Zesty Tomato Soup with Herb Cream and Deluxe Grilled Cheese
This chile pepper is often mislabeled ‘Pasilla’, which is a different pepper entirely.It is one of the most popular chiles in Mexico and has won the appreciation of many a chef worldwide because of the superior flavor it has over regular bell peppers.
They have a tough outer skin that usually requires roasting and peeling before use. These very large chile peppers are most popular in chiles rellenos recipes, but cooking with these as a substitute for bell peppers in any recipe will enhance the flavor.
4 tablespoons butter
1 sweet onion (1 1/2 cup), finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1 poblano pepper (2/3 cup), finely chopped
1/2 jalapeno, (1 tablespoon), finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, leaves removed from stem
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
2 – 28 oz. cans crushed tomato puree
4 cups (32 oz.) chicken broth (you may use homemade chicken stock if you prefer)
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/4 cup heavy cream
For Herb Cream:
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon rosemary
2 tablespoons lemon zest
For Deluxe Grilled Cheese:
2 slices of sourdough bread per person
Butter, softened (1 tablespoon per person)
4 thin slices poblano pepper, per person
2 slices havarti cheese, per person
Crushed red pepper, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
Chopped rosemary, to taste
Please note: If you do not like spicy, use green pepper in place of the poblano and jalapeno peppers. If you like a touch of spice, but not too much, make sure that you don’t use the bottom part of the jalapeno where more heat is concentrated. Also, make sure that you don’t use more that 1 tablespoon of jalapeno. If you’re a spice lover and it just can’t be too hot for you, go for it and use more! If you are sensitive, use rubber gloves when chopping jalapeno pepper and please remember not to touch your eyes afterward.
In stock pot, melt the butter and add the onions, carrots, poblano, jalapeno, garlic, thyme, crushed red pepper and sugar. Cover and let the mixture cook till the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add the crushed tomatoes and chicken broth, cover and let simmer for about 40 minutes. Add heavy cream and lemon zest right before serving. Add salt if desired.
For Herb Cream:
In chilled bowl, add whipping cream and with either a whisk or electric mixer, whip the cream, rosemary and lemon zest till slightly thickened.
Ladle the soup into bowls, top with a bit of the herb cream (or serve on the side).
For Grilled Cheese:
Evenly butter the outside of the bread. On inside of bread, layer the pablano, havarti, and sprinkle with crushed red pepper, rosemary and salt and pepper to taste.
Heat a heavy pan and add the sandwiches and grill until golden on each side and cheese begins to melt.