January 10, 2013

"Grown Up" Grilled Cheese & Easy Red Pepper Tomato Soup

Hands down....the best sandwich I
ever made!  Tonight was a great night!  I had some downtime today at work...and when that happens...well I think about food. I think about recipes and I think about this blog.  Sometimes...that's  a bad thing.  I wanted to make something different for dinner. I have been with the same fella for the past (almost) 9 years and I don't think him or I have ever made a grilled cheese sandwich.  Sad...yes. Very sad actually.  Who does that? I guess there's a first time for everything.

Back briefly to my downtime... so after coming up with the classic "grilled cheese and tomato soup" combo today, I wrote out both recipes and ingredients and couldn't wait til the clock struck 5:30ish. I did everything that I had "planned" in my head for tonight and I am pretty proud of that. I got home around 6:30, took the dog for a nice walk,  so was not going to do the gym...but I did!  I did the stair bastard again and some treadmill time.  Decent workout. About 25 minutes I'd say. Then I finally hit the food store.  All of that was finished before 8pm!  I think the clock said 7:58 when I walked in the kitchen.

I have to start with this soup.  This soup has a tiny kick of spice. It's comforting. And of course, delish!!  It was so easy!   This is definitely more of an  "adult" friendly soup. Unless your six year old already has a mature palate. ;-)  The hubby isn't a big soup person. However, when we go out and I order soup, he has to give it a try. Sometimes before I even try it!  He liked this soup though and I am just happy that he gave it a whirl.

Easy Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup EVOO
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  •  2 cans chicken broth
  • 1 red pepper, chop in small chunks
  • Basil Leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic (jarred or fresh garlic chopped)
  • 1 cup heavy cream 
  • 1 tbsp. butter (1 small pat )
  • 1 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
  • Salt & Pepper

Begin by Sauteing the minced garlic and olive oil in a large sauce pan. Add a little S&P.

Add your chopped red pepper to the mix. Cook down about a good five minutes or until peppers are  soft.

Finally add the beautiful basil leaves.
You don't have to get fancy...I just love my 'chop 'n' scoop' !

 I would eat this just like that.  I wish you could have smelled the aromas cookin'!
  Add a touch more S&P.  Use coarse salt if you have it. I love coarse salt...Just didn't have it. Or I forgot to pick it up at the store...Oops.

Once everything is pretty well sauteed and the flavors have melded together, spoon carefully into food processor or blender. *Contents will be hot*

While the red pepper mixture is blending away, add in your crushed tomatoes, and chicken broth. Let both get to know each other for a couple minutes.

Once blended, pour  mixture into the sauce pan with tomatoes and chicken broth. FYI, this red pepper blend would be an incredible pasta sauce!  Realllllllly good!

Toss in that 'pat' of butter now. It adds a glorious silkiness to the soup. yum!  Also add a touch more S&P (if you'd like) and then the cayenne pepper.

Cover and let everything combine for a couple minutes; until bubbly.

Now add in your cream. Heavy cream is a beautiful thing. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Look at this color. Stunning.  Cook until nice and hot and bubbly again.  This soup is healthy (maybe w/o the cream, but I can't nix the cream. I just can't).  But um, yes, It's healthy, has a nice kick to it and it's extremely tasty.  This might just top Grandma's Classic Chicken Noodle Soup.  Might I said. Spice does help open up sinuses though...

Top with garlic croutons, sour cream, or shredded cheese. Or all of that stuff I just mentioned. There is cheese in there. It has melted. I promise it's in there though. Enjoy!

This grilled cheese sandwich was seriously A-MAZE-ING!  The hubby uttered these words tonight:  "I'm not big on tomatoes in sandwiches, but this is reallllllly good."  I love it when he LOVES what I make.  He's a picky eater for sure. I am not. I am quite the opposite.  With him, you just have to watch how many greens are out on the plate or a chili or soup does not contain any kind of bean.  But he seemed to adore this sandwich tonight. So much in fact, that I made him 2! I also very much enjoyed this grilled cheese. I only had 1 sandwich though. 

You just have to make this sandwich. Like, make it tomorrow night.  You'll thank me.

"Grown Up" Grilled Cheese


  • Marble Rye Bread
  • Fresh Mozzarella 
  • Apple wood Hickory Smoked Gruyere
  •  1-3 basil leaves, whole, per sandwich
  • 1 tomato
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Dried Oregano
  • Lots of margarine/butter

In a frying pan over medium-high heat, keep melting pats of butter.  When it comes to grilled cheese sandwiches, you need a good amount of butter. That's just the way the cookie crumbles.  Mmmm cookies.....

 The saltiness of the mozzarella and the smoky flavor of the Gruyere pack a serious burst of flavor! 

The cheese won't be oozy and gooey...just the right amount of "melted."

Time to assemble.  I sprinkle salt, pepper and dried oregano on the tomato.

 This sandwich is pretty much to die for.  The best part though?  Is the crunch factor from the toasty bread and then you just dunk it in its partner in crime, tomato soup. 

Stunning. I kind of want another one...


  1. I think I want you to move back home Dana!!! LOL That is so awesome and looks delish!!! I think I will have to make that for Dad. Keep up the good work. Love you Mom

  2. Come over and I will make you both some :-)

  3. That soup and sandwich look fantastic! I am going to have to try that soup recipe! :)

  4. Thanks Shawn! They were both seriously tasty! Love your blog!! Thanks for stopping by. :)