Grilled Cheese and Tomato Bisque
Yield: 4 servings, 2 quarts
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Today is National Grilled Cheese day and our chefs wanted to honor that with our favorite rainy day pairing, tomato soup and grilled cheese. Tomato soup is very easy to make at home and will blow any can of soup out of the water. And trust us, this is no white bread and processed cheese; the Sourdough and Taleggio combination will give you the crispy golden bread and oozing cheese that every grilled cheese fan craves.
1 large yellow onion
1 stalk celery
4 garlic cloves
2 28 oz cans San Marzano tomato sauce
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup whole basil sprigs
1/2 cup whole parsley sprigs
2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
4 slices sourdough bread
8 oz Taleggio cheese
8 oz deli black pepper turkey
1/2 cup pesto
1.To begin the soup first you need to prep all the vegetables and aromatics. Peel and chop the onion into a large dice, chop the celery, and mince the garlic. (The size of the cut is not too important because it will be pureed later.)
2.In a large pot heat a few tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat and saute the onions, garlic, and celery. Cook for five minutes until the vegetables soften and gain a little color.
3. Add the tomato sauce, chicken stock, herbs, salt and sugar. Lower the heat and simmer for half a hour.
4. After the soup has had time to simmer, remove the whole herbs and then use either a counter top blender or hand blender to puree the soup. (If transferring the mixture to a counter top blender use a large ladle instead of trying to pour it from the pot.) Blend the soup until it has a very smooth consistency.
5. Transfer the pureed soup back into the large pot, add the cream and continue to simmer over low heat for ten minutes.
6. While the soup is simmering assemble the sandwich. Spread softened butter onto the outside of your bread slices, then flip them over and spread pesto on the inside of the bread. Lay slices of taleggio cheese on the pesto and then the turkey.
7. Heat a small saute pan over medium heat and cook the grilled cheese on each side until it is golden brown and the cheese has melted, about four minutes per side.
8. Serve the soup with a garnish of basil or whipped ricotta and the grilled cheese.
Taleggio cheese is a semi-soft, washed rind cheese from northern Italy. Made from cows milk it has a pungent aroma yet subtle and mild flavor. If you cannot find taleggio a soft brie would work similarly.
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