Roasted Garlic Tomato Soup (with grilled cheese croutons)

I love the freshness of this soup. It’s so rewarding and so much better for you than canned soup. The pureed garbanzo beans add a nice creaminess to the soup so that the heavy whipping cream isn’t necessary if you are looking to save calories. I, of course, add a little heavy cream. Surprise surprise. *smile*

RECIPE: Roasted Garlic Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

INGREDIENTS:

1-1/2 pounds tomatoes, (cherry & roma mix)

1 head garlic

1-2 tablespoon extra-light olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

1 celery stick, diced

1 carrot, diced

¼ cup white wine (optional)

1/2 cup garbanzo beans

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary

1 tablespoon fresh thyme

1 pinch cayenne

1 teaspoon sugar

2-3 cups chicken broth (or vegetable stock)

Salt and pepper to taste

2-3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream (optional)

Grilled cheese sandwich – cut into 1 inch cubes (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 400˚.

2. Slice off the top of the garlic head so that the cloves are exposed. Brush generously with olive oil and wrap in aluminum foil. Place whole cherry tomatoes and sliced tomatoes on a baking tray covered with aluminum foil and drizzle with olive oil. Place both the garlic and the tomatoes in the oven. Bake tomatoes for 25-30 minutes until soft (remove from oven) and 30-40 minutes for the garlic.

3. Once garlic is done, remove from oven, let cool and then squeeze cloves out. You should have 5-6 decent size cloves of garlic. Note: you can skip this step and use 3 cloves of minced garlic and sauté with onions, celery, and carrots in the step below.

4. Once tomatoes and garlic are done (or almost done,)  heat 1 T olive oil in a stockpot over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery and cook 10-15 minutes until onions are translucent and carrots/celery are soft. Add in ¼ cup white wine and simmer for 2-3 minutes. (note: you can just skip this step if not adding the white wine) . Stir in herbs, garbanzo beans, sugar, tomatoes, and roasted garlic and 2 cups chicken broth. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Let simmer for 20 minutes.

5. Once soup has simmered, remove from stove-top and use a hand held blender or regular blender to puree soup until smooth. If your soup is too thick, return to stove top and add more broth until desired consistency is reached. Add salt and pepper to taste. You can also add in desired amount of cream at this point if you would like.

6. Ladle soup into bowls and place a handful of grilled cheese cubes on top.

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