Parmesan & Basil Fire Roasted Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons
Updated: Nov 26, 2020
This one is EVERYTHING! It might be my very favorite recipe I own... Like its definitely in the top 3. Ive made it way more times than I care to admit this winter, but every time I do, its gone that night because we eat a couple bowls each!
Okay so when you think of soup, Im aware one doesn't typically think "I would love tomato soup tonight"... just doesn't sound that appealing. Usually that's because you think of some watery canned tomato soup that doesn't have much flavor. This COULD NOT be more different if it tried. Its got texture, its hearty, the flavor is unreal because of the onions, carrots, celery, fresh basil, parmesan cheese, and fire roasted tomatoes. I can not describe just how good this recipe is, you just have to trust me and sprint to your grocery store for fire roasted tomatoes and fresh basil!!
I make this soup with these little grilled cheese croutons that are so fun to eat because...they're mini grilled cheese sandwiches! and everything is cuter/better in the mini version, right? They're easy to make, and the perfect finger-food size to grab and dunk.
so clues though:
-it must be fresh basil... just trust me
-it can not be a can of diced fire roasted tomatoes, or whole fire roasted tomatoes. It MUST be CRUSHED fire roasted tomatoes. I've made it with the other kinds and the ratio of tomato to fire roasted bits is not enough. You won't get enough of the beautiful black roasted pieces in your soup. If you live in Kansas, the only store around me that has crushed is a Hy-Vee, and the brand is Dei-Fratelli. Its a bigger jar, 28 oz, so you only need one of those for this recipe.
-I tend to lean towards 1 C of heavy cream or half n half.... the color gets more pale the more cream you add and the flavor is a bit stronger with just 1 c I think.. but if heavy cream is your jam, you add that last cup girl.
Okay okay, this has to be a short intro because the sooner you get to the recipe the better your life with be... so without further ado
Parmesan and Basil Fire Roasted Tomato Soup
4 stalks of celery, cut into thirds
4 medium carrots peeled, cut into thirds
1/2 large onion, peeled. quartered
3 cloves garlic, peeled
3 TBS butta
2 TBS olive oil
1/4 C flour
4 C low sodium chicken broth
2 14oz cans crushed fire roasted tomatoes with juice
1/4 C fresh basil chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp black pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
1 bay leaf
1-2 C half n half or heavy cream
1 C parmesan cheese (if you feel like freshly grating it your self, then your a go getter, I commend you and it might in fact taste that much better...I buy mine already grated in a container...because of 3 little kids ha )
add celery, carrots, onion, and garlic to a food processor and pulse until finely mined (or mince by hand)
Melt butter in oil in large Dutch oven/soup pot over medium heat. Turn heat to medium high, add minced vegetables and saute for 4 minutes. Sprinkle in flour and continue to cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Gradually whisk in chicken broth followed by tomatoes and all seasonings. Add bay leaf. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until carrots are tender.
Add Parmesan cheese and whisk to blend. Stir in milk/half and half/cream/milk and gently simmer an additional 15-20 minutes on low, stirring occasionally. Stir in additional chicken broth or cream to reach desired consistency. Remove bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
You can serve the soup as is if you like the texture or proceed to puree with an immersion blende. If you don't have an immersion blender, then working in batches, transfer soup to blender and puree until smooth. But be careful to let smoke escape or it will explode. (Using a blender will give you a much smoother, creamier soup.)) Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional).
Grilled Cheese Croutons
any chunky bakery loaf of bread (I used a sourdough loaf from trader joes)
medium cheddar cheese
preheat oven to 375
cut bread into cubes and toss in some olive oil
line baking sheet with parchment paper
put 1 half of bread on the parchment paper, add a couple strips of cheese, top with other half of bread
bake for 5-10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bread is slightly browned and crispy