Fresh Roasted Tomato Soup With Grilled Cheese Croutons
6 cups (3 pints) cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1 chopped yellow onion
1 (28-ounce) can or two 14.5 ounce cans diced tomatoes
4 cups chicken stock
fresh herbs of choice (I would use sage and thyme)
1 cup whipping cream (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400°. In a bowl, combine the cherry/grape tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and the salt and pepper. Toss the ingredients to coat evenly and spread them in a single layer onto a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Roast the tomatoes until they are nice and roasted, about 35 to 45 minutes.
In a large pot, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 6 minutes, adding the garlic in at the last moment just to lightly bloom. Add the canned tomatoes with their juice, the stock, the fresh herbs, and the roasted tomatoes, including any liquid on the baking sheet. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 30 to 40 minutes. Remove any large stems from the fresh herbs. Using an immersion blender or regular blender, puree the soup until it’s smooth. Return it to the pot and stir in the cream. Without letting the soup boil, warm it over medium heat, stirring often, until steaming. Add salt and pepper, if necessary, and any other desired dried herbs.
Serve with grilled cheese sandwiches. For an added touch, I make my grilled cheese to my liking (with lots of yummy cheeses… Munster, Havarti, Extra Sharp Cheddar, and a little mayo) and then I cut it into 16 equal pieces… making it into grilled cheese croutons! Then I toss them into my soup a few at a time.