Friday, October 30, 2009

Roasted Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

 This soup has such a good fresh flavor. It's so easy to make and you can use whole canned tomatoes but you won't be able to control the sodium content very well. Fresh basil just wakens all the flavors, but dried works also. Diva likes to have canned tomato soup with goldfish, she usually has it when MIL is around. I did put goldfish crackers on the table for her. DH who doesn't like tomato soup at all ate this and said "I have to say, I don't like tomato soup at all but this is pretty good." Piglet isn't a fan of cooked tomatoes so she thought this wasn't up to par. Pixie however LOVED the soup and the grilled cheese croutons.

Use ripe tomatoes, but make sure they aren't mushy. There is a lot of garlic in this but once it's roasted it won't be strong in flavor. I use a salt free, MSG free stock. If you have some made in the freezer pull it out!



GPAC Roasted Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons
2 1/2-3 pounds ripe tomatoes- quartered (seeded if you want, I don't bother)
1 15 oz can drained tomatoes (if you need more tomatoes)
2 tablespoons brown sugar (Optional)
12 cloves garlic
1 seeded jalapeno
1/2 cup olive oil
Sea Salt
Fresh pepper
2 Bay Leaves
4 tablespoons butter divided
1 tsp thyme (dried, use more if you have fresh on hand)
2 teaspoons dried basil or a good handful or so of fresh basil
1 carton of salt free chicken stock
dash or two or three of hot sauce (optional)
1/2-3/4 heavy cream
Serve with
fresh basil
shredded cheese
goldfish crackers
grilled cheese croutons (recipe follows)
Sour cream
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place the tomatoes skin side down on a baking sheet, scatter smashed and peeled garlic throughout. Toss in the jalapeno to roast also. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with brown sugar for more caramelizing if you'd like. Roast for 30 minutes. I did turn the broiler on to give these more color after they were roasted.
(You could use a whole head of garlic, slice off the top to expose the cloves and place it in the middle of all the tomatoes, once roasted the cloves will slide right out of the skin.)

While the tomatoes and garlic are roasting, saute the onions with 2 tablespoons of butter until soft. Add salt, pepper, thyme, basil, bay leaves, hot sauce and stock. Add the tomatoes, garlic and jalapeno. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 35-40 minutes.
Remove bay leaves and puree the soup with a immersion blender or stand blender. If you use a standard blender puree SMALL batches at a time. Place a kitchen towel on top of the blender cover to hold it down and protect your hands to keep them from getting scorched. If you want more texture in your soup leave some of the tomatoes in a more chopped consistency.
Return soup to the pot. Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and heavy cream. Stir, and season to taste.  If it's too thick add some stock or milk.
Grilled Cheese Croutons
Sliced bread- even number
Cheese of choice
Butter
Garlic Powder- you can use garlic salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place baking sheet in the oven to heat.
Butter one side of each slice of bread. Place half of the slices butter side DOWN, top with cheese and put the other slices of bread butter side UP on top of the cheese. Sprinkle with garlic powder. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Turn after 10 minutes to make sure both sides brown and sprinkle the other side with garlic powder. Remove from oven and let the cheese set for few minutes. Then with a sharp serrated knife cut into cubes.

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