Fresh Tomato Soup and Mini Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

When it’s summertime and tomato season this is the perfect recipe for any cocktail hour or tapas night.  There is nothing like the sweet, tangy flavor of a fresh tomato soup with an ooey-gooey grilled cheese to dip into it.  And served in these soup shot glasses it makes a really elegant and fun presentation that can work for a casual tapas night or a wedding reception or engagement party!

I used heirloom tomatoes but you can use any type of fresh tomato you like if you can’t find heirloom.   If you are using heirloom tomatoes you probably want to stick to red and yellow and orange.  Personally love the Purple Cherokee for flavor but also love the color of the soup I get if I only use orange and yellow tomatoes.  I’ve tried it with green zebras, which I love, but it turned my soup a funny color so steer clear of those.

If you have a favorite local, fresh mozzarella or cheese store I would definitely recommend buying fresh mozzy and adding the spices yourself.  Just remember to drain off the liquid in the package first then add in the zest of 1 lemon , about 1 teaspoon dried basil, 1 clove minced garlic,  olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pinch of red pepper flakes. Marinate for 1 hour or up to overnight. But if you are in a pinch and looking for something pre-marinated I found a great mozzarella at my local Trader Joes.  It’s not the kind packed in water but it’s fresh.  Either way you will love the extra flavor that comes from the spices and herbs in this delicious little grilled cheese bite.

Fresh Tomato Soup

  1. Heat a large heavy bottomed, non reactive pot over medium heat and add the butter.  When the butter is melted add in the shallot and garlic. Saute mixture for 30 seconds, add the tomatoes cut side down in an even layer.  Let cook for 15 minutes until the tomatoes break down and their liquid is released.
  2. Add the wine, sugar, red pepper flakes, water and salt and pepper.  Let cook for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally so nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan.  Cool slightly.
  3. Add mixture to a blender, along with the ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, and puree until smooth.  Return to the pot.
  4. Add in the heavy cream, adjust salt and pepper.  Let simmer another 15 minutes on low and then serve or refrigerate.

Mini Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

  1. Butter one side on each of the slices of sourdough bread.
  2. Heat a cast iron or heavy pan over medium to medium low heat.
  3. Layer the unbuttered side of the bread with the mozzarella and top with the other slice of bread, butter side up.
  4. Grill until golden brown on each side.  Low and slow is better so that your cheese has a chance to melt before the outside gets too browned.
  5. Cut into squares and lay a fresh piece of basil on top of each square and secure with a skewer.

 

Fresh Tomato Soup

1 ½ lbs mix of heirloom tomatoes; core removed and cut in half

1/3 cup shallot, roughly chopped

1 clove garlic, roughly chopped

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2/3 cup White wine

1/2 cup water

1 ½ Tablespoons sugar

Pinch of red pepper flakes

1/3 cup heavy cream

¼ cup fresh basil leaves (about 4-5 leaves)

Salt & Pepper

Mini Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

4 slices sourdough bread from a round loaf

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

6 oz marinated mozzarella cheese (herbs and spices), cut into slices

**or 6 oz fresh mozzarella marinated with lemon, dried basil, garlic, red pepper flakes, olive oil, and salt

8-10 fresh basil leaves for garnish

8-10 skewers

Serves 4 as small bites or appetizer

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1 Comment

  • comment-avatar
    Jenn February 19, 2015 (6:04 pm)

    We made this for dinner last night and everyone loved it – kid does included! The soup has amazing flavor and texture and the combo of the sourdough with mozzarella is such a fun spin on grilled cheese! We will make this again!