchini Bread from the “What Geeks Eat” blog the other day. I just needed to pick up the Muenster and I was ready to make this recipe.
Grilled cheese and tomato soup is comfort food to me. It always has been. Like many Americans, I grew up eating the tomato soup in the red and white can accompanied by melted American cheese on white bread. If that’s what you’re expecting, this is not the meal for you. For one thing, it’s much less salty. For another, this soup actually tastes like tomatoes! Jared and I both really enjoyed this meal, especially once we had doctored the soup a little bit.
Triple Grilled Cheese with Tomato Soup
Makes 4 servings
1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 lb. tomatoes, chopped
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. chipotle chile powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
Kosher salt & black pepper
4 slices muenster cheese
1 c. mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese, grated
8 slices thick bread
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1. In a saucepan, combine olive oil, tomatoes, garlic, onion, sugar, chile powder, cumin and one teaspoon of salt. Cook over medium heat for 25 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir occasionally. Add cheese and stir to combine.
2. Puree soup with an immersion blender and season with salt and pepper. Return soup to stove and keep over very low heat while making sandwiches.
3. Combine mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Split equally among 4 slices of bread, and use one slice of muenster for each sandwich. Top with remaining slice of bread. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Cook sandwiches, adding more butter as needed. Sandwiches should be done after 4-5 minutes per side.
4. To serve, dip sandwiches in soup. Enjoy!
My thoughts & Suggestions
- As usual, I made some changes to the recipe. After combining the original ingredients, Jared and I decided the soup needed more flavor. So I added cumin and chipotle chile powder. I also thought it needed a little creamier texture. Since I had no cream, I melted a little cheese into the soup instead.
- Like I said, we used homemade savory zucchini bread for this recipe. You could use any good sandwich bread. But I think a homemade or artisan bread elevates this above plain old grilled cheese.
- Since there are only two of us, I did cut the sandwich recipe in half. I made the full soup recipe, providing us with leftovers to take to lunch. I don’t usually cut recipes since Jared & I are both fans of leftovers for lunch.
*As you’ve seen in several of my past photos, my everyday dishes are black. I’ve been meaning to buy white plates and bowls. While I love my black ones, they’re not so conducive to food photography. I couldn’t get a decent shot of tonight’s meal. But I prefer to use my own photos whenever possible. This is why you’re getting a photo of seasonal veggies instead of soup and a sandwich.
Recipe Source: Adapted from Food Network Magazine, September, 2010