If you’re looking for a warm hug to the stomach during this cold extended winter, look no further! This soup is the epitome of everyones favorite comfort food combinations: warm tomato soup with grilled cheese. This is one of my favorite soups to make when tomatoes are in season using them when they are at their peak. I figured while everyone is enjoying this extended winter, you’ll need an in-home companion to help warm you from this spring break chill. It’s so weird to think that spring break is here and everyone up North is braving ridiculously cold temperatures! I don’t mean to rub it in, but we are in Arizona right now and it was 56 degrees this morning at 7am and inspired me to think of you guys up north and hook you up with some comforting soup.
Here’s what you’ll need:
2 1/2- 3 pounds of tomatoes (variety of roma, heirloom, beefsteak), cored and seeded
2 small yellow onions, sliced in 1/2 inch rings
6-8 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper
2 bay leaves
32 ounces of good chicken stock (if you want this to be purely vegetarian use vegetable stock, chicken stock gives it a rich deep flavor)
4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, cubed
3/4 cups heavy cream
salt & pepper to season (approx 1 tsp each)
Grilled Cheese Croutons:
2 sliceS of sourdough bread
2 slices of american cheese
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. On a rimmed baking sheet, place core & seeded tomatoes, garlic and sliced onions and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle olive oil and toss. Place in oven to roast 20-35 minutes. You want everything to have a roasted coloring to them before you remove them from the oven.
Once the tomato mixture is finished roasting, add everything in a large stock pot along with 3 cups of chicken stock, bay leaves, and butter. Heat on medium high heat until boiling, and then reduce to a simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
Remove bay leaves, and if you have an immersion blender go ahead and blend everything in the stock pot until it is nice and smooth. If you don’t have an immersion blender, carefully pour everything into a blender and blend. You might need to do this in batches if everything won’t fit in your blender.
Once you have everything blended, pour it back into the stock pot and turn heat to low and add heavy cream and season with salt and pepper if necessary. Taste test the soup, this is when you can adjust the consistency of your soup by adding more chicken stock. The thing about this soup is that every time you make it you will have a different consistency. Sometimes I add more stock, sometimes I don’t. I’m just looking for a nice creamy and smooth consistency, not too thick.
While this soup is coming together on low, heat the oven to broil. Now we are going to assemble the grilled cheese croutons. Butter one side of each piece of bread. In between the two pieces of bread, place 2 slices of cheese creating a sandwich. Cut the sandwich into 1/2 inch cubes and place on a baking sheet. Place sheet in oven and broil, flipping the croutons after 3-4 minutes until both sides are golden brown. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with croutons.
Like all soups, this one is even better the next day! Reheat in a saucepan on medium heat. If you have leftover croutons, reheat those under the broiler again for a few minutes, flipping once.