Monday, January 18, 2016

Roasted Tomoato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

I am one of those people who had to develop a taste for tomato soup.  Give me salsa, ketchup, pasta sauce, and even sliced tomatoes and I'm all good.  But, place a glass of tomato juice or a bowl of tomato soup in front of me.  Um, NO thank you.

It's not for lack of trying, I promise.  It was never one of those things that I longed for.  I'd heard and even seen the infamous grilled cheese and tomato soup duo but until about 8 years ago I had never tried it and never had the desire to try it.

I wanted to like tomato soup.  I wanted to have that classic duo, but it just wasn't happening.  Then one (very cold) day while I was at work, my boss and I ordered a grilled cheese sandwich and tomato bisque soup from a local restaurant.  I thought, if any soup was going to convert me it would be from this restaurant.  And you know what, it did!  I had finally found a tomato soup that I loved.

From that point on I started diving into the tomato soup world.  Tomato bisque, creamy tomato soup. regular tomato soup and everything in between.

I believe it's safe to say that a bowl of tomato soup and a hot, gooey grilled cheese is one of my favorite meals.  Especially during the colder months.  There's something so comforting and cozy about this famous food duo.

I've made a few different tomato soup recipes over the years, but never one that required roasting tomatoes.  I love the flavor of roasted tomatoes, they just had so much flavor.  And this recipe is packed with tons of roasted tomatoes.

Aside from the roasted tomatoes, there's also a can of whole tomatoes which I crushed using my hands before adding to the pot.  You could buy a can of crushed tomatoes, but I liked crushing them myself and leaving some bigger chunks of tomatoes throughout the soup.  Aside from tomatoes you've got some garlic, stock, and a little brown sugar which helps to cut some of that acidity.
And let's not forget about the grilled cheese portion of this recipe.  Perhaps my favorite part of this recipe.  Grilled cheese croutons.

What???

Let me repeat myself. Grilled cheese croutons people!  That's right, that perfect grilled cheese sandwich cut into croutons and plopped right on top of that warm bowl of soup.  How fun is that?

So the next time you're craving a big bowl of tomato soup, whip up this roasted tomato soup and garnish with grilled cheese croutons!

Roasted Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons
Ingredients:

1 1/2 Pounds tomatoes on the vine
1 (10oz) Container grape tomatoes
1 (28oz) can whole tomatoes
4 Cups chicken or vegetable stock
1/8 Tsp onion powder
1/4 Tsp pepper
2 Cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp brown sugar.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

Meanwhile, remove tomatoes from the vine, wash and cut in half and place on prepared baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a teaspoon of kosher salt.  Place in the oven and roast for about 1 hour, until tender.

When tomatoes are 20 minutes from being done, add the grape tomatoes to the pan, toss to coat with olive oil and return to the oven for the remaining 20 minutes.  Remove and allow to cool.

Once the tomatoes are cooled place in a blender and pulse and until smooth.

Place a large stockpot over medium-low heat.  Once the pot is hot add a tablespoon of olive oil and the minced garlic.  Saute the garlic until fragrant, about 30-45 seconds.  Add the tomato mixture, chicken or vegetable stock, onion powder, pepper and sugar and stir to combine.

Pour the canned tomatoes in a bowl and crush the tomatoes with your hands.  Pour the crushed tomatoes in the stockpot and stir to combine.  Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.  Cover and allow soup to simmer for about 20 minutes.  Then serve and top with grilled cheese croutons.

For the croutons-

4 Slices of crusty bread (I used whole clove garlic bread)
1/2 Cup shredded asiago cheese
Butter

Preheat a panini press or pan.

Butter one side of each piece of bread.  Place 2 slices of bread, butter side down on the press or pan.  Mound the cheese on the bread and top with the remaining pieces of bread, butter side up.  Close the press (if not using a press, place a heavy pan over the top of the sandwiches) and allow to cook until the cheese is melted and both sides are crispy and golden brown.  *If using a pan, turn the sandwich halfway through to allow both sides to become perfectly golden brown.

Remove the sandwiches and place on a cutting board and allow to cool for about 5 minutes before cutting.  Once the sandwiches are cool, cut into square pieces.

Place soup in a bowl, garnish with croutons and enjoy!

Recipe source: A Lynsey Original


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