Tex-Mex Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter, plus some butter at room temperature for the sandwiches
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced or chopped
- 2 onions, chopped
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo, seeded and chopped, plus 1 round tablespoon adobo sauce
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- One 32-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes
- 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup sour cream
- 8 slices white or whole wheat bread
- 8 slices pepper Jack cheese
- 1/4 cup chives, finely chopped, to garnish
Preheat a griddle pan for the grilled cheese over medium heat.
Heat a medium soup pot over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and melt 2 tablespoons butter into the oil. Add the garlic, onions, chipotle, adobo sauce and some salt and pepper. Partially cover the pot and cook to soften, 10 minutes or so. Stir in the tomato paste and cook until fragrant, 2 minutes, then deglaze the pan with 2 cups of the chicken stock and transfer to a food processor. Add the tomatoes and process until smooth. Pour the soup back into pot and add the remainder of stock. Simmer at a low bubble while you make the grilled cheese.
Lightly butter 1 side of the bread slices. Make the cheese sandwiches with, and grill until crispy and the cheese melts.
Stir the sour cream into the tomato soup and serve in shallow bowls with chives to garnish, and grilled cheese on the side for dipping.
Blending Hot Liquids: When blending hot liquids, remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway. If using a blender, release one corner of the lid; that prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times, then process on high speed until smooth.
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