Saturday, January 9, 2010

Whimsical hors d'oeuvres - tomato bisque shots and mini grilled cheese!

As promised, here's the second set of hors d'oeuvres in my series of 4 celebrating the first month of the new decade: a spicy tomato bisque with mini grilled cheese to make you go AWWWWW...

Note: I used sake cups for my "bowls" (a housewarming gift from my friend Ivon - thanks, Ivon!) but you can use anything little like shot glasses or demitasse cups...

Recipe: Tomato Bisque Shots with Mini Grilled Cheese

What you need for the bisque (makes about 6 cups)...

1 medium Vidalia or other yellow/sweet onion, diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1/2 cup jarred or fresh roasted red peppers, diced
4 tablespoons butter (divided in half)
3 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons AP flour
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 14.5 ounce cans of diced tomatoes (drained)
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup heavy cream
Splash of Marsala wine
1/4 cup minced cilantro
1/2 tablespoon cumin
Cayenne pepper to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

What to get for the mini grilled cheese...

A loaf of firm white/french bread, cut into triangles (about 20)
Approx 1 pound of a good melting cheese: brie, Gouda, cheddar, Swiss, etc
Butter or olive oil for pan grilling
Other optional add-ons: olive tapenade, Ajvar spread, pesto... you name it!

What to do with it all...

For the bisque:
  • In a medium saucepan, melt 1/2 of your butter (2 tablespoons) and saute the onion, carrot and garlic on medium heat
  • Once they begin to brown, sprinkle flour over veggies and cook on low for another minute or until flour is well incorporated
  • Add the stock, canned and paste tomatoes, Marsala wine, and roasted peppers and bring to a boil
  • Lower the soup to medium-low and allow to cook just above a simmer until the veggies are tender
  • Use an immersion blender and partially puree the soup (you still want some chunks) - you can also do this in a blender or food processor using half the soup and pureeing then adding back to the saucepan
  • Add your cream, cumin, cilantro, cayenne, salt and pepper and remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and heat until just hot
  • Set aside until grilled cheese is ready, then add to shot glasses/cups/bowls
For the grilled cheese:
  • Sandwich 10 slices of cheese between two triangles, smear one piece of bread w/optional spread
  • Brown on both sides in butter/oil in an oven-proof pan and transfer to broiler until golden and cheese is soft and partially melted
  • Place on the side or on rim of your bisque vessels!



  1. so cute! tomato soup with grilled cheese has to be one of my top three favorite meals ever. i love fancy interpretations and will definitely have to make this in the near future!

  2. my goodness - forget the shots, could eat a nice bowl of this and a much bigger grilled cheese...

  3. mmmm. I love when recipes call for a splash of Marsala...that way I can drink some while I cook! Your little teacups are so pretty!

  4. oh god! love this and the grilled cheese stacks like little delicious poker chips....mmmmm

  5. oh man I was dreaming of grilled cheese today, you just might of put me over the edge....ok yes, its decided, I'm gonna make one :)

  6. Great photos and fantastic idea! If this was served at a dinner party, I would be so happy to indulge.

  7. You got me drooling here, especially with that last photo. Sounds yummy!

  8. So salivating, must be real yummy just by looking at the pics!

  9. Grilled cheese and tomato soup really is the perfect combo. I love mini food, it makes eating so much more fun!

    Your photo with the gloopy cheese is so great!

  10. You have such good ideas!

  11. in french I would say ouahhh !! bravo to you !! Pierre

  12. @ All - Gloopy grilled cheese is an almost universal trigger for salivating - very Pavlovian... but much less depressing. :)

    Thanks guys!

  13. What I want to know is - why am I not invited to the parties where these amazing goodies get devoured? I'd fly for this!

  14. I love this! It is almost too adorable to eat. (I said almost.)

  15. Both recipes look delicious! I love the marsala in the bisque. Yum!

  16. Indeed, P&C, this looks very classy ... and delicious!

  17. Oh wow, what an awesome blog you've here! And that looks so delicious. yummm....

  18. Those serving cups/bowls are a really nice touch! They're so fancy, yet homey. Delicious cold weather pair of course. Who doesn't like grilled cheese?

  19. THE ultimate comfort small bite! It's elegant without taking itself too seriously. Love it!

  20. Happy, happy, food whimsy!!! I love it. It's like having lunch in Wonderland!

  21. i'm happy just thinking about eating those mini-grilled cheese sandwiches!

  22. looks fantastic. never thought of using my sake cups for anything but sake:) thanks for the idea

  23. Droool! And those cups are so cute! I love it.

  24. Waiter, there's too much cuteness in my soup! I need a fly to counteract it!

  25. The soup recipe sounds rich and delicious.

  26. Yum! I love tomato soup and grilled cheese but you've really upped the sophistication with this preparation. Love your photos! Thanks for visiting weheartmacandcheese. Amy Sedaris is awesome. :)

  27. @ Mae -- tomato bisque and grilled cheese: 1 of my favorite combinations!

    By the way -- from following your blog I also found out about Mr. P's blog and am following him as well.

    @ Mae and @ Mr. P -- how bout you both fly to NYC and you can both cook in my kitchen?? I think (maybe, just maybe) I have enough space!

  28. @ Tifanie - Haha! Yeah, I saw that on Mr. P's site when I was checking the lamington competition, which was much fun! There is going to be a Moveable Feast competition on Peas Love Carrots - and Delicious Delicious Delicious has graciously decided to be one of the Iron Chefs - along with some other very fantastic food bloggers. You have to check it out, Tif!

  29. Yum! Have you submitted this to the Grilled Cheese Academy yet?


Thanks for commenting - I'm always happy to hear from you!


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