January 21, 2015

Hearty Tomato Soup with Parmesan-Crusted Croutons

I honestly cannot believe I'm posting yet ANOTHER tomato soup recipe on this blog. Or tomato anything for that matter. I don't even know who I am anymore. Apparently my tastebuds are growing up finally. It only took a few years...
So onto this soup. Isn't that the prettiest red you've ever seen?? I'm in love with how these pictures turned out. And the soup wasn't too bad either. Another new favorite of my husband and mine.
And the Parmesan-crusted croutons aren't too bad of an idea either. Actually they're an amazing idea and I'm trying to think of anyway I can incorporate them into every meal. SUPER easy to make, too.
This soup is hearty, but you can decide how thick or smooth you want it to be, and it has a great rich flavor. Make sure to have some bread, croutons or a grilled cheese on hand to use as a dipper to get the full effect.
You will not be disappointed.

Hearty Tomato Soup with Parmesan-Crusted Croutons
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman
Servings: 6
1/2 Tbsp. butter
1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. garlic, minced
1/2 onion, diced
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
3 (14.5 oz.) cans whole tomatoes
16 oz. chicken broth
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup half and half
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish

Croutons
1/2 whole baguette, sliced into rounds
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1. In a large pot, heat butter and oil over medium-high heat, then add onion, garlic, and carrots. Stir and cook for 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and stir, cooking for another 2-3 minutes. Add canned tomatoes with their juice, broth, and water. Stir together and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover the pot, and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
2. Use an immersion blender to puree, still leaving some texture to the tomatoes. Add half and half, salt, pepper, and basil; simmer for another 5 minutes.
3. To make the croutons, drizzle baguette rounds lightly with olive oil. Place Tablespoon sized piles of Parmesan in a nonstick skillet. Place a baguette round on top of each pile. Turn on the heat to medium. Press with a spatula as you melt the cheese into each round. When set, flip to the other side to toast.
4. Serve soup with one or two croutons on top and a little bit of basil.

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