Tomato Soup with Cheesy Crouton Topper

Tomato Soup with Cheesy Crouton Topper

Servings

5

Total Cook Time

85MIN

Ingredients

This is a great combination of tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches in one bowl. Use as much cheese as you like to make it even more cheesy and make sure to use a good, crusty bread for the croutons.

  • 1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 small yellow or white onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 tbsp butter, divided
  • 4 leaves fresh basil, plus extra for garnish
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, more or less to liking
  • ½ tsp fresh black pepper
  • ¼ tsp Tabasco or other hot sauce
  • 4 ounces Cache Valley Creamery grated cheddar cheese, about one cup
  • 2 ounces Cache Valley Creamery grated mozzarella cheese, about ¼ cup
  • 2 ounces Cache Valley Creamery shredded Parmesan, about ¼ cup
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • ½ loaf sourdough bread, about 8 ounces or 5 slices
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Steps

  • Place one oven rack in the second from bottom position and place another rack in the second from top position. Pre heat the oven to 425℉.
  • In a large dutch oven empty the whole peeled tomatoes, then using your hands, gently crush the tomatoes. Add the sliced tomatoes, garlic, and 2 tablespoons of the butter. Place 4 basil leaves on top (you can also substitute 4 thyme sprigs instead of the basil). Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Add hot sauce, if using.
  • Roast on the lower rack until the garlic is soft and the mixture is bubbly and thickened, about 45 minutes.
  • While the soup is roasting, tear or cut the sourdough into 1-inch cubes. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, adding to a large bowl. Add the Italian seasoning to the butter, then add the sourdough cubes. Toss with a large spoon or your hands to coat the bread with the butter mixture.
  • Spread the bread on a parchment lined baking sheet and place the sheet on the top oven rack to bake during the last 13-15 minutes of roasting the soup. Watch the croutons and remove when they’re golden on the edges. The bread will crisp a bit more during the second time in the oven. Remove the bread from the oven and set aside.
  • Remove the soup and place the pot over medium heat. If you added thyme sprigs in place of basil, remove the sprigs from the pot. Add the vegetable broth to the soup and simmer, stirring to remove the fond from the sides of the oven (Dark brown bits that accumulated in the oven).
  • Stir in the balsamic vinegar. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup directly in the pot, until smooth. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
  • Move an oven rack to the middle position in the oven and heat the oven to High on Broil. Sprinkle half of the cheddar cheese over the soup, all of the mozzarella, and half of the Parmesan cheese. Top with the croutons, arranging them in a single layer to cover the soup. Sprinkle the remaining cheddar and Parmesan cheese over the croutons. Broil on the middle rack until the cheese has melted, watching it so not to burn, only 1 or 2 minutes.
  • Serve immediately, adding more basil or thyme as a garnish. See notes for make ahead instructions.

Notes
Other Cache Valley Creamery cheese that is delicious in this recipe are sharp cheddar, Monterey Jack, and extra sharp cheddar. You may also enjoy a combination of cheddar, gouda, and havarti.
Make ahead directions- The soup can be made ahead and refrigerated, without the crouton topper, for up to 5 days before serving, or made and frozen for 3 months. The croutons can be toasted and placed in an airtight container for up to 3 days before serving.
Serving variations- If you want the soup to be more creamy, add up to 1/2 cup cream before blending with the emersion blender. Replace the basil with thyme leaves if desired.

Recipe Author: Sally Humeniuk Good Dinner Mom