Monday, March 4, 2013

Homemade Creamy Tomato Soup with Seasoned Croutons

Some days just call for tomato soup and grilled cheese. It warms you down to your toes. 

One summer in college I worked at a camp for three weeks, through boys camp, girls camp and youth camp. And each week the day they had grilled cheese and tomato soup- every kid ate at least three servings. It was the only meal that everyone agreed on. It is a powerful commonality :) 
My favorite prepared soup is this delicious stuff. But sometimes when it's really cold, I actually enjoy standing over the stove while soup simmers. There's something calming and grounding and warming about preparing a meal from scratch (for the most part anyway). 
This soup has fantastic flavors, pulling the sweetness from the tomatoes with hints of onion and garlic. The croutons add a delicious buttery complement with the perfect crunch. This recipe makes enough for a crowd and can be easily adjusted to meet dietary needs by removing or replacing the heavy cream for dairy free or vegan or omitting the croutons for gluten-free. All in all, a lovely meal that everyone will love (except my sister; she's weird and doesn't eat tomatoes... but I still love her.)

What You'll Need:
serves 8
for soup:
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 28-ounce cans whole tomatoes
1–2 teaspoons sugar, divided
10 cups water
1/4 cup (or more) heavy cream
salt and pepper
for croutons:
4 pieces of bread, cubed
4 tbsp butter, melted
1 tbsp Italian seasonings

What To Do:
Preheat over to 300 degrees. 

Melt butter in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add onion. Cook until onion is completely soft and translucent, 10–12 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high; add tomato paste. Continue cooking, stirring often, until paste has begun to caramelize in spots, 5–6 minutes.

Add tomatoes with juices, 1 tsp. sugar, and 10 cups water to pot. Increase heat to high; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer until flavors meld and soup reduces to about 2 quarts (8 cups), 45–55 minutes. 

While soup is simmering, stir Italian seasoning into butter and toss thoroughly with the bread cubes. Lay flat on a baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes or until crunchy. Allow to cool. 

Remove soup from heat; let cool slightly. In small batches, purée soup in a blender until smooth. Return to pot. 

Stir in 1/4 cup cream. Simmer soup until flavors meld, 10–15 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and remaining 1 tsp. sugar. Add more cream, if desired.

Top soup with cracked black pepper and croutons. I also like to top mine with Parmesan shavings and crumbled bacon! Serve hot with a grilled cheese. 

Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit


  1. homemade tomato soup is SO good. these croutons sound lovely too.

  2. This is absolutely the perfect meal in my book! I may need to make this for supper tomorrow!


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