Grilled cheese and tomato soup is a classic combination. But even the most tried and true flavor combinations can get boring sometimes, right?
(Enter grilled cheese croutons)
Face it. You’re going to dip your grilled cheese sandwich right into the soup anyway, so why not have a little fun while you’re at it?
This idea comes from the Food Network Magazine. I actually didn’t follow their recipe, opting to follow my own generic grilled cheese instincts. But recipe or not, this little meal surely delivered. The cheese from the croutons melted nicely into the soup, and the toasted bread added a nice crunch.
I made this soup using a jar of tomatoes my dad canned from his garden this summer. There’s nothing like opening a can of fresh summer produce when there is a chill in the air. Bring it on, November! Bring it on.
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Creamy Garlic Tomato Soup With Grilled Cheese Croutons Recipe
Yield: 4 servings
To avoid curdling the milk, I took a shortcut and added a pinch of baking soda to the cooked tomatoes. This neutralizes the acid in the tomatoes, allowing you to combine the tomatoes and the milk together without the threat of curdled milk.
For creamy garlic tomato soup:
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons butter
1 quart of canned tomatoes
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 can chicken broth
3/4 cup half-and-half or whole milk
2 tablespoons sugar
Salt, pepper, paprika, parsley, and garlic powder, to taste
For grilled cheese croutons:
4 slices bread of your choice
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup cheese of your choice (I used shredded cheddar)
To make soup:
In a large saucepan, saute onions in olive oil until onions begin to soften - about three or four minutes. Add garlic and cook for another 30 seconds. Add tomatoes. After the tomato mixture warms, add baking soda and stir well. Don't worry - the mixture will foam slightly.
Add chicken broth, half-and-half, and sugar, and mix well. Add spices to your liking. Simmer for 10 minutes or so, to allow flavors to come together.
To make grilled cheese croutons:
Spread one side of each bread slice with butter. Turn over two of the slices, top with cheese, and top with other bread slices, butter side up. Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add sandwiches and cook for two to three minutes on each side, until golden brown. Remove from pan and allow to cool. Cut each sandwich into small square-shaped croutons. Set aside until soup is served.