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Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

15-Minute Pantry Tomato Soup

Serves 4

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion, finely diced (about 1.5 cups)
pinch red pepper flakes
0.5 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 28 oz cans whole tomatoes with their juice
1/2 cup whole milk or heavy cream
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
2 tablespoons whiskey, vodka or brandy
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (parsley, basil or chives)

1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until softened but not browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the pepper flakes and oregano and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the flour and cook, stirring for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and stir, scraping any flour up off the bottom of the pan.

Add the milk or cream and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up the tomatoes with the spoon until it comes to a boil.

Reduce to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes.

2. Remove the soup from the heat and puree with an immersion blender. Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the whiskey and bring to a simmer.

Serve immediately, topping each serving with a generous drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of herbs and fresh ground pepper.

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Makes 2 sandwiches

Recommend serving with 15-Minute Pantry Tomato Soup and brown mustard

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 slices high-quality white, whole wheat or rye bread
4 ounces soft melting cheese (or mix 2 types of cheese)
Kosher salt
1/2 ounce hard cheese such as parmesean, grated.

1. Melt 1/2 tablespoon of the butter in a 12-inch stainless steel or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add 2 bread slices and swirl them around until all the butter is absorbed.

Cook, swirling the bread occasionally, until very lightly browed, about 1 minute. Remove to a cutting board, toasted side up, and immediately top with the soft melting cheese.

Melt another 1/2 tablespoon butter and toast the remaining 2 slices bread until lightly browned, them immediately press them toasted side down onto the cheese-topped slices.

2. Melt another 1/2 tablespoon butter in the skillet and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Reduce the heat to medium-low and place the sandwiches in the skillet. Swirl around until all the butter is absorbed.

Cook the sandwiches, swirling and pressing down gently with a wide spatula occasionally, until the bottoms are a deep golden brown, about 4 minutes.

Remove the sandwiches to the cutting board. Melt the remaining 1/2 tablespoon butter, sprinkle with a bit of salt, and repeat the toasting procedure with the second side, about 4 minutes longer. Transfer the sandwiches to a cutting board.

3. Spread the grated cheese evenly over a large plate. Press the sandwiches into the cheese, turning once and pressing until you get an even coating of cheese on both sides.

Return the sandwiches to the skillet and cook until the grated cheese has melted and formed a golden crust, about 1 minute. Flip and repeat on the second side. Transter to a cutting board.

4. Slice in half on the diagonal and serve immediately.