Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Roasted tomato soup with grilled cheese croutons

6 cups cherry tomatoes
3 T olive oil
1 t salt
1 t pepper
2 T butter (I used light)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chopped onion
1 can diced tomatoes (I didnt have this so I diced up 2 large tomatoes)
4 cups chicken broth (I used low sodium, low fat)
1 cup whipping cream (I used fat free half and half)
I also added 1/2 cup fresh basil, diced up

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Toss the cherry tomatoes with 2 T of olive oil and salt and pepper, then transfer to a baking sheet in a single layer. 

Roast the tomatoes until they are shriveled with brown spots, about 30 minutes.

In a large pot, heat the butter and the remaining T of olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and saute until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the canned tomatoes with their juice (or the diced tomatoes with their juice), the broth, the basil, and the roasted tomatoes, including any liquid on the baking sheet. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 40 minutes. How flipping pretty is that??

Using a food processor or blender, puree the soup until its smooth.

Return it to the pot and stir in the cream (or half and half). Without letting the soup boil, warm it over medium heat, stirring often, until steaming. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Make yourself some grilled cheese croutons for serving! If you don't know how to do this, don't worry...when I went to college I didn't either. I had no idea you had to butter the bread!  So here's a quick tutorial in case you were a lazy kid like me who left the burning of the grilled cheese to your mom:

1. Butter one side of each piece of bread
2. Lay bread buttered side down into greased skilled
3. Layer cheese on top of that (I used one slice of American and one slice of Swiss but Pepperjack is killer in there if you have it)
4. Throw your other piece of bread on top, buttered side up. I usually sprinkle each buttered side with some thyme for a little flava.
5. Don't burn them like Mama K always did (sorry for calling you out, Mom)! Keep checking the bottoms and flip when golden brown.
6. When cheese is melted and toast is perfectly browned, you have just made your first grilled cheese. 

It sounds easy, and it is...but it really is quick to burn so be careful!

Cut our grilled cheese up in bite sized pieces once it cools for a few minutes so the cheese doesn't ooze out....that would be catastrophic!  Throw them into your steaming soup and serve immediately so they don't get super soggy...

Justin is always a huge fan of grilled cheese, so he was easy to please with that aspect.  He wasn't real up on the tomato soup though...he said it's just as easy and good to eat the Campbell's Select tomato basil we usually do..and he's correct.  BUT I had cherry tomatoes up the wazoo and any good food hoarder knows you shouldn't waste food when there's starving kids in Etheopia! I really liked it though, maybe due to the feeling of accomplishment of making my first soup besides chicken or beef noodle...who knows.  I will tell you that soup weather is upon us whether you like it or this really hit the spot in front of the fireplace that night!  But you decide for yourself....

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