Tomato soup and grilled cheese has to be one of the greatest American classic lunches of all time. It is comforting, satisfying and ultimately delicious. My tomato bisque gets a finish from “Greek” Cream Cheese and Greek Yogurt
- 2 28 oz. Cans of San Marzano peeled whole tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 carrot, peeled and diced
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1 garlic clove, smashed
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 quart vegetable stock or broth
- 4 oz. “Greek” Cream Cheese and Greek Yogurt, softened
- Salt and Pepper to taste
*this soup will make more than enough for one, so freeze the remainder for another day!
Saute celery, onion, carrot, garlic, thyme and red pepper flakes in olive oil until slightly softened. Add in the whole tomatoes and chicken stock. Let this simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Blend this mixture adding in the 4 oz. of cream cheese a little at a time. Return to the heat making sure to stir in any remaining cream cheese until melted.
- Non-stick cooking spray (trust me you don’t need the extra butter here!)
- 1 oz. “Greek” Cream Cheese and Greek Yogurt, softened
- 1 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 2 slices of any thick cut bread (I used a whole grain loaf)
*I also added thin sliced tomato and turkey bacon to my grilled cheese! #unreal
Beat together with an electric mixer the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, salt and pepper until combined and fluffy. Spread this mixture evenly onto the bread. Spray a non-stick cooking pan with cooking spray generously. Sear the sandwich on both sides until golden brown. If the cheese mixture isn’t warm enough, pop it in an oven for a few minutes. This will only benefit the sandwich and make the cream cheese gooey and delicious.
One of my favorite snack crackers are Cheez Its. I love the cheesy, salty taste and the crisp bite. Lets be honest, I could eat the entire box in one sitting….don’t judge me. Last year while I was making a pre fixe menu for Harvest restaurant in Cambridge, I created a smoked tomato bisque. I wanted a functional garnish and right away thought cracker……but what kind? Cheez Its! My inspiration was a grilled cheese and tomato soup but more refined. The outcome was a smoky, creamy, salty soup with a crisp cheddar cracker almost identical to the beloved Cheez Its! Give them a try! You will not be disappointed.
- 1 cup all purpose flour (feel free to use wheat flour for a healthier snack)
- 1/2 stick cold butter (this needs to be cold to create the flaky crunchy texture you know and love with these tasty crackers)
- 1 cup of sharp cheddar (use orange to mimic the color as well!)
- 1/2 tsp. piment d’ espellete (mild spice, feel free to substitute 1/8 tsp. cayenne)
- Ice Water (this helps bring the dough together…more or less depending on the dough’s consistency)
- Salt to taste, approximately 1/2 tsp.
- Smoked Sea Salt for garnish (the smoked salt really makes these special, but feel free to use a salt of your liking)
Combine all ingredients in food processor, except the ice water. Pulse the ingredients until the butter is broken down into pea size balls (Think pie dough) Slowly stream in a little ice water at a time until the dough forms a uniform ball.
Take the ball out of the processor and let chill for 1 hour.
Take out the cracker dough from the fridge and roll out to desired consistency. I used a fluted cutter and also poked a hole in the center of the cracker to really resemble the traditional look of the Cheez It. I sprayed the crackers with a touch of water and sprinkled a touch of smoked salt on top. Bake the snack crackers at 350 degrees until lightly golden brown and puffed up. Let cool and enjoy!
***Tip: These crackers are best eaten the day of…..which shouldn’t be a problem considering how delicious they are! Take a peek at mine below.