- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 2 tablespoons butter, plus additional softened butter
- 2 onions, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced or chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 round tablespoon smoked sweet paprika
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 4 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock (32 ounces), divided
- 1 can San Marzano tomatoes (28 ounces)
- 8 slices Emmentaler cheese
- 8 slices pumpernickel bread
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup fresh chives, finely chopped, for garnish
In a medium size pot, heat the EVOO over medium-high. Melt 2 tablespoons butter into the EVOO, then add the onions, garlic, thyme and paprika; season with salt and pepper. Partially cover the pot and cook until the onions and garlic are softened, 10 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste; continue stirring until fragrant, 2 minutes. Deglaze the pan with 2 cups stock. Transfer the mixture to a food processor; add the tomatoes and process until smooth. Pour the soup back into the pot and add the remaining 2 cups stock; reduce the heat and simmer while you make the grilled cheese.
Pre-heat a griddle or grill pan over medium heat.
Sandwich two slices of cheese between two slices of bread, then spread the outsides of both bread slices with the softened butter. Repeat with the remaining cheese and bread. Grill, turning once, until the bread is crispy and the cheese melts.
Stir the cream into the soup. Divide the soup among four bowls. Sprinkle with chives and serve with the grilled cheese for dipping.