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Best Grilled Cheese. Ever. + Tomato Soup.
Cooking Time: approximately 20 minutes
Serving Size: 3 sandwiches, 3- 6oz cups soup (3 servings)
1 loaf Ciabatta, Italian, Portuguese bread, cut into thirds with ends removed
¼ ea red onion, minced
2 oz butter
2 oz flour
½ cup beer (choose your favorite ale or stout)
1 cup whole milk*
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp kosher salt
3 slices Swiss cheese
Fire Roasted Tomato Soup
1 TB olive oil
1 TB garlic, chopped
¼ ea red onion, minced
31 oz fire roasted tomatoes, canned, NAS**
2 TB tomato paste
2 oz chicken stock
½ tsp black pepper
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp sugar
1 tsp basil, dried
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut each slice of bread horizontally, then scoop a little bit of bread out of each side to create a small gully, avoiding the edges.
Meanwhile, melt butter in saucepan over medium weight; add the flour. Make a light roux, stirring occasionally, until it starts to look like wet sand and has a light scent of toasted nuts. Add the beer, cooking for 2 minutes; add the milk. Stir with a whisk until smooth. Add cheese and season with salt & pepper, whisking until cheese is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. It should be very thick.
Sauté the garlic and onion in oil until translucent. Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Add the tomato paste, chicken stock, and season with salt, pepper basil, and sugar. Continue cooking until the tomato paste is fully dissolved and the soup is boiling. Pour the mixture into a food processor and blend until smooth.
Assembling a sandwich: Add 3 TB cheese mixture to each side of the bread. Break the Swiss cheese in half and place in the middle of the sandwich.
Toast the sandwich in the oven with ½ tsp olive oil rubbed on top until golden brown and the swiss cheese is melted.
Storage and Turn-out
Cut each sandwich in half and serve alongside 6 oz of soup. Soup can be stored under refrigeration up to 3 days.
*Whole milk is used here due to its rich flavor profile and stability with heat. Lower fat milks will separate easier and faster over high heat because the lack of fat.
**NAS = no added salt