When we are feeling our lowest, we often turn to food in order to provide us a degree of comfort. In fact, there are even certain types of foods that are commonly referred to as “comfort foods” and you probably have a few of your favorites as well. For some people, it may be mashed potatoes or it could be macaroni and cheese but for others, it is soup and this is something that you are certain to love.
This comfort soup is something that is certain to make you feel good on the inside. It is easy to make, so you can whip up a batch in no time at all when you’re feeling blue. The soup itself is tomato-based, but it is the addition of toasted cheese croutons that really makes it special. Try this one and feel better.
11/2 Tablespoon olive oil
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 lb vine-ripened tomatoes
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cubes vegetable bouillon
4 cups water
8-10 fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup heavy cream
For Grilled-Cheese Croutons:
8 bread slices of any variety you like
2 1/2 Tablespoons oil
1 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar
1/3 cup fresh basil, cut into very fine ribbons
Add the tomatoes to a roasting pan, drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper, roast at 400 in a preheated oven for 15 minutes.
In a large stockpot over low heat, warm the oil. Add the onions and garlic, cook stirring for 10 minutes. Add tomatoes to the pot, turn the heat to high, add the bouillon and water and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Add fresh basil leaves and remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
Using a handheld immersion blender, purée the soup until smooth, add the cream, and simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes. If the soup is too thin or watery, simmer for about another 10 minutes, until slightly thickened. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if needed.
Ladle the soup into mugs or bowls and top each with 2 to 4 croutons or a half-slice of open-faced crouton, if you prefer.
To make the croutons: Preheat the broiler. Arrange the bread slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Using olive oil, lightly brush one side of each slice and broil for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven, flip the bread, top each slice with a sprinkle of cheese. Broil until the cheese is melted and bubbling.
When ready to serve, cut the bread in half and serve the crouton open-faced, or sandwich two pieces of bread together and cut each sandwich into six large or eight small croutons.