This past fall, I saw all sorts of beautiful tomato soups with these adorable little grilled cheese sandwich croutons. I just couldn’t help but make my own! But of course, it had to have my own twist. Many tomato soups call for a large amount of heavy cream. It tastes great, but really ups the calories without adding anything substantial. Cue garbanzo beans (also known as chickpeas). The garbanzos add depth and creaminess to the soup while also making it more filling and substantial.
And then those cute little croutons! I jut couldn’t help but make mini sandwiches from a baguette I bought at the grocery store. It was just perfect for grilled cheese croutons!
*For more roasted tomato flavor, double the amount of roma tomatoes, and use about half the tomato sauce.
*I used deli cheddar slices for my toasted cheese croutons, so the cheese was cut uniformly thin.
Hearty Roasted Tomato Soup
11 roma tomatoes
Salt & pepper
Dried herbs, such as rosemary & basil
2 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 large carrot, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
3 cups vegetable stock
1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
24 oz tomato sauce
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 French Baguette
Cheddar cheese slices
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a baking sheet with non stick spray.
Slice the tomatoes into halves or quarters (depending on the size) and remove and discard the seeds and stems. Place the tomatoes on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle the tomatoes with a small amount of olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and herbs. Place in the oven and roast the tomatoes for 1 hour, stirring and flipping every 15 minutes. Remove the tomatoes from the oven and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and carrots and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for an additional minute. Then add in the vegetable stock, garbanzo beans, tomato sauce, and roasted tomatoes. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Using an immersion blender, carefully blend the soup until smooth, leaving some chunks, if desired. Add salt and pepper to taste.
To make the toasted cheese croutons, slice the baguette into thin slices, between ½ and ¼ inch thick. Brush one side of each slice with a bit of olive oil. Place a thin slice of cheese onto the dry side of one slice of bread. Top with a second piece of bread, olive oil side up. Once all of the mini sandwiches have been assembled, place them onto a baking sheet and sprinkle the tops with garlic powder.
To toast, place the mini sandwiches in the oven, under the broiler for 2-3 minutes or until the tops begin to brown. Flip the sandwiches and brown the second side. Serve over the soup.