Roasted Tomato Soup with Pesto Grilled Cheese

Healthy, easy, organic, fresh, satisfying.

During my last semester of nursing school, I kinda went on this tomato bisque kick. It was winter (in Texas. HA! It actually does get cold there and yes, snows at least once a year), I was studying for finals and then boards, so I was cooped up inside a lot. I had this sudden urge for some fatty, creamy tomato goodness. I googled the best place and immediately went to go pick some up.
Cue tomato bisque kick.
I ordered it everywhere I went. Every other couple of days, while studying my scheduled body system of the day, I'd count down the hours until I'd let myself run and pick up a cup. I'd thrown in an occasional grilled cheese sandwich or goldfish crackers and do a little happy dance in my room.
T.B. (not like the tuberculosis you're thinking of) + S.M.A. (that's me) = BFF
Then, it happened.
I looked up the caloric content.
Did you know that by the end of nursing school, I had high cholesterol?
True story.
It might have had something to do with the McDonald's breakfasts I had every morning of a test (it was a good luck superstition I had created and was afraid to ditch...my brain needed the protein), the Taco Bueno (and Cabbanna) and Sonic I had during my dinner breaks at work, and 1 am second dinners out with friends after watching our favorite local band perform.
Oh, and said tomato bisques.
Today, I did it healthy. So if you're looking for a rich, indulgent, creamy tomato soup recipe, this one is not for you. If you're feeling a tasty, organic, fresh tomato soup.....please, read on.
First, can we talk about this cheese? I got it at Trader Joe's (what do I not get at TJ?). It's actually called 'unexpected cheddar cheese', and truly, it's a white cheddar cheese that tastes like it's mixed with parmesan. It's delicious. I couldn't stop eating it, and the intermittent 'Wow!' 'Man!' kept coming from my mouth. Any white cheese would work, but go for something indulgent here. Sourdough is also a must with grilled cheese. It toasts and crunches so well, and the taste is just perfect.
Then, we're gonna throw a pesto in there with all that perfectness.
Sound good? Thought so.
This is so easy. Roast your veggies (inhale.....exhale......), blend them up, add some broth and cream, season to taste. The amount of cream is obviously a bargaining point, be as liberal or conservative as you'd like. And half-and-half or whole milk is actually a great substitute for cream.
Make your grilled cheese with pesto. I do mine on my husband's old George Foreman grill. He used to live off of that thing. You know what his meals were before we got married? He'd grill a plain chicken breast on that thing, microwave some frozen veggies, and have a plain slice of bread.
Ugh, it's like he was a prisoner of bachelorhood or dried, nasty chicken breast or something.
He did win in the cholesterol category I suppose...
Anyway, I fought to throw the dang George Foreman away when we merged living spaces but lost the battle. That, and the battle for the Rocky figurine that yelled, 'Adrienne!', played 'Eye of The Tiger', and started boxing when you pushed his button.
That was parked in our living room, next to the TV the entire two years we were in that apartment.
I do bust out the George Foreman for paninis and grilled cheese, it makes a mean grilled sandwich.
So please, make this soup today.
Your cholesterol will thank you.

Roasted Tomato Soup & Pesto Grilled Cheese
3 pounds tomatoes
1/2 yellow onion
4 cloves garlic
1 c broth
1/2 c cream
red pepper flakes
sourdough bread
{1 bunch basil, handful pinenuts, 3/4 c fresh parmesan, 1-2 T EVOO, 3 cloves garlic}
white cheddar cheese
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Chop tomatoes and onions in half. Place tomatoes, onions, and garlic cloves on jellyroll pan covered with foil. Drizzle veggies with EVOO and salt, combine well.
3. Roast 20 minutes, or until tomatoes have darkened.
4. Blend veggies in blender until smooth (being careful to allow for venting of the hot liquid).
5. Pour mixture into large pot, simmer on low. Add broth and cream.
6. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
7. If not using pre-made pesto, make your pesto by pulsing a handful of basil, handful of pinenuts, fresh parmesan, 3 cloves of garlic, and 1-2 T EVOO in a food processor until smooth.
8. Spread pesto onto insides of sourdough slices. Butter the outsides. Place slices of white cheddar cheese inside with pesto. Grill until cheese melted.
9. Dice part of sandwich and use for croutons in soup. Garnish soup with basil and cream. Serve grilled pesto cheese alongside soup.

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  1. This looks delicious! I love roasted vegetables, pesto-anything, and grilled cheese and your photos make the soup and sandwich look that much yummier! I'm so glad Beth introduced me to your blog! I can't wait to look through all of your recipes. :)

    1. Thanks Kiki! And please do, I think we have some good ones ;)

  2. ummm this looks amazing and your photos are gorgeous!!

    following :)

    The DayLee Journal

    1. Marsa, you're so sweet, thanks! And I'm loving your style too, especially that cargo vest!


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