Notes from the Test Kitchen:
This is a classic flavor combo that Vail has managed to take over the top! I can't imagine a better way to warm up after being outside on a cold day. The little bit of extra effort (and extra cheese!) required is well worth it.
yellow onion, chopped
stalk celery, diced
garlic, minced (or to taste)
fresh basil, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICHES
loaf sliced sourdough bread (or small loaves for mini sandwiches)
Melt 2 tbsp. butter in large pot & sautee onion, garlic and celery until soft.
Add tomatoes, parsley, carrots, bay leaf and stock. Bring to a boil & immediately reduce heat to a simmer and cover the pot.
Skim the top of any fat or froth, if desired. Remove parsley and bay leaf and blend the soup in batches of 2 cups or so. Move blended soup to another pot.
Once everything is blended and in the new pot, add heavy cream, thyme, basil, and 1 tbsp. butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper. NOTE: Keeps well in the fridge.
FOR GRILLED CHEESE: butter one side of each slice of bread. (It's important to butter the bread and not the pan so that the toast browns more evenly.) Put an even amount of slices of each type of cheese on half of the bread slices. Top each with second bread slice to form your sandwiches.
Grill on a flat pan, or use panini press or personal-size grill for about 5-7 minutes. Dip sandwich in soup and enjoy!!