Grilled cheese and tomato soup is a pretty magical combination. That’s probably why so many of us look for updates on tried and true pairings. I wasn’t planning on being yet another such soul, but this happy accident was too good not to share.
I wanted cheezies. I LOVE cheezies. Sadly, the cheezies I like are VERY high calorie and that means that instead of eating a bagful like I want to, I get a few measly pieces that probably came from when they clean out the machine before the next batch goes through. It’s such a tease. Sigh.
But I want cheezies!
Something must be done. On my boss’ wall there is a quote from Lily Tomlin that says “I said “Somebody should do something about that.” Then I realized I am somebody.” Alright then.
I like cheese crackers. They’re good, but today I needed something airy and crunchy – something cheezie-shaped too. Hmmm.
Elise at Simply Recipes had a post about Cheddar Cheese Puffs that sounded like a good place to start:
They were cheesy and airy, but not crunchy. Maybe if I change the shape? Ok. I can do that. The cheese I was going to work with was white and that was going to mean tan-coloured cheezies.
SO not going to fly.
Enter the tomato paste and Souper Starter (https://kountrytown.wordpress.com/2015/02/17/souper-starter/). Now we’re in business.
The ingredients are simple:
- 7 Tbsp butter
- 3 Tbsp tomato paste
- 2 Tbsp souper starter (or use a vegetable bouillon cube)
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 243g shredded cheese (the sharper the better)
- freshly ground black pepper
- 4 eggs
Melt 7 Tbsp butter in a medium-sized saucepan.
Put 3 Tbsp tomato paste in a large measuring cup.
Add 3/4 cup water to the tomato paste and stir well to combine. Get one serving of souper starter.
Add it to the tomato paste and water.
Once all of the butter has melted, add the tomato paste mixture to the butter.
Let the mixture come to a boil. As soon as it does, take it off the heat and add 1 cup of flour and mix with a spoon until it forms a cohesive dough.
Cover the saucepan and let it cool off the heat for 5 minutes.
While you are waiting, crack the four eggs into a bowl.
Beat the eggs with a fork. When the timer beeps to tell you that 5 minutes are up, beat the eggs into the dough with a spoon. If you are doing it right, it will come together a minute or so after it feels like your arm is going to fall off. (Sorry!)
Now that the dough has come together, it is time to beat in the cheese and freshly ground black pepper. My arm was done. I had to call in Sweet Baboo to do this. Good thing he also loves cheezies and understood the cause.
Now for the fun part. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and get out your weapon…..I mean, cookie press. Outfit it with the stinger attachment (long nozzle).
On baking sheets lined with parchment paper, pipe long lines of cheesy dough about 1cm apart.
Bake the cheezies in the oven for 15 minutes.
Lift the cheezies onto a piece of waiting aluminum foil to rest and cool. Put in the next tray and keep going until all the dough is used.
This recipe made 135 footlong souper cheezies. What was really astounding was how few calories they were, yet they had the terrific crunch and cheesy taste of cheezies from the store – I’m hooked!
Nutrition for 1 cheezie (approx. 10″ long)
- Calories: 18
- Fat: 1.4 g
- Carbs: 0.8 g
- Protein: 0.7 g
Woohoo! Once they were all baked, we snuck some (for quality assurance purposes, of course) and then I wrapped the cooled cheezies in packs of 5 for a convenient snack. Enjoy!
Note: The feature picture is the Barefoot Contessa’s Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/easy-tomato-soup-grilled-cheese-croutons-recipe.html