Sunday, August 09, 2020


Serves eight.

This is a take on a tomato soup with a grilled cheese sandwich. I love the creamy silkiness of the soup along with the crunch from the cheddar croutons and the zesty basil pesto. It is a sure crowd-pleaser and your guests will be begging for seconds!




  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 Spanish onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 ½ cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons homemade or store-bought basil pesto
  • 1 tablespoon light agave nectar, optional
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • Kosher salt and pepper




  • 1 day-old French baguette, cubed
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


For the soup:

In a large soup pot set over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. Add onion and garlic. Cook 10  minutes, until soft and translucent.  Add the crushed  tomatoes, vegetable broth, and agave, if using. Bring to a simmer and cook 10-15 minutes. Blend the soup using a high-power blender until silky smooth. Stir in the heavy cream and bring the soup to a simmer over low heat. Cook 5 minutes. Season to taste with kosher salt and pepper.

For the croutons:

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or spray lightly with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, toss the bread with the melted butter. Season with kosher salt and pepper. Spread cubes in an even layer on the sheet pan. Bake 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Sprinkle croutons with cheese and bake for 5 minutes, until the cheese melts. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls, swirl in the pesto and top with cheesy croutons. Garnish with sprigs of fresh parsley or basil. Serve warm.

By Yitzi “Chef Y” Taber

Chef Y, aka Yitzi Taber, is a personal chef who has cooked for many families for events and festive meals. He started cooking when he was 13 after watching Food Network shows. He learned many concepts and techniques from Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis and he hopes to start his own catering business called Chef Y’s Cool Kosher Cuisine soon. He is looking to cater events such as bar/bat mitzvahs, weddings, engagement parties and the like. He also plans to sell his homemade challahs and dips to kosher supermarkets in the NJ area so people can enjoy his scrumptious food for Shabbat and Yom Tov. Contact him at 201-63-YITZI or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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