April 12 is National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day. Nothing goes better with grilled cheese than tomato soup. This Tomato Soup with Cheddar Cheese is sort of like a cross between tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich (the all-in-one best of both worlds!), this soup is perfect for fall and perfect for warming up your lunch box.
TOMATO SOUP WITH CHEDDAR CHEESE
HANDS-ON TIME: 15 MINUTES
TOTAL TIME: 2 HOURS, 30 MINUTES
MAKES: 6 TO 7 SERVINGS
Large heavy-bottomed pot
Sharp knife (adult needed)
Blender or food processor (adult needed)
1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced (finely chopped)
1 celery stalk, sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil (or 1 teaspoon dried)
2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled or diced tomatoes, including the liquid
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1⁄2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1⁄2 cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoon vinegar (any kind is fine) or fresh lemon juice
Put the pot on the stove and turn the heat to medium. When it is hot, carefully add the oil.
Add the onion, garlic, celery, and if you are using dried basil, the basil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 10 to -25 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and their juice, and the broth and raise the heat to high; bring to a boil.
Turn the heat down to low and cook 45 minutes. Set aside to cool down a bit, at least 15 minutes, at room temperature. Stir occasionally to help the mixture cool.
Using the slotted spoon, very carefully remove the soup solids and put them in the blender or food processor. Do not fill more than halfway.
If you are using a blender, put the top on but remove the little cap in the center. If using a food processor, leave the plunger out (both will allow the steam to escape). Cover the hole loosely with a clean dish towel. Turn the blender to the lowest speed and increase the speed as the soup purees. Gradually add the cooking liquid, fresh basil (if using), cheese, and yogurt. Blend or process until completely smooth.
Serve right away, or cover and refrigerate up to 3 days.
Make it crunchy: Add a few croutons or toasted nuts or seeds
Make it tangy: Add a squeeze or slice of lemon or lime, or a dash of vinegar
Make it fresh: Add a snip or sprig of an herb such as parsley, basil, cilantro, chives, or dill
Make it spicy: Add a dash of hot sauce, sliced jalapeños, or chili flakes