Just like Mom used to make, only better, because the soup doesn't come out of a can, which means you can control the sodium. Keep the sandwich old-school with American cheese.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon (optional)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 (28-ounce) can Italian-style whole tomatoes, undrained
1 (28-ounce) can Italian-style whole tomatoes, drained
3 cups lower-sodium organic vegetable broth
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup heavy cream
6 (1 3/4-ounce) slices country white bread
6 (3/4-ounce) slices American cheese
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
How to Make It
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion; cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tarragon, if desired, sugar, and garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, broth, and tomato paste. Increase heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil; partially cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 30 minutes.
Remove from heat; cool 5 minutes. Place half of soup mixture in blender; process until smooth. Return mixture to pan. Repeat procedure with remaining soup mixture.
Add half-and-half and heavy cream, stirring with a whisk over low heat. Set aside; keep warm.
While soup simmers, place 3 bread slices on a work surface; arrange 2 cheese slices on each of 3 bread slices. Top with remaining 3 bread slices. Spread softened butter on sides of sandwiches. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add sandwiches to pan; cook 4 minutes or until lightly browned. Turn sandwiches over; cook 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Cut each sandwich in half diagonally.