La Madeleine's Creamy Tomato Basil Soup
4 cups tomatoes, peeled, cored and chopped, or canned whole tomatoes, crushed
4 cups tomato juice OR part tomato juice and part vegetable or chicken stock
14 washed fresh basil leaves
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 pound sweet, unsalted butter
Salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
Combine tomatoes, juice/and or stock in saucepan. Simmer 30 minutes. Puree, along with the basil leaves, in small batches, in blender, food processor (or better yet, one of those handy hand-held food blenders, right in the cooking pan). Return to saucepan and add cream and butter, while stirring, over low heat. Garnish with basil leaves and serve with your favorite bread.
Mozzarella Grilled Cheese Sandwich
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
10 to 12 basil leaves, torn
4 slices bread, fresh artisan or a whole grain loaf
Pinch cracked black pepper
2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Parsley
1 teaspoon Garlic Salt
Preheat a grill over medium-high heat.
Assemble the sandwiches by arranging some sliced mozzarella and basil, sprinkled with salt and pepper, between 2 slices of bread. Repeat for the remaining 2 slices of bread. Brush both sides of the sandwiches with olive oil, parsley and garlic Salt mixture. Put on hot grill and cook until the sandwich is evenly melted, about 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Transfer to serving plates and serve hot.