My friend Maxine recently attended a symphony guild reception and raved about the appetizers served. One in particular that she mentioned was a simple tomato soup served in a cordial glass topped with a triangle of a grilled cheese sandwich. It was easy to sip the soup and dunk the sandwich if you preferred; no utensils necessary.
I thought, what a great idea for a Super Bowl party. Just put trays of hot, freshly ladled soup and warm grilled cheese sandwich triangles on the serving table for everyone to grab and eat. Now, I do have some fancy cordial glasses if you would like to do a more refined presentation. Afterall, there is a difference between a Super Bowl Party and a Symphony Soiree. It is your choice. Here is the more refined version.
The glasses are smaller and I used Pepperidge Farms sandwich bread which is thinner and smaller in size.
I also cut the crusts off of the bread. Tres Chic.
But whichever way you present them they will be a hit. The soup is easy to make and is very flavorful with an added punch from basil pesto. To be honest with you, tomato soup is not my favorite, but I loved this one. It will be made often in this kitchen. This idea of mini soups and sandwiches can be used with many different creamed soups and grilled sandwiches. Just let your imagination run wild.
TUSCAN TOMATO SOUP
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 shallots or 1 onion, chopped finely
3 (14 ounce) cans Italian diced tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups half and half
1/3 cup basil pesto
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil in a large sauce pan. Add diced shallots or onions and cook over medium low heat until they are softened. Add tomatoes and bring them to a simmer. Add the chicken broth and cook over low heat for 20 minutes. Add half and half and pesto. At this point you can either use an immersion blender to puree the soup or blend in a food processor or blender (in batches) until you have a smooth consistency. Return soup to pan. Add salt and pepper to taste and keep warm until you are ready to serve it. Ladle the soup into a two cup measuring cup with a spout and pour into each serving glass.
Top with triangles of grilled cheese sandwiches. Cut each sandwich into 4 triangles before placing on glasses.