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Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Bisque with Pesto Mozzarella Grilled Cheese

There are very few people that don’t crave a nice hot tomato soup with grilled cheese on a cold winter's night. So let’s step it up a notch and make it a fancier soup with a fancier grilled cheese. Fir Roasted tomatoes and roasted red peppers elevated this satisfying classic. And a pesto, spinach grilled cheese compliments it perfectly.

For the Soup:

2 tbsp butter

1 yellow onion

1 carrot

1 celery stalk

4-6 garlic cloves

2 1/2 tbsp flour

1 can fire roasted tomatoes

2 red peppers (roasted)

2 cups chicken broth

3/4 cup half and half

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

heavy whipping cream (optional for garnish)

Melt the butter in a pot and add the minced up onion, garlic, celery and carrot. Sautee until fragrant and transparent (about 6-8 minutes) . Add the flour. Pour in the chicken broth and the can of tomatoes. Add to a Vitamix blender along with the roasted red peppers. Puree until smooth. (Normally bisques need to be strained in cheese cloth or a fine mesh strainer. I began this process, but my Vitamix was so kick ass that it all went through perfectly. If you have a less powerful blender, you may want to include it.) Return the puree to the pot and add the cream. Cook until the desired temperature. Drizzle with heavy whipping cream for a garnish.

For the Sandwiches:

bread (I used sourdough)

fresh mozzarella (if you can find the log that has the pre-sliced medallions, its easiest... you'll need about 2-3 slices per sandwich.)

spinach (I didn’t use my whole container.)

shredded mozzarella (about 1-2 oz per sandwich)



Spread a thin layer of butter on the outside of each piece of bread. Spread a layer of pesto on the inside of each piece. Sprinkle roughly 1 oz of shredded mozzarella on one side of the bread and 2-3 fresh mozzarella medallions on the other. Place into a pan on a medium heat. Cook until the cheese begins to melt (This won’t be as apparent with the fresh mozzarella) and the bread crisps/browns. Add the spinach and close. (I used a pizza cutter to cut my sandwiches into dipping strips. But you could just cut in half like normal.)


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