Cold. Dreary. Dark. Slushy.
These are dismally accurate words to describe New York City this time of year. My zeal for life plummets the minute I open my front door and lay eyes upon the scene above. Sure, the snow is magical when fluffy and white and blanketing your yard on Christmas morning. But even the white fluffiness doesn’t compensate for the oppressive cold and the piles of old, greying rock hard snow lining the curbs. More snow is building up at this very moment. It’s threatening to crush us.
Soup conquers all. And what goes better with fresh tomato soup than grilled cheese? Nothing, absolutely nothing. Except maybe a cold winter’s day — and we are certainly not short on those.
Jenny and I whipped up this hearty soup and its accompanying grilled sandwiches back in November, but the photos warm me up just the same. Also, I stumbled upon a link to some fantastic looking tomato soup recipes in my Daily Candy Newsletter today. They look scrumptious, especially the Tuscan Tomato Soup with White Beans. But on that brisk day in November, a simple roasted tomato soup sprinkled with basil and topped with a dollop of Greek yogurt was exactly what we needed…and what I’d kill for right now.
We may have gotten a little carried away with the grilled cheeses (as if that’s possible). We made enough for a small army, but still managed to put quite a dent in the heaping pile of toasted sandwiches. There’s something inherently satisfying about dunking a crisp, buttery grilled cheese sandwich into a steaming bowl of creamy tomato soup. It’s a harmonious bond — they just belong together.
Now these were no ordinary grilled cheese sandwiches. White bread was nowhere in sight and a there wasn’t a shrink wrapped slice of processed American cheese to be found. We busted out the big guns for these – Gruyere cheese, caramelized onions, sliced apples, and stone ground mustard found their way between thick pieces of hearty rye bread that was grilled to perfection.
The soup was simple and fresh, with just a hint of creaminess and spice. It provided yet another excuse to use the eternally amusing immersion blender. Chunks of tomato were no match for the spinning blades and in mere moments the pot was full of smooth, rich soup. I don’t know how we even had room for it what with those monster sandwiches. But that’s the best part! The soup is, well, soupy, so it slides down into your tummy and nestles in with the melted cheese and buttery bread, filling you from the inside out with deliriously warm goodness.
Urban Dictionary defines ‘Warm Soup Belly’ as:
The feeling of lethargy and simultaneous content and warmth you get from eating a big bowl of warm soup- especially exaggerated on a cold day. Sorta like what happens to most folks on Thanksgiving, only warm soup belly can happen all year long.
I think even Marshall Eriksen would agree.