When I first started blogging, one of my earliest “fellow blogger” was Sue over at A Palatable Pastime. Her recipes from A to Z never seem to fail me and her delicious Winter Tomato Soup was no exception. (http://palatablepastime.com/2015/01/26/winter-tomato-soup/)
The first time I made this soup, I followed her recipe to the Tee. And it was very good. The second time around, I had to put my own spin on things just a bit. It would be impossible to say which is better – they are equally good. It really boils down to personal preferences. My guys prefer the creamier version. All I know is that it’s all good.
There’s something about Tomato Soup that just naturally goes with grilled sandwiches. Some people go for the grilled cheese variety. Some like a Tuna Melt (my personal favorite); while my guys go for Grilled Ham and Cheese on Sourdough. Hubby is strictly an American Cheese kind of guy, while Kiddo and I like to mix it up a bit with Pepper Jack or Smoked Gouda.
Almost from Scratch Wintertime Tomato Soup
1 cup shallots, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon roasted garlic, minced
Cracked Black Pepper to taste
28 oz canned San Marzano tomatoes
12 oz Spicy V-8 juice
2 tablespoons tomato paste (from a tub)
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon fresh basil, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup Half & Half
Dollop of sour cream for garnish, optional
Heat butter and oil in a stainless steel saucepan. (Don’t use a non-stick pan – you will be using an immersion mixer later and you don’t want to ruin the finish).
Saute shallots until just tender, about 5 minutes. Add minced roasted garlic and give it all a quick swirl. To the saucepan, add tomatoes, V-8 juice, tomato paste, sugar, basil and Marjoram.
Bring soup mixture to a boil, reduce heat, cover and gently simmer for about 15 minutes.
Remove from heat and puree soup using an immersion mixer until smooth and silky. How long this will take depends upon the style of tomatoes used. Whole will take a little longer to puree than chopped or diced tomatoes.
Return pan to low heat, add milk and half and half. Gently heat through without boiling.
Ladle soup into bowl, and dollop with a little sour cream if desired just before.
Grilled Ham and Two-Cheese Sandwiches on Sourdough
8 Slices Yellow Cheese *
8 Slices Pepper Jack Cheese
8 oz Deli Style Ham
8 Slices Sourdough Bread
Butter for grilling bread
Cover four slices of sourdough bread with jack cheese, then deli ham, followed by yellow cheese. Top with remaining sourdough.
Head griddle or flat skilled to about 325 degrees. Brush griddle with a little butter. Place sandwiches on griddle, jack cheese as bottom layer (jack cheese will take a little longer to melt, so you’ll want to have it closest to heat source first).
Grill sandwiches until crisp and golden-brown, about 5 minutes or so. Turn, and grill other side until golden and the cheese has fully melted.
Remove from griddle, cut in half and serve alongside soup.
* Note: When selecting a yellow cheese, use American or THIN Cheddar – something that will melt easily.
Stay warm everyone!