Today, we’re doing a riff on our favorite tomato soup and grilled cheese combination that involves roasting tomatoes, making delicious onion jam, and introducing blue cheese and bacon into the mix. This one has quickly become a family favorite!
Happy Friday, you guys! I’m so incredibly happy for a weekend. Most of my last one was consumed making last minute changes to a briefing I had to give this week – well, many briefings by the time it was all said and done so…yeah, I need a break.
We’re going to have a wonderful autumn mix of cozy and chilly mornings and evenings, and nice warm afternoons, and if that doesn’t sing a song of fall comfort food, of cozy soups and hearty stews and lots of Crock-pots simmering, then I don’t know what does.
I want to kick off this cozy food season with one of my very favorite fall recipes that also takes advantage of any beautiful lingering summer produce. My tomato plants are giving us their last hurrah, and my favorite way to enjoy them is roasting them and blending them into this delicious rustic roasted tomato basil soup.
Made with a combination of roasted tomatoes from the garden and canned diced tomatoes, this recipe brings in fresh thyme and basil from the garden as well, adds in some cozy aromatics, and adds just a little cream. You can always swap that out with coconut cream – which I’ve done before – for a taste that’s delicious and unique and free of dairy.
My family’s favorite part, though, are the “croutons” I create out of grilled cheese sandwiches. Sometimes they’re just grilled cheese sandwiches cut into portions and toasted, and sometimes they’re different grilled cheese sandwich mixes. And in this case, they’re my very favorite riff on grilled cheese – bacon blue cheese grilled cheese sandwiches with homemade onion jam!
Okay, that’s enough copy. I’ve written enough papers and articles during this very long week and am out of juice. Let’s get to the good stuff – the recipe!
Tomato Basil Soup with Bacon Blue Cheese Croutons
- September 25, 2020
- 1 hr 30 min
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- For the soup:
- 8 medium tomatoes, quartered
- 1 16-oz can diced tomatoes
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 sweet onion, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1 cup basil leaves + more for garnish
- salt + pepper to taste
- For the sandwiches:
- 1 sweet onion, chopped
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp butter
- 4 slices bacon, cooked
- 4 slices sandwich bread
- 4 oz blue cheese, crumbled
- Step 1
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the tomatoes cut-side up on the paper, drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil, and roast for 1 hour or until the edges crinkle.
- Step 2
- While the tomatoes are roasting, make the onion jam for the sandwiches. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and cook, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
- Step 3
- Add sugar and cook until onions are deeply golden, 20-30 minutes. Add 1/4 cup water, stir. Add balsamic vinegar, stir. Cook another 20 minutes until all liquid has been absorbed. Transfer to a bowl to cool.
- Step 4
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and 1/2 tsp salt and cook until soft, about 5-7 minutes.
- Step 5
- Stir in the tomatoes, broth, vinegar, and thyme leaves and simmer 20 minutes. In the last 5 minutes, add the cream and stir until combined.
- Step 6
- Let the soup cool slightly and then pour into a blender, working in batches if you don’t have enough room. Blend until smooth.
- Step 7
- Add the fresh basil and pulse until combined to your liking.
- Step 8
- Layer the bread with cooked bacon, crumbled blue cheese, and onion jam. Add just a little bit of butter to the outer sides of the bread and toast on a panini press until the cheese has melted slightly, or cook on a griddle or in the bottom of a hot skillet with just a little butter until you get the same result.
- Step 9
- Cut the sandwiches into quarter or smaller to use as soup croutons.
- Step 10
- Serve, garnished with additional basil and thyme, with croutons on the side. Drop them in the soup one at a time, as they can get soggy pretty quickly – but don’t we all love dipping our grilled cheese in tomato soup for just a little?
Happy Friday – and happy fall, y’all!