I know I say everything is my favorite, but I have to say Tomato Bisque Soup with a Grilled Cheese Sandwich is at the top of my list. I bought a Panini press years ago, and usually only bring it out when I want a grilled cheese sandwich. Of course, you can use any pan to make grilled cheese easily.
- either 3 cans of whole peeled Roma tomatoes or buy approximately 20-30 fresh Roma tomatoes
- 1 medium to large size carrot, peeled/boiled/pureed (optional)
- 2 to 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 3 to 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 to 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 package of thinly sliced prosciutto (optional as garnish and to add flavor)
- 1/4 cup cream
- 1 to 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 to 3 cups of chicken or veggie broth (depends on how thick you like your soup, so try one cup first after adding cream to check the consistency)
- If you are adding the carrot, peel it, chop it into several large pieces until soft and then set aside to puree with tomatoes.
- If you are using fresh Roma tomato’s, place them on a cookie sheet and baste with olive oil. Place in a 400 degree over for approximately 20-30 minutes or until they look roasted and the skin looks like its separating from the tomato. Once done cooling off, peel of the skin. Then place the tomatoes in Cuisinart and puree with carrot. If you are using canned whole peeled tomatoes, place them in the Cuisinart and puree with carrot as well. Set aside.
- In large pot combine olive oil, shallots, garlic and rosemary and cook at medium heat for approximately 5 minutes or until shallots are translucent at medium heat.
- Add the tomato puree, fresh thyme, cream and all the other spices. Then add the first cup of chicken or veggie broth. If you don’t like thick soup, continue to add the broth until you have reached the correct consistency.
- Cook on low heat for approximately 1 to 2 hours to let all the flavors blend.
- If you want to add prosciutto, finely slice the prosciutto and cook on medium heat until crispy. There is enough fat on it that you should not have to put anything else in the pan. Set aside until ready to serve and add on top.
- While the soup is simmering, cook your favorite grilled cheese sandwich. I like to mix cheeses. My favorite is Gouda, White Cheddar or Sharp Cheddar and sometimes Havarti. If you have a Panini press, I usually add shredded parmesan cheese to the outside of the bread to make it more crispy. I usually use sour dough bread, but you can really use any bread you like.