Grilled Cheesy-ness and Tomato Soup
I think pleasure and pure contentment can be found in the simplest of things, especially when it comes in the form of ooey gooey grilled cheese and fresh sweet tomato soup. It seems I can never get enough of the classic combination of sweet tomato, peppery basil and fresh mozzarella cheese. This trio gets a hearty winter update when toasty rustic wheat bread with strings of fresh mozzarella cheese are used as a vessel to transport chunky tomato soup from bowl to mouth. (It really is best enjoyed when coupled with a child-like anticipation that only the the season's first blizzard can bring.) Not only does this simple dish provide warmth on a blustery winter's night, it reminds you that you are never too old to rip off a piece of crusty grilled cheesy yummy-ness and playfully dunk it into a sea of tomato soup. Makes you just want to grab your mittens and scarf and make snow angels, doesn't it?
1 28 oz of crushed tomatoes
1 can of chicken or beef stock
salt and pepper to taste
~ 1 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
~ 2 tbs fresh grated Parmesan cheese
7-8 fresh basil leaves, with 1-2 basil leaves reserved for topping
2 slices of rustic wheat bread
Fresh mozzarella cheese
Pour crushed tomatoes and chicken or beef stock into a saucepan. Stir in Parmesan cheese. Salt and pepper to taste. Let the soup heat, covered, on medium low. Cook for 20-30 minutes. Meanwhile make the grilled cheese sandwich. Just before serving, mix in the basil and oil (this ensures that the flavors of the olive oil and basil really come through). Ladle the soup into cups and garnish with remaining basil. Serve with the side of grilled cheese for dipping, of course.
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