December 22, 2014

Creamy Potato-Tomato Soup with Homemade Garlic Croutons

I must really love my tomato based soups because I already have a few on this blog. But this one? This one is different.
This soup not only calls for tomatoes, but a potato AND a sweet potato. And because of that, there is no other soup like it.
And while l liked this soup by itself, I really wanted to add some savory toppings. So I added my favorite homemade croutons and some feta. Because feta can seriously go in anything. And I mean anything.
So if you need a hearty soup to warm you up, be sure to try this out. And don't forget the toppings! Because the toppings are a must.

Creamy Tomato-Potato Soup with Homemade Garlic Croutons
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1 large russet potato, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup cream or half and half
Toppings: feta and croutons

1. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil and add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until the onion has softened a bit, 4-5 minutes.
2. Add the broth, water, tomatoes, basil, salt, pepper and sweet potatoes. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
3. Add the russet potatoes and cook 15 minutes more or until all the potatoes are tender.
Mash the potatoes into the soup or blend for a smoother consistency (with a handheld immersion blender or in batches, transfer the soup to a blender, filling it only halfway full with the hot soup).
4. Stir in the cream and season with additional salt and pepper to taste before ladling into bowls. Garnish with homemade croutons and feta.

For the croutons: 
4 slices sandwich bread
1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil OR 1 1/2 Tbsp. butter, melted 
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. dried parsley    
kosher salt

1. To make the croutons, preheat the oven to 300˚ F.
2. Cut the bread into 3/4-inch cubes and place in a medium-large bowl. (A pizza cutter makes this really easy.)
3. Combine the olive oil or butter, garlic powder and dried parsley in a small bowl. Stir together to blend well. Pour the mixture over the bread cubes and toss gently until evenly coated.

4. Transfer the bread cubes to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spreading them out into an even layer. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake for 15 minutes. Check to see if the croutons are golden and crisp. If not, toss lightly and bake up to 15 minutes more. Remove from oven and let cool. Transfer to an airtight container until ready to use.

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