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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Cat's Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

Yes, it does appear that I may just cook my way through this cookbook.  (Cat Cora's Classics with a Twist)  It's that good.  I can't remember a time I bought a cookbook and immediately made more than a couple of recipes.  And, you're hearing from a woman with more than a thousand cookbooks!!  What's been my favorite thus far?  Probably the grasshoppers.  But, these grilled cheese croutons come a VERY close second.  I made this for lunch, so all I had to do was microwave the soup and reheat the croutons in the toaster oven.  Curious employees kept wandering into the kitchen wondering what that fabulous aroma was.  The croutons.  They were better the second day after I reheated them.  Maybe because the edges crisped up just a bit.  Unfortunately, the soup was nothing to write home about.  It was good, but wasn't as flavorful as I'd hoped.  Next time, I won't drain the tomatoes.  And, actually, next time the soup will be beer cheese with grilled cheese croutons.  MMMM, maybe I'll make that next week.  All in the interest of experimentation, of course.

Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

1 T vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 small jalapeno, seeded and very finely minced
1/2 t salt
1/2 t freshly ground pepper
1 28 oz can whole tomatoes with the juice
4 c chicken stock
1/2 c light sour cream
2T lime juice
2 T fresh cilantro, for garnish

Saute the onion, garlic and jalapeno in the vegetable oit. 

Add the salt, pepper, tomatoes and chicken stock. 

Break up the tomatoes a bit.

Simmer 20 minutes on medium heat.

Remove from the heat and whisk in the sour cream and lime juice. 

Once it's cooled a bit puree either with an immersion blender or in your regular blender.  If you're using the regular blender make sure your soup is cool enough!

4 slices rye bread
12 thin (read 1/8") slices cheddar cheese

The original recipe called for slathering the exterior of the bread with butter then making a grilled cheese as normal.  I prefer to coat the bottom of the skillet with olive oil then,

 grill the sandwiches.  They don't end up as golden brown but they certainly end up with a LOT less fat... 

So, make grilled cheese sandwiches however you'd like. 

You can change up the bread and the cheese depending on what kind of soup you're going to put these in.  You might even add something else like some cilantro or basil or whatever works with the soup.  Once the sandwiches have cooled a bit, cut them into sixteen squares. 

Serve the croutons separately so everyone can put them on their own soup - keeps the sogginess factor down.

adapted from Cat Cora's Classics with a Twist

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