Delicious & Healthy
Tomato Soup With Grilled Cheese Croutons
3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, cut into thin slices
1 fennel bulb, cut into thin slices
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1 fresh basil sprig
1 fresh oregano sprig
1/4 cup dry white wine
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
Pinch of sugar, plus more as needed
1/4 cup heavy cream
4 oz. blue cheese, such as Gorgonzola or Danish blue (about 1 cup), crumbled
2 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
Unsalted butter, at room temperature, for spreading
4 slices country white or sourdough bread
In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, fennel, and a big pinch of salt, and then cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften and begin to brown, about 12 minutes. Stir in the garlic, basil, and oregano, and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Add the wine, scraping up the browned bits from the pot, and cook until the liquid evaporates, about 2 minutes.
Stir in the stock, the tomatoes and their juices, a big pinch of sugar, and a further big pinch of salt. Bring just to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 25 minutes. Let cool slightly, then purée in batches in a blender. (Alternatively, purée using an immersion blender.) Stir in the heavy cream and season with salt. If needed, add sugar until the soup loses its acidic tang.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mash the blue cheese into the cream cheese until spreadable. Butter each bread slice on one side. Spread the blue cheese mixture evenly on the unbuttered sides, then combine to make two cheese-filled sandwiches.
Heat a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the sandwiches, cover with a lid, and cook until browned on the bottom, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip, and cook, covered, for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, until browned and the cheese has melted. Transfer to a cutting board, let cool slightly, then cut into bite-size pieces. Immediately serve them atop bowls of soup.
The Green Link