• 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 3 cups yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • Large pinch of saffron threads
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 4 (1/2-inch-thick) slices country white bread
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 slices Gruyere cheese

It’s about that time to bring out the stock pot and start cooking up soups.  One of my all time favorites, and a classic, is tomato soup and grilled cheese. I took a recipe from Food Network that puts these two classics into one bowl and tweaked it a bit.   The recipe includes saffron threads which are a pricier spice with a very unique flavor. If you haven’t already tried saffron I would recommend getting some from a high quality spice store for this recipe.

In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add in the onions and saute until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Stir in the chicken stock, tomatoes, salt, pepper, saffron and basil.  Bring the soup to a boil and then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. I used my stick blender to blend the tomatoes and onions to a puree but you can also chop the onions very small initially and leave the soup chunkier.  Add in the cream and simmer for an additional 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Here’s the exciting part, the grilled cheese.  Butter 1 side of each slice of bread and place 1 slice of cheese on 2 of the slices, placing the other piece of bread butter side up on top.  Toast each grilled cheese sandwich until golden brown and then remove from the pan. Cut the sandwiches into small squares and then ladle the soup into bowls and top with the grilled cheese squares. Enjoy!

saffron

grilled cheese

tomato soup