Cream of Tomato Bisque with Toasted Cheese and Apple Sandwich
Most of us have happy childhood memories of slurping away at a bowl of tomato soup. This decidedly adult version will charm with just the right touch of creamy tomato paired with the crunch and sweetness of apple and cheese sandwiched between lovingly toasted bread. Easy, easy, easy. Good, good, good.
Start to finish: 25 minutes
Hands on time: 20 minutes
4 slices sourdough bread
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 oz sharp cheddar cheese, thinly sliced
1 crisp apple, like Braeburn, Honey Crisp or Gala, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons grainy Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup white wine
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup half and half, plus more if you had a hard day and need creamier soup
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons minced flat leaf parsley
Spread one side of the bread with the mayonnaise and lay the slices mayo side down. Spread two slices of bread with the mustard and lay the apple then cheese on top. Top the cheese with the plain side of the remaining bread so that the mayo is on the outside.
Heat a 12-inch cm skillet over medium-high heat and brown the sandwiches on both sides, about 3 minutes total. Transfer the sandwiches to a plate and keep warm.
Return the skillet to the heat and add the olive oil. When it shimmers add the onion, garlic, basil and oregano and saute until the onion softens, about 3 minutes. Add the wine and cook until it almost completely evaporates, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and broth and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the half and half and taste for seasoning adding salt and pepper if it needs it.
Ladle the soup into two heated bowls and sprinkle with parsley. If you like, cut the sandwiches into fingers so they can be easily dipped into the soup.
In the glass: Serve this soup and sandwich with a glass of Angry Orchard hard cider.
Carla has spent the past 30 years in the food world as a caterer, artisan baker, cooking school teacher, food writer and author of 6 cook books including the James Beard nominated Big Book of Appetizers. Her passion is sharing fresh, cooked-from-scratch weeknight meals that cut prep time and practically eliminate that nightly sinkful of dishes. Look for Carla on Facebook, Twitter (carlacooks), Pinterest and at ravenouskitchen.com where she blogs about everything from cooking for two to easy weekend entertaining for a crowd.