Monday, March 18

Simple Tomato Soup with Bacon Cheddar Havarti Grilled Cheese

My son recently requested tomato soup and grilled cheese for dinner.... I wholeheartedly conceded this was an excellent idea until I looked in my kitchen. I love it that my kid loves veggies. I adore tomatoes. And I looked in my fridge and saw no fresh tomatoes. Only one single fresh red pepper. No fresh spices. Ugh. Thankfully, turning to pantry staples I was able to still pull some tomato-y goodness together with some incredible havarti, bacon, cheddar grilled cheese sandwiches. Yum!! 

Inspiration for this recipe came from the Closet Cooking which uses fresh red peppers, fresh onion, fresh garlic, fresh tomatoes, and fresh spices... enough to make someone start drooling. That someone would be, me. No jars or cans in this recipe. Cannot wait for summer's best tomatoes to make this. Until then, I will have to stick to the good ol' pantry staples and my recipe below. Click here for a link to the original recipe. I am sure it's awesome.

Serves 3
How to Make it:

28 oz crushed peeled can of tomatoes
1 fresh red pepper
1 cup of chicken broth, low sodium, organic
1 Tbs minced dry onion
1 Tbs minced garlic
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (if you don't like heat halve this)
6 pieces of bacon
2-4 slices of thick sliced Havarti cheese (use 4 slices if making all adult sandwiches)
2-4 slices of cheddar cheese
6 slices of bread
butter for the bread

5 - Step Soup

1. Bake the bacon on a baking sheet at 350 for approx 12 minutes or until crispy. Afterwards, reserve the bacon fat, do not dump it off the pan.

2. Remove the bacon, and let it rest on paper towels for the grilled cheese sandwiches. On the same pan as the bacon cooked on, at the same temperature, roast the red pepper. Wash, cut the seeds out, and put the red peppers cut side down on the baking sheet. Roast the red pepper with 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper for 30-40 minutes until it looks charred.

3. In a blender or in a pot with an immersion blender puree the can of tomatoes, garlic, roasted red pepper, and dried spices. Pour the tomato blend into a pot if using a blender, add the chicken stock/broth, and heat through.

4. While soup is heating through, heat a skillet or a flat pan on low. Butter both sides of each piece of bread. Put the butter face down in the skillet. Layer the cheese, then bacon, then cheese on top of the buttered bread. Top the cheese the other side of bread.  Turn the sandwich over when cheese looks melted and bread is toasted to a golden brown.

5. Nibble, Play, Dip, Dunk, and Consume these yummy sandwiches with the simple tomato soup with a kick.

This classic combo works with even a meager kitchen pantry
From my kitchen to yours 

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