Easy Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese Croutons
Source of Recipe
From "Barefoot Contessa: Foolproof" by Ina Garten
"My friend Frank Newbold told me he'd been served tomato soup with grilled cheese croutons on top and I thought, OMG what a great idea! This tomato soup is spiced with saffron, which has enough flavor to stand up to the Gruyère in the croutons. Nursery food updated—how bad could that be?"
List of Ingredients
◦ 3 tablespoons good olive oil
◦ 3 cups yellow onions, chopped (2 onions)
◦ 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
◦ 4 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
◦ 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
◦ Large pinch of saffron threads
◦ Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
◦ ½ cup orzo
◦ ½ cup heavy cream
◦ Grilled Cheese Croutons
In a large pot or Dutch oven such as Le Creuset, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Stir in the chicken stock, tomatoes, saffron, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, fill a medium pot with water, add 2 teaspoons salt, and bring to a boil. Add the orzo and cook for 7 minutes. (It will finish cooking in the soup.) Drain the orzo and add it to the soup. Stir in the cream, return the soup to a simmer, and cook for 10 more minutes, stirring frequently.
Serve hot with Grilled Cheese Croutons scattered on top.
Serves 4 to 6
Grilled Cheese Croutons:
"These are very easy to make if you have an electric panini grill but, of course, you can always make them the traditional way in a frying pan."
◦ 4 (½-inch-thick) slices country white bread
◦ 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
◦ 4 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated
Heat a panini grill. Place the four slices of bread on a cutting board and brush lightly with the melted butter, being sure to butter the corners. Turn the slices over and pile Gruyère on two of the slices. Place the remaining two slices of bread on top of the Gruyère, buttered sides up.
Grill the sandwiches on the panini grill for about 5 minutes, until nicely browned. Place on a cutting board, allow to rest for 1 minute, and cut into 1-inch cubes.
Serves 4 to 6