TOMATO-BASIL SOUP WITH GRILLED CHEESE CROUTONS

TOMATO-BASIL SOUP WITH GRILLED CHEESE CROUTONS

INGREDIENTS

  • For the tomato soup:
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 shallots, small diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • Pinch of kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1-1/4 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 (28-ounce) can Red Gold Whole Peeled Tomatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley/basil, optional
  • For the grilled cheese croutons:
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 slices sandwich bread (white or wheat)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or Swiss, colby jack, mozzarella, etc.)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. For the tomato soup:
    In a medium pot set to medium heat, add olive oil. Once hot, add shallot, garlic, red pepper flakes, basil, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently until shallots are soft, about 3-5 minutes.
  2. Stir in broth, tomatoes and brown sugar. Cover pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until tomatoes are soft and able to be gently mashed with a fork, about 30 minutes.
  3. Puree with an immersion blender, or add mixture to a food processor or blender, and puree in batches if necessary. Return to pot, off heat, and cover until ready to serve.
  4. For the croutons:
    Set a grill pan to medium-high heat. Spread 1/2 tablespoon butter on 1 side of each bread slice. Turn the slices over. Top 2 slices with cheddar. Place remaining 2 slices of bread on top, buttered sides up. Add sandwich to pan and grill until the bread is golden and the cheese is melted, about 2-3 minutes per side. Let cool for 1 minute and cut into 1-inch cubes.
  5. Ladle soup into serving bowls and top with grilled cheese croutons. Sprinkle with chopped parsley or basil, if desired.
  6. Enjoy!
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