Not Your Average Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese

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As the days begin to warm and the nights remain cold, I look forward to a bowl of steaming fresh soup. And the yummiest sandwich ever to dip in it.

All you need are some roasted tomatoes. . .

thick multi-grain bread with mozzarella cheese. . .

and a few other things like fresh parsley and olive oil.

Put it all together and you will have your self a deliciously hearty meal.

These Italian grilled cheese are incredible, not only the day they are made, but the next!

Same for the soup, it just builds itself up with all the flavor of the fresh parsley and roasted tomatoes.

Both of these recipes are from my two favorite Foodnetwork chefs, Giada De Laurentiis and Ina Garten. I adjust the soup recipe by using handfuls of fresh Italian parsley instead of basil, and processing the cooked soup in the food processor so there are no apparent traces of what is in it {keeps picky eaters from asking questions}.

You may also notice that the recipe for the sandwiches calls for fresh basil leaves, but I omit these. I also use less oil to fry with, just enough to come up about half of the sandwich. One last change is that I serve the sandwich with the roasted tomato soup for dipping, not pesto.

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup
from Ina Garten
3 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, cut in half
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 (28-ounce) canned plum tomatoes, with their juice
4 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 quart chicken stock or water

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss together the tomatoes, 1/4 cup olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the tomatoes in 1 layer on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes.

In an 8-quart stockpot over medium heat, saute the onions and garlic with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the butter, and red pepper flakes for 10 minutes, until the onions start to brown. Add the canned tomatoes, basil, thyme, and chicken stock. Add the oven-roasted tomatoes, including the liquid on the baking sheet. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Pass through a food mill fitted with the coarsest blade. Taste for seasonings. Serve hot or cold.

Grilled Italian Cheese {Mozzarella in Corrozza}
from Giada
1 1/2 pounds thinly sliced smoked mozzarella
12 slices whole-wheat
18 fresh large basil leaves
8 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil, for deep frying
2 cups (about) all-purpose flour
1 cup purchased pesto

Divide half of the cheese equally among 6 bread slices. Top with the basil leaves then the remaining cheese. Cover with the remaining bread slices, pressing gently, to form 6 sandwiches.

Whisk the eggs, salt and pepper in a large bowl until well blended and frothy. Place the flour in a medium bowl. Add enough oil to a heavy large frying pan to come 1/2-inch up the sides of the pan. Heat the oil over medium heat. Dredge the sandwiches in the flour to coat lightly, then dredge them in the egg mixture to coat completely and place in the hot oil. Cook until the cheese melts and the sandwiches are golden, about 3 minutes per side. Cut the sandwiches into triangles. Transfer the sandwiches to a platter and serve with the pesto.


  1. This does look like it would hit the spot - no matter what the weather outside. Those grill cheese sandwiches look gourmet!

  2. I would eat that wether it is hot or cold. Just delicious.

  3. mmmmmm.... I LOVE soup and sandwiches and this looks FABULOUS!

  4. Ina and Giada have to be two of my favorite TV chefs. Their food is always so simple and fresh. That soup looks so good and I have not had homemade tomato soup since living in Germany. Ah and those roasted tomatoes, I am all out and need to hit Sam's club for another gigantic box of them for roasting.

  5. Rindy~ I am craving one now. I should make these again for the chilly evenings we have been having.

    NP~ You know, the soup probably would make a great summer cold treat.

    Spryte~ Thank you, it was quite a tasty treat:)

    Robin Sue~ You seem to have experience with the roasted tomatoes. You should try them in this recipe.


Catching my breath. Be back ASAP.