Place oven rack on top third of oven. Preheat broiler to high. Halve tomatoes crosswise. Place tomatoes, cut sides down, on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil 5 minutes or until skins are slightly blackened. Remove and discard skins. Discard foil.
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes; cook 2 minutes. Add chicken stock, salt, and pepper; bring to a boil. Stir in cream cheese and basil.
Carefully place tomato mixture in blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a kitchen towel over lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Divide soup evenly among 4 bowls.
Line baking sheet with foil. Coat 1 side of bread slices with cooking spray; turn over. Top 2 slices with cheese and remaining bread slices. Place sandwiches on pan; broil 30 seconds on each side or until toasted. Cut each sandwich into 6 pieces; top servings evenly.
Not overly thrilled with this soup. I used my immersion blender but it still seemed a little grainy in texture. And the acid from the tomatoes seemed pronounced. Maybe I should've added a little sugar. I'm sure garden grown tomatoes would be much better. I will say that I have never broiled tomatoes to remove the skins and that worked like a charm. Will definitely do that again.
I'm cheating and using two large cans of generic condensed soup instead of fresh tomatoes. My family just got bigger by two grown sons moving in but my budget has stayed the same. So instead of three, we are now five as of this Saturday. Because it is condensed, I'm going to use veggie broth instead of water and I will be adding the onions, basil and cream cheese. I can not wait until Tuesday to make this. I will let you know how it turns out. I'm optimistic. Thanks for saving my bacon. I had to meal plan for two weeks, pesky budget, and was able to get all of my recipes off of your site.
I made both the soup and the sandwich and thought it was delicious. I think the sandwich does help add to the soup so I wouldn't skip it. I added a little bit of extra seasoning (herbes de provence) and 1 extra oz of cream cheese due to the prior reviewer's comments. Either way we thought the dish was very tasty and would make it again.
I made this soup as is, but did not add the grilled cheese croutons. I'm sure that would have livened it up a bit, but as for the soup itself, I would give it a solid "eh." I ended up adding some balsamic vinegar to the finished product, which adds some complexity, but I still think it's a bit lacking.
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