Saturday, March 9, 2013

Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

We might be "springing" forward tomorrow morning, but in Denver today there is a blizzard and spring looks no where in site.  Luckily, I was able to sneak to the store early enough to make a delicious tomato soup, courtesy of Ina Garten (recipe in her new "Foolproof" cookbook).  I am a sucker for grilled cheese and tomato soup, so when I saw Ina's recipe for Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons it sounded perfect for a snowy day. The soup has orzo in it, making it more filling than traditional tomato soup and the saffron adds a nice kick. My favorite part of making our feast, was cutting up grilled cheese sandwiches into 1-inch cubes and sprinkling them on top.

Serves 4 to 6 

3 tablespoons good olive oil
3 cups yellow onions, chopped ( 1 1/2 onion)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
4 cups chicken stock
1 28-ounc can crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
Large pinch of Saffron threads
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup orzo
1/2 cup heavy cream or whole milk
Grilled Cheese Croutons

In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 15 minutes stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute. Stir in chicken stock, tomatoes, saffron, 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil and then let simmer for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, bring water to a boil in a medium pot and add the orzo. Cook for 7 minutes (it will finish after adding it to the soup), drain and add to the soup. Stir in the cream, return soup to a simmer and cook for 10 more minutes, stirring frequently.

Cook grilled cheese on a separate pan. Ina suggests using Gruyere cheese, but use whatever you prefer. After grilling allow to rest for 1 minute and cut into one inch cubes. Sprinkle on top.

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