Fresh Tomato Soup With Grilled Cheese
- 4 1/2 pounds tomatoes (4 pounds quartered, 1/2 pound chopped)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 4 scallions, chopped
- 1 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup mini bow ties or other mini pasta
- 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 4 slices multigrain bread
- 2 thin slices low-sodium ham
- Chopped fresh basil, for topping
Puree the quartered tomatoes in a blender. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and half of the scallions and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Increase the heat to medium high; strain the pureed tomatoes through a mesh sieve into the pot. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, 1 cup water, the cream, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the pasta and cook until tender, about 10 minutes; season with salt and pepper.
Toss the remaining scallions with the cheeses; divide half the mixture between 2 bread slices. Top each with a slice of ham, the remaining cheese mixture and the other 2 bread slices. Heat the remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Cook the sandwiches until the cheese melts, 3 minutes per side; cut in half. Ladle the soup into bowls; top with basil and serve with the sandwiches.
Photograph by Justin Walker