Its been pretty dark and dreary here in Seattle the past couple of days. On days like this I just want to say in the house, curl up with a good book and eat a childhood favorite, grilled cheese and tomato soup. There is just something about that gooey cheesy sandwich being dunked into hot, steamy homemade tomato soup. To be more precise, I mean homemade tomato soup that is loaded with fire roasted tomatoes, fresh basil, white wine, garlic and a little half and half for good measure. You’ll be surprised at how easy it actually is.
I decided to use a can of crushed fire roasted tomatoes for this recipe because I like the extra background flavor that they bring to the dish. There are a few different brands that carry them such as Muir Glen and you should be able to find them at your local grocery store. If you can’t find them, using a can of regular crushed tomatoes will work, it won’t have entirely the same flavor but it will be just as good.
This recipe produces a chunkier tomato soup than many people may be accustomed to. If you don’t like it too chunky use your immersion blender or transfer in batches to a regular blender to smooth things out a bit after you add the half and half.
In a large saucepan heat olive oil and butter over medium heat. Once butter has melted add onions and garlic, cook until onion is softened about 5 minutes. Pour in wine and allow to cook for 1 minute. Add in crushed tomatoes, vegetable broth and granulated sugar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low.
Stir in 2 tablespoons of soup into half and half to temper it. Slowly stir tempered half and half into soup and allow to simmer for 30 minutes.
At this point, if you would like a smoother soup, use your immersion blender and process until smooth. Or blend in batches in a regular blender.
Just before serving sprinkle with chopped fresh basil.
I'll get you the recipe for the panini I served with this next week but in the mean time check out my Yummy Cheesy Goodness Grilled Cheese Sandwich or my Grilled Three Cheese Sandwich. Both are equally perfect for dunking. Then pick out your favorite book, grab the softest blanket you can find, curl up and enjoy!