Roasted Tomato Soup with Aged Cheddar and Brown Butter Bread Crumbs

I don’t know about you, but spring makes me a bit crazy.

Yes, it’s a time of “rebirth” which usually means we all start thinking about refreshing some part of our lives – whether it’s about revisiting our business plans, rejuvenating our relationships or even just cleaning out our closets.  But, when I think of spring, I think about life on the farm and new “real growth”…as in budding trees and blooming flowers!

But, the weather here in Ontario has shown me that Mother Nature might be a bit unstable lately. Like, it’s really warm one day (like “t-shirt” warm!) and then snow squalls the next.  And snow squalls, no matter what month it is, call for soup.

I have some bags of roasted tomatoes I made with my dad last summer (you can see all about it in this post here).  I thought about how great they would be if I used them to make a nice pot of soup.  And who doesn’t love a grilled cheese with tomato soup?  Well, this is my version of that great partnership in food.

You’re going to need a a couple of slices of bread (regular old sandwich bread will do!) and you will need to make bread crumbs from it.  You can either chop it finely with a knife (way too much work) or you can use a food processor (but then you have to clean it…not happening!) or you can get out your trusty coffee mill.  Rip the pieces into smallish chunks and then process in the grinder (btw, this is also how you clean your coffee grinder…use the end piece of the bread and whiz it up…throw away the crumbs and you have a perfectly clean coffee grinder)

If you don’t want to fuss with roasting tomatoes, you can always use my “go-to” tomato soup recipe) and carry on from there!

Aaaand, if you want to turn this into a great appetizer, why not place the tomato soup in Chinese soup spoons, top with a crouton (instead of making bread crumbs, just cut bread into small squares brush with oil and toast)…then top with some cheese and broil the croutons.  Top the soup with these morsels and you have a cute little starter.

Same recipe…different outcome!

Roasted Tomato Soup with Aged Cheddar and Brown Butter Bread Crumbs
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Cook time: 
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Serves: 6-8
 
Ingredients
  • 12 plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
  • ⅓ c olive oil
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • pinch of oregano
  • 4 cups chicken (or veggie) stock
  • 2 slices whole grain bread (you can use white but the nuttiness of the whole grain is a huge plus here!!)
  • ½ c grated cheddar (get an old variety if you can...it adds a depth that is really yummy)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • more salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Lay the tomatoes on a cookie sheet so that they aren't overlapping (you'll need more than one!).
  3. Pour the oil over top of the tomatoes and toss them to make sure they are well coated.
  4. Sprinkle the tops with salt and pepper
  5. Put in the oven for about 45 minutes (you will notice that the liquid will start to evaporate and they will begin to shrivel).
  6. After 45 minutes, increase the temp to 450 degrees and keep them in the oven for about 20 more minutes or until you see the caramelization start to from (they will begin to turn brown.
  7. Place the roasted tomatoes, along with all of their juices in a large pot and turn the heat to medium.
  8. Add the chicken stock and oregano, and cook for a few minutes, squishing the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon.
  9. If you have an immersion blender, whiz the contents of the pot until smooth (or you can leave it chunky if you prefer that texture)...alternately, you can puree the contents in a blender and return it to the pot.
  10. Taste the soup and season with more salt and pepper if desired.
  11. In a clean blender or food processor (but the best option is to use a clean coffee grinder), blitz the bread slices until finely chopped.
  12. In a frying pan, melt butter and cook until browned; add bread crumbs and cook until the butter coast all the crumbs and the mixture begins to get crispy.
  13. To assemble, pour warm soup in individual bowls; top with some grated cheddar and a sprinkling of bread crumbs
  14. Serve immediately.
 

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