Saturday, October 20, 2012

Easy Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese Croutons

Soup and sandwich combos don't get much more classic than a comforting bowl of tomato soup with a toasty grilled cheese on the side.  So, when I received the October 2012 issue of Food Network magazine in the mail recently with this yummy dish gracing the cover, I was anxious to try it.

Now, I don't have a fancy panini press, but that didn't stop me.  I whipped out my trusty skillet and simply made the sandwiches the old-fashioned way.  After a quick trip to the cutting board, they were cut into neat little squares and ready to go.

Oh!  And did I mention that the grilled cheese is made with melty, ooey, gooey, amazing gruyere cheese?  Oh, favorite...!

The saffron threads add a depth of flavor that only saffron can, and the combination of cream and just enough orzo make this soup decadent and mouthwateringly tasty.  The soup is super easy, but the flavor is great and perfect for the chilly nights ahead.  That's another combo that I love!

Bon Appetit, my friends!  :)

Easy Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese Croutons
Adapted from:  Ina Garten, via Food Network magazine;  October 2012 issue

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
1/2 cup orzo
1/2 cup heavy cream
Grilled Cheese Croutons (see below)

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.

Grilled Cheese Croutons:
4 (1/2-inch-thick) slices country white bread
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4 ounces Gruyere 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 Gruyere on two of the slices. Place the remaining two slices of bread on top of the Gruyere, 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.

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1 comment:

Erin said...

I am not a fan of tomato soup, but I never minded when we had it growing up because it always meant I got grilled cheese. I love this idea of turning grilled cheese into croutons!