GARDEN TOMATO SOUP WITH GRILLED CHEESE CROUTONS

GARDEN TOMATO SOUP WITH GRILLED CHEESE CROUTONS


2 Tbs. olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 large leek, white and light green parts, chopped

6 garlic cloves, chopped

10 cups tomatoes, cored and rough chopped into large chunks

1 ½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. black pepper

2 tsp. Dish off the Block Ciao Bella Italian Spice Blend

2 Tbs. sugar

2 Tbs. tomato paste

½ cup heavy cream

Basil leaves for garnish


Grilled Cheese:

4 slices sour dough or bread of your choice

2-3 Tbs. Hellmann’s Light Mayonnaise

4 slices provolone cheese

4 slices Munster cheese


Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium high heat.  Add the onions, leeks, and garlic to the pan and cook until soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.


Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and sugar to the pan.  Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and cook at a low boil for 30 minutes, stirring frequently and crushing the tomatoes with a potato masher or the back of a spoon.


Add the tomato paste and the heavy cream to the pot and stir until the tomato paste dissolves.  Cook for another 10-15 minutes on a low boil, stirring occassionally.


Place the entire mixture in a food processor or blender.  Slowly pulse, so the hot liquid does not erupt out of the top of your food processor or blender and then increase speed.  Process until smooth.  Place the puréed soup back in the pot and keep warm on low heat until ready to serve.


To make your grilled cheese croutons, heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat.


Spread a thin layer of the mayo on one side of each slice of bread.  Place 2 of slices, mayo-side-down in the frying pan.  Top each with 2 slices of the provolone and 2 slices of the Munster cheese.  Top with the other 2 slices of bread, may-side-up.  Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes until the bottom bread is toasty and golden.  Flip and cook for 2-3 minutes on the other side.


Remove to a cutting board and let cool for 5 minutes so the cheese can set and doesn’t ooze all over when you cut it.  Cut each sandwich into 1” cubes.


To serve, place the hot soup in a bowl and garnish with basil leaves.  Dot the top with those ooey gooey croutons and chow down!!

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