Monday, January 6, 2014

Tomato Soup with Parmesan Croutons

I had a bowl of tomato soup at a restaurant the other day and they served it with croutons.  Not ones for salad but homemade bread ones.  It was wonderful so I decided we had to recreate it at home for several reasons  1)We grow our own tomatoes, and we make our own tomato "juice".  It makes the best homemade tomato soup!  However, you can definitely use store bought and recreate this delicious soup at home.  2) I've gotten on the homemade bread train and have some extra loaves of sourdough bread in the freezer begging to be used and what better way than croutons for my soup...

4 thick slices of  frozen bread cut into cubes
3 T. melted butter
1/2 t. italian seasoning
1/4 t. garlic powder
parmesan cheese

Melt butter into medium sized bowl.  Add seasonings and stir to combine.  Toss in frozen bread crumbs into bowl and stir to combine.  The butter freezes to the bread to get them coated.  Makes it easier to handle.  Pour onto baking sheet.  Sprinkle with grated parmesan.  Bake at 300 for 40-45 minutes stirring/tossing occasionally.  They are done when all sides are browned and they are dry but not hard like salad croutons.

1 small onion, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
1/4 red bell pepper, diced
1 T. olive oil
1 t. minced garlic
1 t. dried basil
salt and pepper
48 oz. tomato juice
1/2 c-1c. milk

In medium soup pan, heat olive oil over low-medium heat.   Add vegetables and saute until tender.  Add garlic, basil and salt and pepper.  Cook 1 more minute.  Pour in tomato juice.   Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes.  Blend soup with an immersion blender to make smooth.  Add milk for desired creaminess.  Cook until heated thoroughly.  Serve with croutons.

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