Fresh Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

Makes 4 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

Soup

2 tsp vegetable oil
3/4 cup chopped sweet onions (such as Vidalia)
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
4 cups chopped plum tomatoes (about 8), with juices
1 cup reduced-sodium vegetable or chicken stock
1 1/2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, for garnish
1 batch Grilled Cheese Croutons (recipe follows)

Grilled Cheese Croutons

(makes about 2 cups)
2 oz shredded light cheddar cheese
2 slices whole-wheat bread 

Instructions

Soup

Step 1

In a non-stick saucepan lightly sprayed with cooking spray, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook for 3 minutes, until the onions are softened. Stir in the tomatoes, stock, tomato paste, sugar, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.

Step 2

Working in batches, purée soup in a blender or food processor until smooth (hold the lid down with a towel to prevent hot liquid from leaking).

Ladle the soup into serving bowls and garnish with the basil. Top each bowl with 2 grilled cheese croutons. Serve immediately.

Step 3

Grilled Cheese Croutons

Step 1

While soup is cooking, sprinkle 1 slice of bread evenly with the cheese. Sandwich with the remaining slice of bread.

Step 2

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly spray both sides of bread with vegetable oil and cook in hot skillet for 2 minutes per side, just until the cheese melts and the bread is lightly browned.

Step 3

Cut the sandwich into 8 squares. Serve.

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