In the past several months, I have developed a newfound curiosity for all things culinary…on a very small scale. I can’t express the excitement I feel when I come across a new recipe that includes a vegetable I’ve never cooked with or, in some cases, have never eaten. I don’t want to call it a passion, but I do love browsing the internet based on one ingredient, finding new recipes and trying them out on my friends. They are an endless supply of recipes and ideas! I’m making it a goal to try at least one new recipe a month for the rest of 2015. Bring on the guinea pigs! I mean, who better than your nearest and dearest friends, right?
Last week, I had a few girlfriends over to indulge in one of my childhood favorites, albeit a grown-up version. I made a roasted garlic tomato soup with grilled cheese croutons. I found the tomato soup recipe here and got the idea for the grilled cheese “croutons” from the Food Network’s Ina Garten (better known as the Barefoot Contessa). You can find her original recipe here. I could not wait to get home and sample the soup before the ladies showed up. To my surprise, after I added the cream and hit it with the emulsion blender, it became this beautiful carrot color and tasted absolutely divine. I literally sat on my hands until the girls got there so I could make the grilled cheese sandwiches on the panini press. Haha, just kidding. I poured myself a glass of wine to keep me busy.
Finally, FINALLY it was time to get this dinner party going! I turned on my brand-spankin-new panini press to make the grilled cheese sandwiches. These were definitely not the same as when I was a kid. No Wonder Bread. No Kraft singles. Oh no. The grown up version was more magical than I could have imagined. I made Sourdough grilled cheese with smoked Gouda. Man oh man, my mouth is watering at the memory of the crunchy, creamy deliciousness of this “gourmet” grilled cheese. Just as Ina did, I cut up one of the grilled cheese into squares to use as “croutons.” The other one, however, I cut into strips to use as “dippers” for the soup. GENIUS. Instead of scraping my spoon against the bowl (one of the most annoying sounds in the world!), I was able to soak up the soup with my little dipper (no pun intended) and get every last drop! Just look at it…so glorious…
The soup was creamy and delicious, with just enough kick to keep you coming back for more! I would highly recommend this crockpot roasted tomato soup recipe from A Duck’s Oven. Do yourself a favor and try it out!