LEONARD MALTIN’S – GRILLED CHEESE AND TOMATO SOUP
- 4 slices white sandwich bread
- ¼ pound cheddar cheese slice 1/3 inches thick (or any cheese you wish)
- Unsalted butter, room temperature
- Heat skillet on low heat and add enough butter to coat the pan evenly.
- Place two slices of cheese between two pieces of bread.
- Butter the outside of the sandwich.
- Put the sandwich in the bottom of the pan.
- Cook over low heat. Use the spatula to check for a golden brown color after 5 minutes.
- After a golden brown color has been achieved, flip the sandwich over and check after 5 minutes for the same golden brown color.
- Cheese should be completely melted at this point.
- Plate the sandwich and serve with a bowl of canned tomato soup (make soup according to directions on can).
Roasted Tomato and Fennel soup
- 3 pounds ripe plum tomatoes cut in half lengthwise
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 fennel bulb, sliced thin
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 1 (28 ounce) canned plum tomatoes with juice
- 1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 cheesecloth sachet filled with thyme, bay leaf, peppercorns, fennel seed and chili flakes.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Toss together the tomatoes, sliced fennel, ¼ cup olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Spread the tomatoes in 1 layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast for approximately 45 minutes.
- In an 8-quart stockpot over medium heat, sauté the onions and garlic with 2 tablespoons of olive oil until the onions start to soften.
- Add a pinch of salt and pepper, fresh thyme, canned tomatoes, chicken stock, and herb filled sachet. Stir well.
- Add the oven-roasted tomatoes and fennel, including the liquid to stockpot.
- Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
- REMOVE herb filled sachet before completing the next step.
- Remove from heat. With an immersion blender (or a food processer or regular blender), blend or pulse till mixture is smooth.
- Taste for seasonings (add more salt and/or pepper if needed).
- Serve hot or cold.