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Soups & Salads, Starters & Sides

Basil Tomato Soup and Grilled Pimiento Cheese Sandwiches

This would be good the day after Thanksgiving, when you need something on the lighter side.  Camilla, my sister in law, was here this weekend, and showed me this in Southern Living (October 2010 issue).  She had made it and said it was wonderful.   I am going to make it on Saturday afternoon  when everyone is watching the football games.  I purchased the pimiento cheese at Market Street, but you can make if from scratch.  Recipe follows.

Basil Tomato Soup
2 medium onions, chopped
4 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
3 (35 oz.) cans Italian-style whole peeled tomatoes with basil (I found Cento brand with a yellow label, San Marzano, they did not have them with basil.  They will probably be the ones that are twice as much as the regular tomatoes.  About $4 per can.  You can use the cheaper ones if you want to.)
1 (32 oz.) chicken broth
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
3 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. pepper

Saute onion in 2 Tbsp. hot oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat 9 to 10 minutes or until tender.  Add tomatoes and chicken broth.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes.  Process mixture with a handheld blender until smooth, or transfer to a food processor and pulse until smooth. Return to pan.
Process basil and next 4 ingredients, 1/4 cup water and remaining 2Tbsp oil in a food processor until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides.  Stir basil mixture, sugar and pepper into soup.  Simmer on low for 10 minutes.  Serve with Grilled Pimiento Cheese Sandwiches.

Grilled Pimiento Cheese Sandwiches

Stir together 1 cup mayonnaise, 1 (4 oz.) jar diced pimiento, drained, 1 tsp. worchestshire sauce, and 1 tsp. finely grated onion.  Stir in 2 (8oz.) blocks sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded. Spread 1/4 cup cheese mixture on 1 side of a slice of white bread, top with another slice of bread.  Lightly spread both sides of sandwich with mayonnaise.  Toast on a hot griddle or panini until golden brown and cheese is melted.  Makes 11 sandwiches.  

By Therese, November 22, 2010
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