Sunday, November 4, 2012

Creamy Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

Creamy Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

It's November, the leaves of the trees are starting to turn red in my neighborhood, we set the clocks back an hour today, it's dark early, and it feels like Fall is finally here (well, except I rode around with the top down on my convertible today).  

Perfect night to make Creamy Tomato Soup with yes, wait for it....grilled cheese croutons! The soup is pretty darn good, just an easy combination of onions, garlic, crushed tomatoes, orzo, saffron, and some cream, but the croutons...are AMAZING.  White crusty bread, spread with butter, with fresh Swiss Cheese grilled to toasty brown perfection on my Panini press.

I used a recipe from Ina Garten, which was featured on the cover of a Food Network magazine.  I followed the recipe basically as it is written (with Ina, you really don't have to improvise much).

Here's the recipe:

Just a few changes:

* For the croutons, I used a fresh baked white sourdough bread from Publix and grated a block of regular Swiss cheese (Gruyere is nice, but Swiss will do just me) - but, grate it yourself, it will taste better.
* For the saffron, I used a big pinch - I used a brand called Badia in the Mexican spices section - usually a little more cost effective section of the store.
* I used Cento crushed tomatoes - after my sauce had simmered, I tasted a little of the "tin can" taste - so I added a tsp of sugar to balance it out.  Perhaps there are different crushed tomatoes that would taste better...but just add a little sugar if that happens.

OK, happy soup eating. Think I'll go "turn on" my fireplace (yes, flip the switch). Tis the season.


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