Creamy Tomato Soup & Loaded Grilled Cheese

Grilled-Cheese

This month’s Kosher Connection link-up is all about comfort food. I had a hard time decided just which food I should share with you. I decided to share with you a food and a memory that brings comfort to me. Be sure to scroll all the way down to the end of this post to see some other great recipes from my fellow Kosher Connection bloggers!

I have several defining food moments of my life. Many of them revolve around lazy Sundays with my family. My parents would both be cooking in the kitchen and my sisters and I would be running from room to room taking in the delicious smells, and probably engaged in some sibling rivalry.

Sundays were days filled with a bustle of activity. Our days were spent running from swimming to pottery to theater at the JCC, and then home for a warm supper around the family table. One of my dad’s specialties is a loaded grilled cheese sandwich. My sisters and I would gobble that sandwich up.

This grilled cheese was never just standard white bread and American cheese. It was always filled with surprises. Some days it would be tomato and onion within the gooey cheese. Other days, we might find a sprinkling of sunflower seeds hidden inside. We always enjoyed it.

Later in college, whenever I was in the mood for that taste of home,  I would order up a grilled cheese sandwich. Like during my childhood, it always had stuff in it. It was often filled with provolone, onions and mushrooms. On a rainy day, I would add a cup of soup to the meal. I learned to love creamy tomato soup on those rainy New York days. Dipping a corner of grilled cheese in to that soup and chowing down – that spelled out a bit of heaven.

Pure comfort on a plate.

I thought I’d share this fabulous meal with you today.

Creamy Tomato Soup
 
Author:
Recipe type: Soup

Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. ground pepper
  • 1 – 28 oz. can of roasted tomatoes
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • ½ cup half & half
  • additional salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
  1. In a large soup pot, heat up the olive oil on medium-high heat.
  2. Add in the onions, celery, carrots, garlic and herbs.
  3. Cook on medium-high for a few minutes until the onions begin to soften.
  4. Stir in the canned tomatoes.
  5. After a couple minutes of cooking, add in the vegetable broth.
  6. Let the soup come to a boil and then turn down the heat to medium low and cover the pot.
  7. Let the soup simmer covered for about 45 minutes.
  8. Check on the soup. The carrots should have softened.
  9. Puree the soup with an immersion blender.
  10. Stir in the half & half.
  11. Taste the soup and adjust seasoning.
  12. Serve and enjoy!

Creamy-Tomato-Soup

Loaded Grilled Cheese
 
Author:
Recipe type: Sandwich
Serves: 2 sandwiches

Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • ½ tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 5 cremini mushrooms, sliced thinly
  • 3-4 slices cooked veggie bacon, optional (or the real bacon!)
  • 4 slices of your favorite hearty bread
  • 2 slices Provolone cheese
  • 2 slices Cheddar cheese
  • 2 slices Swiss Cheese
  • Butter for grilling the sandwiches

Instructions
  1. Heat up the butter and olive oil in a saute pan.
  2. Once the butter has melted, add in the onions. Turn the heat down to medium-low. Cook the onions slowly until caramelized. About 15-20 minutes.
  3. Once the onions begin to caramelize, add in the garlic and sliced mushrooms. Let those cook and soften as well.
  4. Remove from heat once onions are done and set aside.
  5. Cook the veggie bacon or regular bacon in a pan or in the oven or per directions on the package. Set aside.
  6. Make the sandwich. Place a slice of provolone on the bread slice and then layer the onions and mushrooms then cheese then bacon then more cheese and then the other slice of bread.
  7. Butter the outside of the bread.
  8. Grill in a fry pan over medium-high heat until brown on both sides and the cheese is melted.
  9. Serve and enjoy!

 

Asparagus and Swiss Cheese Galette

A friend of mine was headed out of town, so she graciously offered me her CSA for the week. Was so happy to see this lovely box of local, seasonal veggies. In the box were some beautiful greens, some tomatoes, fresh strawberries, eggs and some amazingly fresh asparagus. Just picked and grown less than 25 miles away from me! Love it!

I  really want to highlight each of these lovely fruits and veggies on their own. That’s how good they are are. I wanted the asparagus to have a starring role in tonight’s main dish. I thought about a shaved asparagus salad, but I knew that it wouldn’t be filling enough for the rest of the family. I also didn’t really want to cut up the asparagus too much. It looks too pretty to mess with.

Here is a lovely Asparagus and Swiss Cheese galette that worked for our family. When paired with a salad, it makes for a perfect light dinner.

Asparagus and Swiss Cheese Galette
Ingredients:

1 sheet puff pastry
2 cloves of garlic sliced
1 tbsp. dijon mustard
swiss cheese or gruyere
2 tsp.dried thyme or 1 tbsp. fresh
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 tsp. ground pepper
1 tsp. salt
1/2 pound of asparagus, washed and trimmed (thin stalks are better)
1 shallot chopped

Preheat oven to 400.

Roll out your puff pastry dough. Lay on a parchment paper lined baking tray.

Prick the dough with a fork along the inside of the edges. Leave about 1/2 – inch of clearance. This will form your crust.

Spread a thin layer mustard inside the fork pricks. Lay garlic pieces over this.

Lay cheese over the mustard.

Sprinkle herbs over this.

Lay out the asparagus however you’d like.

Sprinkle chopped shallots over the asparagus.

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Bake in oven for about 20 minutes.

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Enjoy with a salad for a nice, light and easy dinner! Gah! I have a weakness for buttery puff pastry. Way too good!

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