Soup season is on when the Fall season is upon me in my house. Soup is comfort food for me and I like to gather around my table with family and/or friends to enjoy a meal and good conversation. This recipe is a different version from my Rustic Tomato Soup. I hope you like it.
I wanted to come up with something a little lighter than a grilled cheese sandwich but still had that grilled cheese taste. I think this will compliment most soups or have as an appetizer.
3 – 28 oz cans Whole Tomatoes (I like San Marzano Style tomatoes)
½ – 6 oz can Tomato Paste (so 3 oz)
1 jar 14.5oz Roasted Red Peppers, chopped, reserving some of the juice
3 Cloves Garlic chopped
1 Sweet Onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
A few Red Pepper Flakes
1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
2 tsp fresh Thyme, chopped
2 tsp fresh Oregano
2 tsp Paprika
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 Tbsp fresh Chives
1 Tbsp bunch Parsley (rough chopped)
3 cups of Chicken or Vegetable Stock (add add’l broth depending on desire thickness of soup)
1 tsp Lemon zest and Lemon Juice (if desired)
¼ – ½ cup Heavy Cream or Half and Half for creaminess (if desired)
Parmesan – shaved, Chives and/or Croutons for Garnish
Brown sugar (softens and mellows out the acidity of the soup and has a richness to it. I found white sugar to be too sweet)
Half and Half or Heavy Cream (mellows the acidity of the soup and makes it creamy)
Or Add 3 oz soften cream cheese and stir in soup til smooth throughout the soup
Roast 3 Red Peppers in oven
Cut up good bread into crouton bite sizes, drizzle with olive oil, add salt and pepper and parmesan cheese and toss. Bake in the oven until toasted and crunchy. Sprinkle soup with Crotons, finely cut up basil and parmesan cheese.
Mix sour cream with finely chopped basil and/or chives and add a dollop of sour cream to each bowl of soup.
Accompany soup with Grilled Cheese Toast or Sandwiches
Grilled Three Cheese Bruschetta Toast:
12 – 18 pieces of hardy crusty Italian or light sour dough bread, sliced diagonally
2 cups plain Ricotta Cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup Cheddar or Colby Jack Cheese, shredded
Pepper and Salt
1 tsp Parsley, chopped
2 tsp Chives, chopped
½ tsp Thyme
1 Tbsp Shallot, minced
1 clove Garlic, minced
¼ tsp Hot Paprika
In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil and butter over medium-low heat until the butter melts. Add onion and carrots, dash of salt and pepper and cook vegetables still just tender.
Add in tomato paste and chopped garlic and cook till paste is blended and garlic is soft
Add the tomatoes with juice, broth and thyme, oregano and paprika, a few red pepper flakes and sugar. Cook tomatoes on medium high heat (don’t allow to boil) til they have broken down and are soft, about 30 minutes. Add in the Red Peppers and ¼ cup juice. Use an immersion blender and blend the soup until smooth. Add add’l broth if too thick. Continue to cook until heated through.
Add lemon zest and juice. (lemon adds a freshness and spark to the soup) and cream. Stir and cook soup on low heat until well mixed in.
Garnish with shaved parmesan cheese, chive/parsley mixture and/or croutons or any other garnishes you prefer.
I serve the soup with Grilled Cheese Sandwiches or a nice crusty bread.
Grilled Three Cheese Bruschetta Toast:
Preheat the oven to 425.
Brush bread slices with olive and a little salt and toast the bread until just slightly golden brown.
In a bowl mix together the ricotta and parmesan cheeses, pepper, dash of salt, herbs, shallot, garlic and paprika. Shred the cheddar or Colby Jack cheese. Spread a gallop of cheese mixture on each slice of toasted bread. Add a little of the shredded cheese on top. Place in the oven and bake until the cheese has melted, a few minutes. If desired, garnish with minced chives or grated parmesan cheese. Serve warm.
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