Grilled cheese and tomato soup are a classic pair; crunchy, buttery bread, and melted cheese, just begs to be dunked in a bowl of rich, velvety soup. And during the cold winter months, we tend to crave this awesome quintessential all-American comfort food, which calls out to us in its glorious cheesy perfection. And with good reason. It rocks. This signature smoky grilled cheese is complimented by a smoked paprika infused tomato soup, and includes my genius (if I do say so, myself) cooking "hack" for instant caramelized onions. Pure genius, y'all. You're welcome. Enjoy.
Smoky Tomato Soup
Melt butter in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and saute until onions are translucent and tender, about 5-6 minutes. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender (you can also use and immersion blender, if preferred). Return soup to saucepan and add cream, paprika, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Return the soup to a boil. Remove from heat and season to taste. Garnish with heated heavy cream and freshly ground black pepper, if desired.
Smoky Grilled Cheese
Spread 3 tablespoons of butter on one side of (4) bread slices. Toast bread, butter side down, in a large heavy skillet over medium-low heat until golden-brown, about 2-3 minutes. Remove and set aside. In a small bowl, combine the remaining butter and mayonnaise. To assemble sandwiches, top toasted side 0f bread slices with smoked American cheese slices, shredded mozzarella, and French-fried onions. Spread mayonnaise/butter mixture on the outsides of each sandwich. Return to skillet, and cook over medium-high heat until golden-brown and cheese is melted, about 3-6 minutes on each side. Tip: Press down on each sandwich with a large spatula when placing in plan and when flipping over. Cut into halves or quarters and serve immediately with tomato soup. Enjoy, y'all.