Basil Tomato Soup + Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

A rainy September evening deserves warming Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese sandwiches. That perfect meal to leave your insides warm and fuzzy. I have always gone the easy route when it comes to Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese sandwiches- opening a can and diluting it with water or milk, but after this soup, another winner from my beloved Southern Living Magazine, I will never go that route again. The touch of fresh lemon juice and rind gives the tomato soup an uncommonly good kick. For the Basil Tomato Soup I did not use the fresh basil that the recipe calls for. I would have loved to but the only fresh basil at Wegman’s was a couple leaves in a tiny baggie, or a live basil plant with roots and all. So after deliberating over the benefits of fresh basil vs. going to another grocery store for 1 item, we decided to use dried basil. I will try it with the fresh basil one day, but it is delightful with the dried basil, and much easier because I could just skip step 2, and just add everything at once, bring it to a boil, and then simmer for 20 minutes. Because we are currently living without our hand blender we had to process the soup in a blender in batches, but a hand blender is so much easier! My husband bought mine for me for Christmas one year, and it was one of my most favorite presents I have ever gotten from him. Usually plug-in presents from husband to wife for Christmas are frowned upon, but I would take this one over jewelry. That’s saying a lot coming from a woman who collects vintage and antique jewelry.

Since I cut this recipe in 1/2-2/3 I thought I would put down exactly what I do so I don’t forget it, since this soup is so delicious!

Basil Tomato Soup

1 medium onion, chopped small

3 garlic cloves

2 Tbs. olive oil

2 (35 oz.) cans Italian-style whole peeled tomatoes with basil

1 (14 oz.) can of chicken broth 

2 heaping Tbs. dried basil

zest 1 lemon

juice of half of the lemon

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. sugar

1/4 tsp. pepper

  • Cook up the onion and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat in the pot.
  • Add all other ingredients and simmer on low, after bringing to a low boil, for 20 minutes. 
  • If using a blender, process in batches once the soup has cooled somewhat, and don’t fill it up more than about 1/2 full, since the hot liquid can explode. 

For the Grilled Cheese sandwiches we got the Wegman’s bakery Italian bread- yum- and Munster and Mild Cheddar Cheese. Here is another great Grilled Cheese sandwich idea brought to you by Southern Living. One thing we have recently discovered is that Italian bread is the best bread to use when making French Toast and Grilled Cheese sandwiches. A better match than Peanut Butter and Jelly.

My husband offered our daughter a slice of cheese when he was getting the sandwiches ready to be cooked (low and slow) and he said, “Do you want some Muenster cheese?” and our daughter acted scared and said, “I don’t want Monster cheese!”

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