Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Splash of red wine vinegar
¼cupall purpose flour
1dried bay leaf
2 28ouncecans whole tomatoes with basilpreferably san marzano
Fontina Grilled Cheese Dippers
Make the soup
Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat.
Add the oil, carrot, and onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook 7-8 minutes until the onions are translucent and soft.
Add the splash of vinegar and the wine and stir until the liquid is cooked off.
Turn the heat to low and stir in the flour. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
Add the broth and bay leaf. Using clean hands, break up the tomatoes as you add them to the pot with their juice. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Let simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove the Dutch oven from the heat and use an emulsion blender to blend the soup until smooth. If you don’t have an emulsion blender, add soup to a regular blender in batches, being sure to vent the steam as you blend. Add the cream, taste, and season with salt and pepper as needed.
Make the fontina grilled cheese dippers
While the soup is simmering, make the grilled cheese dippers by heating a panini press to medium high heat. Drizzle olive oil on the bottom plate of the hot press and add a slice of sourdough bread. Sprinkle with a bit of fontina cheese, layer on a small handful of baby spinach, and top with more cheese. Finish with another slice of sourdough, drizzle with olive oil, and close the press. Cook until brown and melty, about five minutes. Remove from the press, allow to cool 2 minutes, then slice into sticks.
A few ideas to customize your red wine tomato soup with fontina grilled cheese dippers:
Omit the red wine for an alcohol-free classic tomato soup
Use a gluten-free flour blend to make it gluten-free
Use vegan butter substitute and full fat canned coconut milk to make it vegan (skip the grilled cheese)
Omit the spinach from the grilled cheese dippers if desired or swap in another leafy green or cooked veggie
Swap the fontina for mozzarella, provolone, or cheddar cheese
Add a drizzle of sriracha to the inside of the grilled cheese dippers