Saturday, February 28, 2009

Roasted Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

I found this spectacular recipe the other day, and I just HAD to try it. Most of the soups I make have a decidedly fall or winter seasonal flair...but tomato soup is good in any season. The roasted tomatoes added a delicious rustic flavor, and I thought making the grilled cheese sandwiches that almost ALWAYS go with tomato soup into croutons was genius.

This recipe makes 10 cups, so there is no need to double.

Roasted Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons


6 cups (3 pints) cherry tomatoes
3 TBS olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 TBS unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chopped onion
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes (I substituted this with two 14.5-ounce cans of Fire-Roasted Diced Tomatoes...which are a new product by Hunt's foods that I discovered while shopping for ingredients for this recipe.)
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 tsp thyme
1 cup heavy whipping cream


6 slices bread
6 slices American cheese
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
about 1/2 tsp thyme

To Make Soup:

1. Heat oven to 400. On a baking sheet, combine cherry tomatoes, 2 TBS olive oil, and the salt and pepper. Toss the ingredients to coat evenly and spread them in a single layer.

Roast the tomatoes until they are shriveled with brown spots, about 35-45 minutes.

2. In a large pot, heat the butter and the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and saute until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the canned tomatoes with their juice (here's where I added those fabulous canned roasted tomatoes...),

the broth, the thyme, and the roasted tomatoes, including any liquid on the baking sheet. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer, partially covered, for 40 minutes.

3. Using a food processor or blender, puree the soup until it's smooth. Return it to the pot and stir in the cream. Without letting it boil, warm it over medium heat, stirring often, until steaming. Add salt and pepper, if necessary.

4. Ladle into bowls and garnish with grilled cheese croutons.

To Make Croutons:

1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. In a small bowl, combine butter and thyme. Spread one side of each slice of bread with butter mixture.. Place 3 slices of bread in the pan, buttered side down. Top each with 2 slices of cheese, and then with the reamining 3 bread slices, buttered side up. Cook, turning once, until toasted on both sides, 3 to 5 minutes per side.

2.Remove the sandwiches from the pan. Let them cool slightly, then cut them into 1-inch squares. makes about 60 croutons.

courtesy Family Fun magazine, who adapted it from "300 Sensational Soups" by Carla Snyder and Meredith Deeds.

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