Thursday, October 17, 2013

creamy tomato & white bean soup with herb & parmesan croutons

crispy croutons in a smooth soupy bite
Who doesn't love grilled cheese & tomato soup?  This recipe unites this classic into one bowl and one bite.  The soup has more body because I've added white kidney beans, which adds a very mild flavour once pureed but doesn't disturb the tomato yumminess of a creamy tomato soup. The addition of beans makes the soup meal-like, as they are a great source of protein and fibre. The homemade croutons are a perfect touch to add texture and flavour, as they are tossed in herbs, olive oil and parmesan.  A perfect meal for a cold fall day.

what you need:
  • 1 large can tomatoes (no salt added)
  • 1 540 mL can white beans, drained (kidney or cannellini) 
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup cream *optional* 
  • 1 red chilli, thinly sliced *optional*
  • 1 green onion
  • a few slices of day old bread (I used whole wheat)
  • fresh herbs (whatever you have on hand, I used sage, oregano, parsley)
  • parmesan cheese
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
what to do:
  1. In a large pot, heat up butter and 1 tsp olive oil on medium heat.  Add onions and sauté until tender and golden.  If you like some heat in your soup, add the red chilli and sauté with onions.
  2. Add tomatoes and beans.  Add bay leaf.
  3. Bring to a gentle boil then turn down your heat down to simmer for about 20-30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  5. Cut bread into bite size pieces.  Finely chop herbs, about 1 tbsp of each.  Place them in a large bowl, then drizzle about 1 tbsp olive oil over bread pieces.  Toss to coat and mix herbs.  Season lightly with salt and pepper.  Thinly slice green onion and set aside.
  6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Spread bread pieces out - no overlapping for even browning.  Grate parmesan cheese over top of bread.
  7. Bake in the middle rack of the oven for about 5 minutes, or until croutons are crispy and golden brown.  Be sure to check often to avoid burning.
  8. Remove soup from heat and when cool enough to handle, use an immersion blender or a blender to puree the soup until smooth.  Pour soup back into the pot and place it over medium heat, adding cream if desired.  Taste, and add salt and pepper as desired.
  9. Serve soup hot, sprinkle a few green onions on top and then top with a few croutons.  Put extra croutons in a separate small bowl for extra dipping (this way they don't all get soggy right away!) - Enjoy!

1 comment:

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