Broiling high-quality, canned San Marzano tomatoes intensifies their flavor, making this soup taste as if you’ve just plucked the tomatoes in the height of summer. Crunchy croutons made of cubes of grilled cheese add a fun, comfort-food feel.
Tomato Basil Soup With Grilled Cheese Croutons
- 1 28-ounce (794g) can low-sodium, whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes with juice
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 tablespoon no salt-added tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 2 cups (591ml) low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
- 2 slices 100% whole-grain bread (such as Dave’s Killer Whole-Grain Bread)
- 1/2 cup (57g) cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 tablespoon vegan mayonnaise (such as Just Mayo)
Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Tear the tomatoes in half with your fingers, letting the juices drip back into the can. Set the juices aside. Arrange the tomatoes on the baking sheet and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Place the pan on a rack 6 inches (15cm) below the broiling element. Broil the tomatoes, rotating the pan once, until the tomatoes are a blackened in places, about 10 minutes.
While the tomatoes are broiling, heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and thyme and sauté until onions are tender, 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add the tomato paste and flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
Add 1/2 cup (125ml) water, reserved tomato juice and broth; bring to a simmer. When the tomatoes are ready, add them to the pot, scraping up any browned bits. Reduce heat to low and cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
Blend the soup in the pot with an immersion blender or in batches in a blender with the lid slightly ajar to allow steam to escape. Stir in the basil and keep warm over low heat.
For the croutons, spread the mayo one one side of each piece of bread and place 2 slices mayo side-down on a cutting board. Spread evenly with the cheese and place remaining bread slices mayo side-up on top to make 2 sandwiches. Heat a large, non-stick pan over medium heat. Add the sandwiches, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until the cheese melts and the bread is golden brown, about 4 minutes per side. Cut the sandwiches into 1-inch squares. Serve the soup with the grilled cheese squares sprinkled on top.
Serves: 4 | Serving Size: 1 1/4 cups soup, about 1/2 sandwich
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 233; Total Fat: 11g; Saturated Fat: 4g; Monounsaturated Fat: 4g; Cholesterol: 21mg; Sodium: 618mg; Carbohydrate: 21g; Dietary Fiber: 4g; Sugar: 6g; Protein: 10g