Sauté Veggies. Add the butter and olive oil to a large pot over medium heat until butter is fully melted. Sautéed onions and carrots. Add in the diced carrots and onions and cook for about 5–6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season veggies with 1/2 teaspoon salt and add in sugar and stir until sugar is fully mixed in with veggie mix Cook for another 7-9 minutes or until onion and carrots are golden brown and caramelized.
Add in seasonings. Add in the garlic, tomato paste, and Italian seasoning and stir for another 1-2 minutes or until the paste begins to brown and turn a slight rusty color.
Add in Flour. If pan seems dry, add another 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil. Then add flour, cook for another 1 minute. Add liquids. Pour in the tomatoes, chicken or veggie stock, balsamic vinegar and bay leaves and again season to taste. I add another 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Increase heat to high and cook fo 8-10 minutes. Blend. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until velvety smooth. Or carefully transfer the mixture to a blender, and blend on high until smooth. Return to the pot, Taste and season again to you liking.
Make it creamy. Return the pot to low heat on the stove and stir in cream. Taste once again for any additional seasonings needed.
Assemble the grilled cheese. Spread desired amount of butter on one side of each slice of bread and season with garlic salt. With butter side down, top each slice of bread with one slice of each kind of cheese. Top each sandwich with other slice of bread, butter side up.
Make the grilled cheese. In a skillet over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add sandwiches to the pan, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Cook for 2-4 minutes, or until first side is golden brown. Flip and top skillet with lid (this helps cheese fully melt and become gooey). Cook for another 2-3 minutes or until second side is golden brown. Repeat until all sandwiches are cooked, wiping skillet clean if necessary.
Enjoy! Serve warm grilled cheese with a bowl of soup.
This recipe intends to make 4 grilled cheeses paired with bowls of tomato soup. Of course you can reduce or increase the numbers of grilled cheeses. Either way, there will likely be leftover tomato soup. Store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.