ROASTED TOMATO BASIL SOUP

INGREDIENTS

    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 1 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 large yellow onion, small dice
    • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • 2 28-ounce cans roasted tomatoes (or 3 pounds of tomatoes, halved and roasted at 425 degrees for 30 minutes)
    • 1-2 roasted red bell peppers (either from the jar and drained, or halved and season with salt, pepper and a few teaspoons of olive oil and roasted in the oven at 425 for 20 minutes)
    • 3/4 cups chicken stock
    • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
    • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
    • 1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)
    • Handful fresh basil leaves
For the Cheesy Garlic Bread
  • 1 baguette, sliced into triangles
  • Butter, at room temperature
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 pound grated Gruyere
  • Fresh thyme for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a large pot, heat the butter and olive oil over medium-low heat. Add diced onions and cook gently, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 20 minutes.
  2. Add flour and stir until mixture is slightly thickened and pale gold, about 3 minutes; do not allow to brown.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes and their juices, red bell peppers, chicken broth, salt, red pepper flakes, thyme and pepper. Raise heat to medium until the liquid bubbles, then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pot frequently.
  4. Stir in heavy cream (if using) and basil. Remove from heat and purée using a hand blender, or allow to cool until no longer steaming and purée in batches in a stand blender. Return to medium heat just until heated through.
  5. Once the soup is done, preheat the broiler. Arrange the baguette slices on a baking sheet in a single layer. Slather the top with butter and sprinkle with garlic. Top the bread with the Gruyere and broil until bubbly and golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.
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