Monday, April 25, 2011

Thursday: Tuscan Tomato Soup and Italian Grilled Cheese

Pin It Now! Since Chef Anne's bologense was such a huge hit, I figured I would try another one of her recipes.  I love tomato soup and grilled cheese, reminds me of my childhood.  This soup is a step up from canned Campbell's; however.  It's easy to make and not too time consuming.  I'm also going to spike up the grilled cheese a bit...can't have plain ol' grilled cheese if I'm making a homemade Tuscan soup!  :)  Can't wait for dinner time!


  • Extra virgin olive oil, plus high quality finishing oil, for garnish
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • Kosher salt
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed and finely chopped
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 pounds ripe summer tomatoes, diced
  • 10 basil leaves, half whole and half cut into chiffonade
  • 2 cups tomato juice
  • 2 cups day-old Italian bread, crusts removed and cubed
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

  • *Chiffonade: "how to"  stack the basil leaves (5 at a time), roll them up, use a sharp knife and cut the roll...viola!) 


Coat a large wide pot with olive oil over medium heat and add the onions. Season with salt and crushed red pepper, to taste, and cook until the onions are soft and very aromatic, about 8 to 10 minutes. Toss in the garlic and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes. Add the wine and cook until it has reduced by half. Stir in the tomatoes, season with salt, to taste, and cook until the tomatoes are really soft and juicy, about 12 to 15 minutes. Toss in the whole basil leaves.
Working in batches, carefully puree the tomatoes in a blender*. Return the tomato puree to the pot and add the tomato juice and the bread. Cook the soup over medium heat for until the bread has completely lost its shape and the soup is really thick, about 20 minutes. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning, if needed.
Ladle the soup into bowls and serve garnished with grated cheese, basil chiffonade and a drizzle of big fat finishing oil.


*When blending hot liquids: Remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway. If using a blender, release one corner of the lid. This prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times then process on high speed until smooth.

Italian Grilled Cheese Recipe


  • 4 slices Italian bread (1 inch thick)
  • 4 slices part-skim mozzarella cheese or provolone cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 2/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs


Cut a 3-in. pocket in each slice of bread; place a slice of cheese in each pocket. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, Italian seasoning and garlic salt. Soak bread for 2 minutes on each side. Coat with bread crumbs.

Cook on a hot greased griddle until golden brown on both side and cooked through. Yield: 4 servings.


Click and Cook said...

This was incredible!!! The soup was thick and rich, just like something from an Italian bistro. And the sandwiches were amazing!! The flavors were so tasty. I didn't soak mine for the full 2 min on each side, so they weren't soggy at all. The kids devoured dinner. Can't wait to make this again.

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