Gourmet Grilled cheese and Tomato-Leek Soup

Comfort food.

Comfort food.

by Kay Steiger

Grilled cheese and tomato soup is my ultimate comfort food. Recently my regular Campbell’s have been seeming lackluster. That’s why I was so thrilled when IFAer Amanda pointed me in the direction of these two recipes on Kitchen Sink for gourmet grilled cheese and tomato and leek soup. Together the two were kind of a lot of work for your typical weeknight trial, but separately they’d be quite manageable. The result was amazingly delicious. I more or less stuck to the recipe except that in my idiocy I forgot to pick up fresh tomatoes (probably a little risky this time of year anyway) so I used the leftover canned tomatoes since the soup recipe calls for about a can and a half of 28-oz. peeled tomatoes. Amanda found the soup a little too spicy, but I found it about right.

Since I’m not much for New Year’s resolutions (I tend to ignore the list within a couple weeks anyway) but I did decide that my January project should be learning some soup recipes to add into my repertoire. And yes, one of the gifts I got for Christmas was and immersion blender. Any suggestions?

7 responses to “Gourmet Grilled cheese and Tomato-Leek Soup

  1. An easy tasty soup is Vanilla-Butternut Squash soup. Basically:

    2 medium or one HUGE onion (sweet is good, but regular is fine, too), thinly sliced
    1 whole butternut squash (about 4 lbs), peeled and chopped
    3-3.5 cups chicken stock or low sodium purchased broth
    1 T Vanilla extract

    Saute the onions in a bit of butter or oil. After about 7 or so minutes, when they are starting to be sweet, add the squash and saute for a few minutes, enough time to get a touch of brown on a few pieces of the squash. You can skip sauteing the squash if you like. Then, add the stock, enough to cover. Cover the soup, and cook 25-30 minutes, until the squash is tender. Use the immersion blender to puree it, then add the vanilla. A touch of cream is nice if you have it, but unnecessary if you don’t. Heat it through and serve immediately.

    It can be reheated, though it will have less vanilla flavor.

    YUM!!!!!

  2. I made this yesterday with my immersion blender. It turned out great (though I’d add a little more salt):
    http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/spiced-red-lentil-soup-with-crispy-fried-ginger

  3. I’ve much enjoyed reading here — so in return…

    Here are two soup recipes that are fairly quick, easy, and will use your new immersion blender:

    MUSHROOM SOUP
    4 Tablespoons butter
    1 large onion, chopped
    3 shallots, chopped
    2 cloves garlic, chopped
    2 and 1/2 pounds mushrooms (I like a mix of Portabella, shitake, maitake — but use what you like)
    6 Tablespoons flour
    2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock or broth
    1 bay leaf
    2 sprigs or 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
    Salt and freshly-ground pepper
    1 cup half-and-half (I use fat-free)
    1/2 cup sherry (optional)

    Melt butter, add chopped onion, shallot, garlic. Cook, stirring, about 5 minutes until softened. Add mushrooms. Cook, stirring, about 5 minutes until softened. Stir in flour and cook 2-3 minutes. Add stock, bay leaf, thyme. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper. REMOVE bay leaf and thyme sprigs. Puree until smooth with immersion blender (depending on what mushrooms you use, it will feel smooth without looking smooth). Return to near-boil. Add cream and sherry.

    CURRIED ZUCCHINI SOUP
    2 Tablespoons butter or peanut oil or mix
    1 medium onion
    2 medium carrots
    2 medium stalks celery, strings scraped
    2 pounds zucchini
    4 Tablespoons flour
    Salt and freshly ground pepper
    1 teaspoon curry powder, or to taste
    1 quart chicken or vegetable stock or broth
    2 cups milk (I use 1%)
    1 cup half-and-half (I use fat-free)

    Heat butter and/or oil in large pot over medium heat. Mince onion, carrot, celery (I use food processor) and cook until beginning to brown. Shred zucchini (again, food processor) and mix in. When vegetables have absorbed their own liquid and have begun to cook down, mix in flour, salt, pepper, curry powder and cook for 1-2 minutes until curry is fragrant. Add stock and milk, bring just to boil, cover and simmer 30 minutes. With immersion blender, blend to desired consistency (I like this not super-smooth). Add cream, adjust seasonings.

    Have fun!

  4. I’ve never had luck adding red onion to grilled cheese. The strong red onion flavor always seems to overpower even the sharpest cheddar. Is thin slicing the key, or are Dupont farmers market onions just too strong?

  5. Needs a bit more salt, and fennel seeds are always a nice touch to tomato soups. I made it with these additions the other night and it was great.

  6. chris brandow

    wow. that was great. my wife and I have wanted to have a great tomato soup recipe and we have one now! thanks!

  7. Pingback: a really good tomato soup - an antidote to Alice Waters « Front Yard Veggies

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