This is a slightly updated version of an old time favorite. I’ve been making this soup for a while now but the grilled cheese sandwiches were inspired by Emerson Cafe’s mozzarella and basil paninis. This recipe takes no longer than 40 minutes to prepare and is an easy meal for even the most unexperienced cooks.
Ingredients: Soup: 4 firm tomatoes of your choice, 1/2 white onion, 2-3 cloves of garlic, 1/2 cup of olive oil, 4 cups of water (vegetable broth if the tomatoes don’t have enough flavor), 1/2 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, chili flakes, 2-4 fresh basil leaves, salt and pepper to taste and a few basil leaves to garnish.
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (2 sandwiches, 4 triangles): 4 pieces of sliced bread of your choice, 2 small balls of fresh mozzarella, 8 fresh basil leaves, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 clove of garlic, salt and pepper to taste
Begin by adding 1/2 cup of olive oil to a pot on medium to high heat. Chop the onion finely.
Add the onions to the hot pan with olive oil. Crush 2-3 cloves of garlic and also throw in the pan. Next roughly chop the 4 tomatoes leaving the skin on. Throw into the pan.
Add chili flakes, black pepper and salt to season and left all to cook for 10 minutes on medium high.
After the tomatoes begin breaking apart (should take around 10 minutes), add 4 cups of water (or vegetable broth if you feel like there is not enough flavor) and cook uncovered for another 10 minutes. After cook covered for the last 7-10 minutes. Let it cool.
After the soup cools down (we don’t want the blender to burst if the soup is hot), pour the mixture into the blender, add 1/2 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and 2-4 fresh basil leaves.
Blend/puree the soup for 1-2 minutes.
You can make the grilled cheese sandwiches while waiting for the soup to cook or while it cools down. Slice fresh mozzarella cheese.
Place on the bread. Tear 4 fresh basil leaves for every sandwich and place on top of the mozzarella cheese slices. In a small bowl, mix 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1 clove of crushed garlic, salt and black pepper. Pour half of the sauce over the basil and the cheese.
Close the sandwiches and brush both sides of the sandwiches with the remaining olive oil mixture. Grill the sandwiches for 2-4 minutes on both sides. Enjoy!