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Test Kitchen: Warm up with tomato soup, herbed grilled cheese

By Jessica Rodrigo
Jan. 15, 2014 at 3 p.m.
Updated Jan. 14, 2014 at 7:15 p.m.

Grilled cheese sammies get additional flavor with herbs and pair well with homemade tomato soup.

TOMATO SOUP

Servings 2-3

• 2 fresh tomatoes, diced

• 1 12-oz. can of tomato puree

• 1/2

• 2 tsp. dried basil

• 1/2

• 2-3 cloves of garlic

• 1 tbsp. olive oil

• 21/2

• 1/4

• 1/2

• 1/4

• Salt and ground black pepper

In a medium-size pot, heat olive oil over medium to medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until the onions are translucent. Add the diced tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Allow the mixture to cook down for about 10 minutes until the tomatoes lose their shape and the mixture is a golden color. Pour pureed tomatoes into the pot and mix in the dried herbs. Puree mixture in blender if desired, being sure to leave the lid open a little bit to allow the heat to escape while blending. Adjust seasoning to taste and serve hot.

HERBED GRILLED CHEESE

Servings 2 sandwiches

• 1 tsp. dried basil, divided

• 1 tsp. dried thyme, divided

• 3 tbsp. butter, divided

• 4 slices of bread

• 2-4 slices of cheese of choice

• Salt and ground black pepper

In skillet, melt half the butter, half the herbs, and salt and pepper over a medium heat. Once melted, place two pieces of bread in the butter. Add one or two slices of cheese to each piece of bread and top with remaining slices of bread. Once the bottom slices of bread are browned to desired doneness, remove from skillet and set aside. Melt remaining butter and add remaining herbs, salt and pepper. Return the sandwiches to the skillet with the uncooked side down and cook until desired doneness is achieved. Serve hot.

Can't make it? Go get it.

Jason's Deli

• ADDRESS: 5301 N Navarro St., Victoria

• PHONE: 361-575-3354

• WHEN: 8 a.m.-10 p.m. daily

I had my first experience with tomato soup when I was in college.

It wasn't a staple in our house growing up, but it became a go-to meal when winter rolled around and the temperatures dipped into the 30s and 40s.

Everyone enjoys tomato soup with a gooey grilled cheese sandwich or quesadilla. Even a few pieces of toast will do the trick.

I like to dip my sandwich or tear it into pieces and toss them into the bowl like croutons on a salad.

To achieve a tomato soup iconic of the Campbell's canned variety, puree the soup in a blender and put it through a sieve.

You can also use an immersion blender or leaves it as is. I like the immersion blender method because it leave the soup thicker and more substantial on the spoon.

When the next cold front hits, grab a bowl of tomato soup and warm up to a grilled cheese.

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