Sometimes a classic combination is just what you are craving. Winter’s favorite comfort food can become a lighter version with just a few tweaks and twists. I took the grilled cheese sandwich literally for this summer sandwich and loaded a baguette with cheese, fresh herbs and hot chili slices and then grilled the sandwich until the cheese was a melted, glorious concoction.

My favorite tomato soup was reborn as a chilled version with added creaminess from roasted garlic and a generous glug of extra virgin olive oil.

Chilled Yellow Tomato Soup
Serves 4

2 pounds yellow tomatoes
1/3 cup Extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves roasted garlic
2 tablespoons chopped basil
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper
Suggested garnishes:  herbed croutons, basil, grated cheese, diced tomatoes

Preheat oven to 350

Lightly rub the tomatoes with 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and place the tomatoes on a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast the tomatoes until they are lightly browned and the skins are wrinkled (about 30 minutes). Cool the tomatoes.

Peel off the skins and process the tomatoes and the remaining ingredients in a food processor or blender. Adjust seasoning.

Serve chilled with garnishes.

Grilled Cheese-Summer Style
Serves 4

1 baguette, sliced in half lengthwise
½ cup grated cheddar cheese
½ cup grated provolone cheese (or your favorite cheese)
2 tomatoes, sliced
¼ cup chopped olives
1 small hot chili, sliced (optional)
Handful of fresh herbs (basil, parsley, oregano, chives)

Preheat grill to medium or oven to 148 C.

Pull out some of the dough from the bread to make a hollow in in the bottom and top piece of baguette.

Layer the cheese and other filling ingredients on the baguette. Wrap in foil and grill or bake for 15 minutes.

Slice and serve.

Chef Laura Frankel is Executive Chef for Spertus Kosher Catering and author of Jewish Cooking for All Seasons, and Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes.

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