Tomato Basil Soup with Harvarti Grilled Cheese Sandwich

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Updated: 12/17/2012 12:54 pm Published: 12/17/2012 12:42 pm

Serve up a tomato basil soup with a Havarti grilled cheese to amp up the traditional winter meal. "It is simple to prepare, hearty for cold weather, reheats well, kids love it, and it’s a great way to sneak veggies in kids meals, but still have the traditional grilled cheese flavor," Chef Jonathan Haring of Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma said. "Tomatoes are one of the least expensive produce items in the store with the fall weather being mild, he said. "You can use either canned or fresh tomatoes, but fresh are still in season in grocery stores currently. Plus, the soup not only reheats well, but freezes well for future meals."

“Fill the Firehouse” Food Drive ends Dec. 20th. All 30 fire stations throughout the city of Tulsa will be drop-off sites for both food items for the Food Bank and toys for the Toys for Tots program that also runs during the month of December at the fire stations. In one stop, people can bring both food and toys and help both programs. "We hope to raise a significant more food because of the convenience of so many fire stations," Haring said. "The George Kaiser Family Foundation $100,000 Matching Grant is going on and people just need to go to and make a financial donation which may be eligible for the match."

Recipe for Tomato Basil Soup:

Tomato Basil Soup – 12 servings

• 3 cups onion chopped
• 3 cups of celery chopped
• 2 cups of cooking sherry
• 1 cup of chopped garlic
• 1 cup dry basil
• 4 15 oz cans of diced tomatoes
• Gallon of water or chicken stock
• Quart of Heavy Cream
• Salt and Pepper

In a large stock pot sauté the onions and celery. When the onions begin to start to turn clear, add the garlic. When the onions are brown add the cooking sherry and to de-glaze the pan. Add the dried basil, then the tomatoes, then water leaving about three inches at the top of the pot. Let the soup boil at a roll for twenty minutes. Stir in heavy cream until salmon colored. Salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe for Grilled Cheese:

12 slices of Havarti cheese
24 slices of Italian bread
12 slices of cheddar cheese
1stick of butter

Preheat medium saute pan over medium heat. Spread slices of bread with butter. Place 1 slice of cheese on each piece of bread. Toast sandwiches in pan until golden Brown and cheese is melted.

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