September 27, 2022

Grown Up Grilled Cheese & Soup

It sure was a grilled cheese/tomato soup weekend. Keep ’em comin’
Grown Up Grilled Cheese & Soup
FOR THE CARAMELIZED ONIONS:
4 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 large onions, halved and thinly sliced into half moons
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
4 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
FOR THE GRILLED CHEESE:
2 Tablespoon unsalted butter
8 slices bread (I like Naked white bread from Franz)
8 slices, thick apple wood bacon, cooked
16 slices American cheese
Spinach leaves
Cook the bacon and set aside.
MAKE THE CARAMELIZED ONIONS:
Heat the same skillet you used for the bacon (wipe out some of the grease) over medium-low heat. Add the sliced onions, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are very soft, about 10 minutes.
Add the sugar and continue cooking the onions for 5 more minutes.
Add the balsamic vinegar and reduce the heat to low. Continue cooking the onions, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes until they are very soft and dry.
ASSEMBLE THE GRILLED CHEESE:
Slather one side of all four slices of bread with the butter and set them aside.
Assemble one of the grilled cheese sandwiches by stacking two slices of cheese on one slice of bread (the non-buttered side) and top it with 1/4 of the caramelized onions, spinach leaves, bacon and two more slices of cheese. Top it with another buttered slice of bread (buttered side on top). Repeat the assembly process for the second grilled cheese sandwich.
Heat a large skillet or sauté pan over medium heat. Place each sandwich on the skillet and cook until the bread is toasted and golden and the cheese begins to melt. Flip each sandwich once and continue cooking until the opposite side of bread is toasted and the cheese is melted. Slice on the bias and serve with soup.
Roasted Tomato-Basil Soup
3 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons good olive oil
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
2 yellow onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Red pepper flakes, to taste
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 or course mesh strainer. Taste for seasonings. Top with chopped basil. Serve hot or cold.
Grown Up Grilled Cheese & Soup
Grown Up Grilled Cheese & Soup

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