Cannellini Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
The woodsy flavor of rosemary adds a little something extra to this soup, but use caution with this pungent herb. Too much can easily overpower a dish. Be sure not to exceed one teaspoon. Fresh thyme is an option to the rosemary. If you do not have fresh herbs on hand, a general rule of thumb is to use one-third the amount in dried herbs.
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled and chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 28-ounce can tomato purée
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary (see comments above)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (1/4 teaspoon if you prefer less spiciness)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2-3 grilled cheese sandwiches, cut into cubes or spears (see notes)
  • Fresh basil for garnish, optional
Instructions
  1. In a large pot over medium heat, sauté the onion and carrots in the olive oil until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the beans, tomato purée, broth, rosemary, and red pepper flakes. Bring the soup to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  2. Puree the soup with an immersion blender or in a regular blender. I use an immersion blender which makes quick work of this task and minimizes cleanup. Add the sugar, salt, and pepper. (I add 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper; you may adjust depending on what type of broth you use and personal preference.) Simmer for a few minutes more.
  3. Garnish with grilled cheese croutons and fresh basil, if desired.
Notes
  • For the grilled cheese croutons, I like to use Pepperidge Farm whole wheat thin bread. I use 1-2 slices of Cooper sharp cheese–enough to cover the bread with one layer of cheese–and cook as you would your favorite grilled cheese (three minutes on a Panini press works well, too). The result is a thin, crispy sandwich with just the right amount of gooey cheese–perfect for the croutons, or dippers if you prefer. Regular or gluten-free bread and your cheese of choice may absolutely be used.
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