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Tomato Basil Soup paired with a Grilled Cheese Sandwich is a match made in culinary heaven. The soup, with its rich and velvety texture, is made from ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, and a blend of aromatic spices. The grilled cheese sandwich, on the other hand, is simple yet indulgent, with gooey melted cheese sandwiched between slices of buttery, toasted bread. Together, these dishes create a comforting meal that satisfies both the stomach and the soul.
The pairing of tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches has been a beloved comfort food in the United States for many decades. Tomato soup gained popularity in the early 20th century when canned soups became widely available. Grilled cheese sandwiches, initially made with only bread and cheese, evolved during the Great Depression as an affordable and filling meal.
As time went on, the combination of tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwich became a classic, with the tangy and savory flavors of the soup perfectly complementing the richness of the sandwich.
Aside from being delicious, tomato basil soup and grilled cheese sandwiches also offer nutritional benefits. Tomatoes are rich in vitamins C and K, potassium, and the antioxidant lycopene, which has been linked to reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer. Basil contains essential oils and flavonoids and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Cheese, on the other hand, is a good source of protein, calcium, and other vitamins and minerals essential for bone health. Combining these ingredients in a single meal makes for not only a tasty experience but a nutritious one as well.
For Tomato Basil Soup:
- Large pot or Dutch oven
- Knife and cutting board
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Wooden spoon or spatula for stirring
- Blender or immersion blender
- Bowls for serving
For Grilled Cheese Sandwich:
- Non-stick skillet or griddle
- Butter knife or spreader
- Cutting board
- Knife for cutting the sandwich
- Plates for serving
By having these tools and equipment at hand, you’ll ensure a smooth and efficient cooking process for this delightful lunch combo.
- Serve the tomato basil soup in a bowl with a sprinkle of fresh basil and a drizzle of olive oil on top.
- Place the grilled cheese sandwich on a plate next to the bowl of soup.
- You can also serve the sandwich by dipping it into the soup for added flavor and texture.
This combination is classic comfort food and is perfect for a cozy and satisfying lunch.
For the tomato basil soup (serves 4):
- Fresh tomatoes: 6 medium-sized
- Fresh basil leaves: 1 cup
- Olive oil: 2 tablespoons
- Onion: 1 medium, chopped
- Garlic: 2 cloves, minced
- Salt: 1 teaspoon
- Black pepper: 1/2 teaspoon
- Vegetable or chicken broth: 4 cups
- Heavy cream (optional): 1/4 cup
For the grilled cheese sandwich (serves 4):
- Sliced bread: 8 slices
- Butter: 4 tablespoons
- Cheese slices: 8 slices
- Salt (optional): A pinch per sandwich
Optional ingredients for added flavor or nutrition For the tomato basil soup:
- Red pepper flakes: for a spicy kick
- Parmesan cheese: for garnish
For the grilled cheese sandwich:
- Tomato slices: for added freshness
- Fresh basil leaves: for an aromatic touch
- Dijon mustard: for an extra tang
Step-by-step guide on how to prepare the tomato basil soup
- Start by washing the tomatoes and fresh basil.
- In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped onions and garlic and sauté until they become translucent.
- Add the tomatoes, chopped basil, salt, pepper, and any other spices or herbs you like. Cook for a few minutes.
- Pour in vegetable or chicken broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Then, reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 20-30 minutes, or until the tomatoes are soft and cooked through.
- Use an immersion blender to blend the soup until smooth, or let it cool slightly and blend it in batches in a regular blender.
- Taste the soup and adjust seasonings as needed. If you prefer a creamier texture, you can add a splash of cream or milk.
Step-by-step guide on how to make a grilled cheese sandwich
- Lay out slices of bread and butter one side of each slice. Turn them over so the buttered side is down.
- Place slices of your preferred cheese between two slices of bread, with the buttered side facing out.
- Heat a non-stick skillet or griddle over medium heat.
- Place the sandwich in the skillet and cook until the bread is golden brown and crispy, and the cheese is melted. This usually takes about 3-5 minutes per side.
- Remove the sandwich from the skillet and let it cool for a minute before cutting into halves or quarters.
Tips on how to achieve the perfect consistency for the soup and crispiness for the sandwich
- For the soup, make sure not to over-blend; leaving a little texture can be nice. If the soup is too thick, you can add a bit more broth to thin it out.
- For the sandwich, cook it on medium heat to ensure that the bread gets crispy without burning, and that the cheese has time to melt.
Suggestions for the types of cheese that work best in grilled cheese sandwiches
- Cheddar: Classic and popular, cheddar cheese melts well and has a sharp and savory flavor.
- Gruyere: Known for its creamy and smooth melt, Gruyere adds a nutty flavor to the sandwich.
- Mozzarella: If you’re looking for a cheese with a mild flavor and excellent melt, mozzarella is a great choice.
- Provolone: This semi-hard cheese has a mild taste and melts beautifully.
- Pepper Jack: For a spicy kick, try using pepper jack cheese.
Tips for adding depth of flavor to the tomato basil soup
- Roast the tomatoes: Before adding them to the pot, roast the tomatoes in the oven. This will enhance their natural sweetness and give the soup a richer flavor.
- Use fresh basil: While dried basil can be used, fresh basil adds a more vibrant and aromatic flavor to the soup.
- Add a splash of wine: A small amount of red or white wine can add depth and complexity to the soup.
- Finish with a drizzle of good quality olive oil: This will add richness and a hint of fruitiness to the soup.
Ideas for garnishes and accompaniments
- Croutons: Add some crunchy croutons to the soup for added texture.
- Fresh herbs: Sprinkle some fresh parsley or thyme on top of the soup.
- Grated Parmesan: A light dusting of grated Parmesan cheese over the soup adds a wonderful savory note.
- Side salad: Serve the grilled cheese sandwich and tomato basil soup with a small side salad for some freshness and crunch.
Detailed nutritional content per serving (calories, macronutrients, vitamins, minerals, etc.)
- Calories: Approximately 550 kcal
- Protein: Approx. 20g
- Carbohydrates: Approx. 60g
- Dietary Fiber: Approx. 7g
- Sugars: Approx. 10g
- Fat: Approx. 25g
- Saturated Fat: Approx. 10g
- Sodium: Approx. 900mg
- Vitamins: Rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, and some B vitamins
- Minerals: Contains calcium, iron, and potassium
Please note that the nutritional information is approximate and can vary based on the specific ingredients used.
This recipe guide has provided you with the steps and tips needed to create a heartwarming tomato basil soup paired with a crispy grilled cheese sandwich. Made with fresh tomatoes, aromatic basil, and your choice of cheeses, this combination is not only delicious but also packed with nutrients.
The soup’s velvety texture and rich flavor coupled with the sandwich’s cheesy goodness make for a comforting and satisfying meal.
Whether you’re looking to warm up on a cold day or just craving a classic comfort dish, this tomato basil soup and grilled cheese sandwich combination is sure to hit the spot. Don’t forget to savor each bite and enjoy the symphony of flavors!
We’d love to hear how your tomato basil soup and grilled cheese sandwich turned out! Share your experiences, photos, or any creative twists you added to the recipe with friends and family. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #TomatoBasilGrilledCheese on social media. Happy cooking!