I adapted this recipe from Ina Garten's recipe. It's awesome! However, I did find I like a few less less onions, a bit less garlic, and a touch of sugar. So I changed the tomato soup recipe a bit to my liking. The grilled cheese croutons - oh my - they are perfect! So follow her recipe exactly.
Tomato Soup Recipe:
- 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 1 large sweet onion, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
- 1 large clove garlic, smashed, peeled and minced
- 4 cups chicken broth (I used Wegmans Organic Chicken Broth)
- 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes (I used 1/2 Wegmans Crushed Tomatoes and 1/2 Tuttorosso Crushed Tomatoes with Basil)
- 1 tsp. sugar (you can omit, or add more or less)
- 1 pinch saffron
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Stir in the chicken stock, tomatoes, saffron, 2 teaspoons salt (you may want more or less), 1 teaspoon pepper, and 1 teaspoon sugar. At this point I used my hand Immersion blender to emulsify and blend until smooth. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the cream, return the soup to a simmer and cook for 10 more minutes, stirring frequently.
Grilled Cheese Croutons
- 4 (1/2-inch-thick) slices country white bread
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (or melted)
- 4 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
Heat a panini grill or medium size pan. Place the four slices of bread on a cutting board and brush lightly with the melted butter (or spread softened butter on slices).Turn the slices over and pile Gruyere on two of the slices. Place the remaining two slices of bread on top of the Gruyere, buttered sides up.
Grill the sandwiches on the panini grill for about 5 minutes, until nicely browned. Place on a cutting board, allow to rest for 1 minute and cut into 1-inch cubes.
Country White Bread, Butter, and Gruyere Cheese...
Grill the sandwiches...
Place on a cutting board and let cool a minute. Cut into 1-inch cubes..
I skewered the croutons for serving. This way your guests can place their own croutons on the soup or just munch on the little cubes of gooey yumminess!