Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

Tomato Soup with Cheese Croutons

This soup is delicious, easy to make, and looks beautiful in the bowl. Doesn’t it? The grilled cheese croutons just make it even more delicious.
Would genius be too strong a word for creating croutons out of a grilled cheese sandwich?
Another winning recipe from The Barefoot Contessa.

Tomato Soup Recipe
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups (2 onions) chopped yellow onions
1 tablespoon (3 cloves) minced garlic
4 cups chicken stock
One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes ( I used diced tomatoes)
Large pinch saffron threads
I was out of saffron, I used 1/2 teaspoon of oregano and 1/2 teaspoon of basil.
1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup orzo, uncooked (optional)
1/2 cup heavy cream

In a large pot or Dutch oven, 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 and their juices, saffron, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and gently simmer for 15 minutes.
If using the orzo, fill a medium pot with water, add 1 teaspoons salt, and bring to a boil. Add the orzo and cook for 7 minutes, until almost but not quite completely al dente. Drain the orzo and add it to the soup.
Stir the cream into the soup, return it to a gentle simmer, and cook for 10 more minutes, stirring frequently. (You can refrigerate the soup and gently reheat it before serving.)
Serve the soup hot with the grilled cheese croutons scattered on top
Grilled Cheese Croutons
Four 1/2-inch-thick slices country white bread
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated
1. Heat a panini grill or place a skillet over medium heat. Place the bread on a cutting board and lightly brush each with the melted butter, being sure to butter the corners. Turn the slices over and pile Gruyère on 2 of the slices. Place the remaining 2 slices of bread on top of the Gruyère, buttered sides up.
2. Grill the sandwiches on the panini grill or in the pan for about 5 minutes total, flipping once if using a skillet, until nicely browned. Place on the cutting board, allow to rest for 1 minute, and cut into 1-inch cubes. Dunk into soup, being mindful that if you don’t care for soggy grilled cheese, you’re going to want to add just a couple croutons at a time to your bowlful of steaming tomato goodness