Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Creamy Tomato Soup with Cheesy Croutons

Yesterday was so blustery and cold! I didn't have a lot of food in the house, but I did have a large quantity of broccoli and a few cans of diced tomatoes. I really wanted soup, so it was either broccoli or tomato. I suppose I could have combined the two, but I ended up settling on tomato, as you may have deducted from the title of this post. Clever you... 

It's strange to me that I decided to try tomato soup, since I've never really liked it, but after reading a few recipes and picking and choosing which ingredients I thought sounded good, I pieced together a recipe that sounded good to me, using ingredients that I already had. I was shocked at how delicious it was! It was amazing. Kimball and I both loved it, and it was surprisingly filling.

Creamy Tomato Soup:
Since I was sort of throwing it together as I went, I'm not sure of the exact amounts of certain things.
Add the following to a big pot:
2 cans of diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon of chicken bouillon
1-2 cups water depending on how thick you want your soup to be 
(you can use chicken broth in place of the bouillon and water)
a teaspoon or so of salt
a teaspoon or so of pepper

While that's heating up, brown the following in a skillet with a bit of olive oil:
Half a yellow onion 
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of sugar

When the mixture's lightly browned, add it all to the pot of soup. Stir it in, and add the following, to taste:
celery salt (it's strong, so use a little bit and taste before you add more)
oregano (a couple teaspoons)
basil (a couple teaspoons)

You can use fresh or dried herbs. Be sure to taste it as you add the spices. If you add way too much, you can add another can of tomatoes to dilute it a little bit. 

When the soup comes to a boil, turn the heat down, and slowly pour in some heavy cream. I don't know how much I used - maybe half a cup - Just be sure to start with a little, and stir as you pour. If you add too much you'll really taste the cream. Pour, stir, and taste until it looks and tastes how you want it to. You can also omit the cream altogether.

You can stop there, or, you can puree the soup. I used an immersion blender and partially blended it up. I wanted to make it a little thicker by blending some of the tomatoes, but I retained the chunky texture of the onions and some tomatoes. If you don't want to do this, but you want the results, you could use 1 can of crushed tomatoes, and 1 can of diced.


It seems like people love the combination of tomato soup and grilled cheese. I'm not a fan of grilled cheese sandwiches, but I improvised and came up with a healthier, easier, and tastier substitute. I call them croutons because of they're size and shape, but they're only delightfully crispy, not crunchy like the kind you buy. They were also surprisingly delicious. 

Here are the directions:

Cheesy Croutons:
Preheat oven to 350F

Bread - I used regular whole wheat sandwich bread (1 slice per person), but you could use rolls, french, or other bread
Olive oil
Shredded cheese - I used mozzarella and asiago. Parmesan would be good, too
Garlic salt

Paint the bread lightly with olive oil, and cut it into squares. (If you're using rolls, you can cut them into cubes, and toss them with a bit of oil in a large ziploc bag instead of painting them. Arrange the bread squares on a tin foil-lined baking sheet (it's so much easier to clean up!). Sprinkle the bread lightly with the shredded cheese. Make sure the squares are close together, or even touching, so you don't waste cheese! Bake them at 350 for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese starts to turn golden brown. I didn't time them. I just checked periodically till I liked what I saw. Remove them from the oven when they look done, and sprinkle them lightly with garlic salt. Pull them apart carefully, so they retain their cheese. They'll get soggy if they sit in the soup too long, so just a few at a time when you're ready to eat. 

I served our soup with these croutons, and a few sliced grape tomatoes thrown in. They add a really nice touch, and make it feel even more like real tomato soup.  


  1. That looks great. I am trying to cook more often but it isn't going well so far. I did make taco soup tonight and it was delish!

  2. This does look yummy yummy. Maybe I will try it tomorrow for Bruce and I. You inspire me!