Tomato soup is one of those things we (meaning I) rarely think of making at home. In fact, my mind rarely moves beyond the pantry aisle at the grocery store when I meet with a craving for tomato soup.
However, like most things, we can maximize flavor and improve quality by making grilled cheese’s favorite companion at home.
Growing up, grilled cheese and tomato soup was one of my very favorite meals.
I knew that I wanted to bring some of that familiar flavor combination to this soup by way of cheese-dusted, golden croutons.
These croutons are so simple to make and they add a world of flavor and texture to our creamy bisque.
Stale bread cubes and browned butter are tossed and toasted.
Then, the croutons are dusted with finely chopped parsley and a hefty heaping of parmesan.
Next, it is time to move onto the soup.
Brown butter creates a warm and savory foundation for our bisque.
White wine, garlic, canned tomatoes, and sea salt are simmered together for a quick twenty minutes before being blended and strained into this velvety bisque.
Top with a generous pile of croutons and prepare yourself for ultimate coziness.
A drizzle of heavy cream takes this simple soup to the next level of elegance.
I like to serve this soup alongside a light green salad and call it a night.
Simple, cozy, and comforting, plus the satisfaction of knowing we resisted the pantry aisle and made this all by ourselves.
BROWN BUTTER TOMATO BISQUE
3/4 cup unsalted butter, divided use
4 cups slightly stale french bread, chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
1/3 finely grated parmesan
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Place butter in a 4-quart saucepan and set over medium heat. Stir until the butter has fully melted then stop stirring and allow the butter to pop and simmer.
Swirl the pan every so often so that the butter browns evenly. Keep your eye on the pan as the butter can go from browned to burnt very quickly! Once the butter is a rich golden amber in color and you can see deep, browned bits on the bottom of the pan, remove from heat.
Transfer 1/2 cup of the brown butter to a large bowl. Add cubed bread and sea salt and toss to coat.
Lay a sheet of parchment paper over a large baking sheet and spread bread cubes evenly over the surface of the baking sheet.
Bake for 8-10 minutes; until well toasted and deep golden in color.
Sprinkle the croutons with the chopped parsley and grated parmesan and toss to coat. Set aside while you prepare the soup.
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup sauvignon blanc
2 28-ounce can tomatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 cup heavy whipping cream
granulated sugar, optional
Return the saucepan, with the remaining browned butter, to medium heat and stir in minced garlic.
Brown the garlic slightly, then add sauvignon blanc and simmer for one minute. Stir in tomatoes and sea salt.
Bring to a simmer. Simmer, stirring every so often, for 20 minutes.
Pour the contents of the pan and the heavy whipping cream into the blender and pulse until very smooth. Set a fine mesh stainer over the pan and slowly pour the blended mixture through the strainer, stirring the soup as you strain it so as to salvage as much of the bisque as you can.
Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning as needed.
Cook’s Note: Depending on the acidity of your tomatoes, you may wish to add a bit of sugar to cut the bite. Begin with 1/2 teaspoon and adjust as necessary.
Serve the soup immediately, topping with croutons just before you serve.