There is no recipe that brings back memories of care free summers and happy childhoods like the classic grilled cheese and tomato soup combo. Try this sophisticated take on the American classic for your next Summer get together straight from Karel's kitchen.


6 thin sliced pieces of white bread, crusts removed and buttered on both sides

1 stick unsalted butter, softened

1 cup pancetta, chopped

1 cup parmesan cheese, grated

1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

2 egg whites

1 teaspoons water

6 slices Gruyere cheese (or cheese of your choice)

Cherry tomatoes, halved for garnish

Butter flavored cooking spray

In a fry pan, sauté the chopped pancetta until crisp. Drain, discard grease and set aside. In a bowl, mix egg whites and water. In another bowl, blend the parmesan cheese and the panko crumbs. On 1 slice of buttered bread, place one slice of Gruyere and arrange cooked pancetta. Cover with another buttered slice of bread. Dip both sides into beaten egg white/water mix briefly and coat all sides with the parmesan/panko mixture. Repeat for each sandwich. On hot griddle, place each sandwich and cook until golden brown on both sides. Remove from heat and cut into bite size shapes of your choice. Skewer with toothpick and garnish with tomato halves.


6 slices bacon finely chopped

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 onion, finely chopped

2 carrots, finely chopped

4 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons flour

4 cups chicken stock

2 sprigs thyme

2 bay leaves

6 basil leaves plus 2 for garnish

1 15 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes in juice, crushed

½ cup heavy cream

Kosher salt

Croutons for garnish

In sauce pan, cook bacon until crisp and set aside. In same pan, add butter, garlic, onion and carrots, stirring until soft. Add tomato paste and 6 basil leaves (torn in pieces). Add flour and cook, stirring until smooth. Add stock, thyme, bay leaves and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and cook until slightly reduced, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and puree. Return to sauce pan and stir in cream. Garnish with croutons, bacon and remaining basil leaves (cut in ribbons).