Cream of Tomato Soup with Fontina
Mushroom & Truffle Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 3/4 cup onion, diced small
- 1/2 cup carrot, diced small
- 1/2 cup celery, diced small
- 1 Tbsp garlic, minced
- 3 Tbsp tomato paste
- 2 28-oz cans whole tomatoes, crushed by hand with juice reserved
- 1 qt chicken stock
- 1 Tbsp marjoram
- 2–1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
- Set a 3-qt saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, and when hot, add the onions, carrots, and celery to the pan. Sauté the vegetables, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent and the carrots are soft, 4–5 minutes. Add the garlic to the pan and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste and the tomatoes (and their juices) to the pan and stir to incorporate. Continue to cook until the liquid comes to a boil. Add the chicken stock and marjoram to the pan and return to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, season with salt and pepper, and cook until the flavors have married, about 30 minutes.
- Remove the soup from the heat and, using an immersion blender, or in batches in a bar blender, puree the soup until smooth. Return the soup to the heat and add the balsamic vinegar and heavy cream to the soup. Cook for 5 minutes, stir the basil, and serve immediately with the grilled cheese sandwiches (recipe below).
Grilled Cheese Ingredients:
- 1 cup Fontina cheese, grated
- 2 cups Sottocenere or other truffle cheese, grated
- 20 slices white sandwich bread
- 20 very thin slices prosciutto
- 10 crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup olive oil, divided
Grilled Cheese Preparation:
- Combine the cheeses and set aside. Lay 10 slices of bread out on a clean surface. Carefully fold 2 slices of prosciutto onto the bread, making sure that the prosciutto does not reach over the edge of the bread. Lay 9–12 slices of mushrooms over the prosciutto in 1 layer and top with 1/4 cup of the cheese. Place a piece of bread on top of the sandwich and brush with about 1 teaspoon olive oil.
- Heat a grill pan over medium heat and once hot, place 2 sandwiches, olive oil side down, on the grill. Brush the exposed side of the sandwich with another teaspoon or so of olive oil. Use a grill press or another pan to weight the sandwiches. Cook sandwiches for 2–1/2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown grill marks have formed and the cheese is beginning to melt.
- Turn to the other side and cook for another 2–1/2 to 3 minutes, or until the bread is crispy and the cheese is melted. Remove from grill and cut in half diagonally. Continue to cook the remaining 8 sandwiches in the same manner.
- Serve each sandwich with a cup of Cream of Tomato soup (recipe above). Makes 10 sandwiches.