It should come as no surprise to anyone that I am a big fan of “comfort foods”…and the king of comfort food is Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese.
It’s what my mom made for me when I pretended to be sick, and it’s what my wife still makes for me when I pretend to be sick. (Just kidding, Honey…really…)
After several decades of tweaking and perfecting, here’s my current favorite of each:
(And, yes…the base of this is good old-fashioned canned tomato soup. Deal with it.)
Chef Perry’s Tomato Cream Bisque
2 Tbsp. butter
2 tsp. fresh garlic, minced
1/2 cup toasted breadcrumbs (the fine stuff)
1 pint heavy whipping cream, warmed
2 can of Campbell’s Tomato Soup
2 cups of hot water
2 Tbsp. Better Than Bullion Organic Roasted Chicken Base
1/4 cup Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar, grated
2 Tbs. chopped fresh basil
Toast breadcrumbs in butter with garlic until lightly browned.
Whisk in the hot water, cream and soup, then the chicken base.
Bring to a simmer, whisking in cheese. Lower heat, and basil and cook another 5 minutes, whisking often.
Taste for salt and consistency, adding chicken base, breadcrumbs, and/or hot water as needed.
And of course, the tomato soup isn’t complete without…
Smoked Gruyere & Sharp Cheddar Grilled Cheese Sandwich
4 slices Texas Toast
2 Tbs sweet cream butter
3 oz grated Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar
3 oz grated Smoked Gruyere cheese
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Fire up your griddle to around 325F. You can use a flat pan over just less than medium heat as well, but a griddle works best.
Butter the Texas Toast on both sides. Combine the cheeses, paprika and garlic in small bowl.
Divide the cheese mixture evenly between the two bottom slices, press down lightly, and set the bottom slices on the preheated griddle (should have a very quiet sizzle, but no more). Leave the tops off.
Plus, you’ll be helping us teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk kids.
Griddle for 3 to 4 minutes or until the cheese has softened. Use a spatula lift a corner of the bread to check for doneness. It should be just golden, not brown. Add the top slices of buttered bread, flip, and repeat.
When done, remove to your sandwiches to the cutting-board and halve on the diagonal.
PS – If you want to take this sandwich to the next level, add a couple of slices of good prosciutto and a schmear of apricot preserves to each sandwich before adding the tops!