A cold-weather comfort classic, our jazzed up version of a grilled cheese has both smoked and aged cheddar with thin slices of red onion on sourdough, and a side of grainy mustard for dipping. Suitably paired with a warming soup of fire-roasted tomatoes, garlic, rosemary, thyme, balsamic, and basil.
Prepare Tomato Soup: Heat 1 tbsp (2 tbsp for 4 servings) olive oil in a medium sized pot. Saute onions for about 2 minutes or until tender and translucent. Add garlic and herb blend and stir for 1 minute. Add balsamic vinegar and tomato paste and stir for 1 minute. Add fire roasted tomatoes and vegetable stock cube with 1 1/2 cups (3 cups for 4 servings) water and red pepper flakes to taste, stir. Wash and chop basil and add to soup. Bring to a simmer and let cook for 12-15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to your liking.
Prepare Grilled Cheese: Heat a medium sized skillet over medium. Butter one side of each piece of sourdough bread and place them butter side down on a cutting board. Divide cheese blend onto the bottom pieces of bread and some sliced red onion. Close sandwiches so the butter is on the outside on both sides. Place into skillet and slowly cook until the bottom side is crispy and golden, about 3-4 minutes. Turn over with a spatula and press down firmly on the top side. Place a lid on skillet but let it vent. This will help the cheese melt but let moisture out to preserve that crunch.
Serve: Divide tomato soup into bowls and place cut sandwiches on a diagonal on a plate. Serve with a side of mustard to dip if you like. Enjoy!