Friday, December 17, 2010

S+S chow: creamy tomato basil soup and mozzarella grilled cheese

So here in NC, and what seems like the rest of the country, its freezing and all we can think about is a hearty soup and a good old fashioned grilled cheese sandwich. There is an amazing restaurant called La Madeleine that has a national presence, but is mostly seen in Texas. They have easily the best tomato basil soup that we have ever laid eyes on. Today we are giving you their recipe, and you will not be disappointed.

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 salt
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.


You are the best, the most, the everything.