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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Creamy Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese Croutons

So yesterday is a day I would like to forget. Started off with an emotional vet visit for our dog Finn. He was diagnosed with a long list of health problems ranging from bladder stones to two tick born diseases and a potential kidney disease. Followed by yours truly breaking the the dishwasher (fixed now!), and picking up my car from the repair shop only to have the check engine light immediately go on - perfect. Finally, trying Dylan out in a big boy bed to help aid his new worry of falling asleep alone only to have him fall out of his new bed crying twice in the night and ending up in our bed playing with our faces at 4:30 am. Epic fail.

Luckily, there is a bright side and it is called Creamy Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese Croutons. Yes GRILLED CHEESE CROUTONS!! They happily remind me the Sweet Potato Croutons I made three years ago.

Ps. Last month's bad day.

Creamy Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese Croutons
from Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust

3 tablespoons good olive oil
3 cups yellow onions, chopped (2 onions)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
Large pinch saffron threads
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/2 cup orzo (for GF use brown rice)
1/2 cup heavy cream (I used half and half because that's what I had.)
Grilled cheese croutons 

In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Stir in the stock, tomatoes, saffron, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, fill a medium pot with water, add 2 teaspoons salt, and bring to a boil. Add the orzo and cook for 7 minutes. (It will finish cooking in the soup.) If you want to make this gluten free, cook brown rice 3/4 done and add it in the same way.

Drain the orzo and add it to the soup. Stir in the cream, return the soup to a simmer, and cook for 10 more minutes, stirring frequently.

During the last 10 minutes, make your favorite grilled cheese sandwich. I like hearty wheat bread and a sharp cheddar cheese grilled on a griddle pan using our massive sandwich press (thanks Mike!).  Simply cut the hot sandwich into 1/2" cubes to top soup.

Serve hot with Grilled Cheese Croutons scattered on top. You can make the soup ahead and reheat it before serving.


  1. I read the name of the recipe and was still shocked to see actual grilled cheese sandwiches, made into croutons. So genius! (I'm sorry to hear about your dog, I hope everything turns out okay.)

  2. Thanks Jennifer I really appreciate the good vibes for Finn! He's a sweet dog. I know, I think I'm going to throw grilled cheese croutons on all soups from now on!

  3. i am so sorry to hear this. meanwhile, great recipe! looks super yummmy.

  4. I was planning an almost identical post based on Ina's recipe when your post came out. So I have had this soup, and it is the perfect comfort meal for the winter or when you're under a foot+ of snow like we are. I also added balsamic to deglaze and buttermilk to finish for a sweet and creamy balance to the tomatoes.

  5. Katie - I love your special touches! I agree it was delicious and can't wait to make it again.


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