Today’s post could not make me happier to share with you, from a foodie perspective. I love this combination for lunch; it’s true comfort food, stemming from my childhood with a mom who served this regularly. Such a happy food memory; simple and delicious. It’s tomato soup with a grilled cheese sandwich. I shared this on Good Morning East Texas today on KLTV7; here’s the link to the video if you’d like to see it:
However, this isn’t your typical sliced American singles on pasty white bread, friends. This creation is so perfect, and was created by the food editor of the Tyler Morning Telegraph, Christine Gardner. She created this during her time in Italy, and I love it! This is a rustic Italian bread, sliced by the bakery for me into perfectly uniform slices, brushed with butter, then inbetween the crusty slices is sandwiched some provolone, fontina, and grated Grana Padano, and a couple of thin slices of prosciutto di Parma. Toast it on each side, then cut it into pieces perfectly sized for dunking into the homemade creamy tomato-basil soup.
I hear you asking: “Did somebody say homemade tomato-basil soup?” I have your answer right here, friends. Now, mom made in her kitchen Campbell’s tomato soup, using whole milk to loosen it instead of water. The milk calmed down the bright red color of the condensed soup and made it a creamy orange-red, which I loved. That’s what I was aiming for when I made my homemade version. I took Chef Jackson York’s lead on this; he shared the ingredients he uses, and the method, and left the amounts up to me. (I am such a fan of Chef Jackson. He’s a great teacher, chef, and friend, and, if you’re in East Texas, you should go eat his food at Edom Bakery and Grill soon!)
Here’s my take on Chef Jackson’s soup:
Creamy Tomato-Basil Soup
One medium onion, diced
One large or two medium cloves of garlic, minced
2 TBS olive oil
1/4 cup plain flour
1 TBS dried basil
1 large can tomato juice
3 cups heavy cream, plus more if needed
salt and pepper, to taste
In a medium-sized soup pot, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook for five minutes, until clear. Add garlic and basil, and cook for a minute longer. Add the flour, and whisk it and allow it to cook for a minute to a minute and a half; don’t allow it to brown. Keep burner to medium level of heat.
Add whole can of tomato juice, whisking it into the veggie mixture. Add the heavy cream, continuing to whisk. Allow to get warm, and taste for saltiness. (I added KOSHER salt, instead of regular table salt, as it isn’t as sharp a flavor and isn’t as easy to over-salt food with.)
You may adjust the amount of basil as desired, also. If using fresh basil instead of dried, add it at the end of cooking instead of at the beginning. Remember to stir frequently, as cream-based soups scorch easily.
Remember to check out my page on Facebook: In the Kitchen With Mama Steph I’d love to visit with you there!