Tomato soup and I have had a rough patch since my childhood. Growing up, I hated – stress HATED – tomato soup (and, also, tomato juice) and would not touch a bowl of tomato soup with a ten foot spoon. My mother adored the stuff – me, notsomuch. As I got older, I still refused to have anything to do with tomato soup until one time in Florida, a friend was visiting and she made grilled cheese and tomato soup. I begrudgingly admitted that, perhaps, I showed tomato soup the boot too soon but I rationalized that, perhaps, maybe it was just the grilled cheese. I mean how could anything suck with grilled cheese, right?
Y’all know this has been the year of facing my culinary fears so I figured that it was time for me and the tomato soup to have a come to Jesus. This recipe was the perfect recipe for whipping up a bowl of comfort. The fire roasted tomatoes, thyme and smoked paprika did a wonderful flavor dance with the onion and cream. The red pepper flakes added a dash of heat and the grilled cheese croutons took it over the top! To add to everything, I reduced the stock amount a bit and blended everything with the immersion blender and it was thick and luscious, accented by the perfectly cooked orzo.
This Fire Roasted Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons is a tried and true, perfect for those chilly days where you want to curl up with a steaming mug of soup on the couch.
Gather the ingredients
Look at the golden hue on the onion
Time to break out the immersion blender.
And add a bit of cream
Showing the Panini press some love with these Grilled Cheese Croutons
Now tell me you wouldn’t love a bowl of this!
Rich and comforting Fire Roasted Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons
20 minPrep Time
30 minCook Time
50 minTotal Time
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
- Pinch of red pepper flakes (depending on how spicy you like it)
- 3-4 cups of chicken stock (depending on how thick you want your soup)
- 1 28 oz. can of fire roasted crushed tomatoes (I adore Muir Glen)
- 1/2 teaspoon of fresh thyme (1 – 2 sprigs)
- 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/2 cup orzo
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 4 slices of your favorite bread (I used sourdough)
- 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted
- 4 slices of sharp provolone
- 4 ounces of fontina cheese, grated
- Over medium heat, heat the olive oil in a heavy bottomed stock pot or dutch oven.
- Add the onions and sauté for about 10 minutes until they turn a nice golden hue.
- Add the minced garlic and sauté for another minute or so.
- Add the thyme, smoked paprika, Aleppo pepper and red pepper flakes to the onion garlic mixture and sauté for another minute to bloom the spices.
- To the onion mixture, add a bit of chicken stock to deglaze the pan. Add the crushed tomatoes, chicken stock, thyme, salt and pepper and stir to combine.
- Let the tomato mixture come to a boil and then immediately reduce the heat so that it simmers for about 15 minutes.
- While the tomato mixture is simmering, to a medium saucepan of boiling water, add a bit of kosher salt and the orzo. Let the orzo cook for 7 minutes, drain and set aside.
- At the end of 15 minutes, blend the tomato mixture with an immersion blender, food processor or blender and return to the pan.
- Add the cooked orzo and the heavy cream, stir and let simmer for another 10 minutes.
- Preheat your Panini press or grill pan.
- Lay out the bread on a cutting board and brush the sides with the melted butter.
- Flip over two pieces and to the unbuttered sides, layer a slice of sharp provolone, a bit of grated fontina and finish with another piece of sharp provolone.
- Place the remaining two slices on top of the cheese, buttered side up and place on the Panini press or grill pan.
- Grill until golden, remove and set on a cutting board for a minute to cool.
- Slice into "croutons".
- Ladle the thick soup into bowls and top with a couple grilled cheese croutons and enjoy!