Monday, October 8, 2012

Roasted Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

The days are getting shorter, the oscillating fan is stored up for good, and I wake up to a heavy marine layer each morning that barely burns off in time for lunch. Let's not even go there with the incessant Pinning of  pumpkin spice latte-esque drinks. Not ready for that jelly. I can even use my oven without having agitated freakouts about my overheating kitchen/body (this is a frequent occurrence in July). It's safe to say that the seasons are changing.

Living in the Pacific Northwest, it's always a little scary when the calendar jumps to Labor Day and it's time to say goodbye to the sun summer for nine months. But for now, I am enjoying the cooler days and the promise of fall. And at the very least, there are ripe, juicy, late summer tomatoes and sweet thyme to ease us through the transition. 

Roasted Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons
Recipe inspired from Sprouted Kitchen's new cookbook (seriously, how beautiful?) and adapted from Smitten Kitchen


3 lbs. roma (plum) tomatoes, halved
a healthy whallop of EVOO
salt + pepper
4 cloves of garlic

4 c. vegetable or chicken stock
1 tsp. fresh thyme, finely chopped
crushed red pepper flakes to taste
salt + pepper to taste

Hearty bread (I used sourdough)
Sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Lay the halved tomatoes, cut side up, on a rimmed baking sheet. Live with your heart wide open. At least that's the message I get from these 'mates.

Drizzle with EVOO and season generously with salt and pepper. Tightly wrap the unpeeled garlic cloves in aluminum foil and place on baking sheet.

Bake the tomatoes and garlic until the tomatoes begin to shrink and are tender and the smell of roasted garlic fills your kitchen, about 1 hour. Allow tomatoes to cool slightly.

Unwrap the garlic packet and peel the cloves. Roasted garlic just does it for me - is it doing it for you? Transfer the cloves, tomatoes, and any accumulated juices (key) to a large pot and pulse with an immersion blender until the tomatoes are a chunky puree. Alternatively, pulse the tomatoes, garlic, and juices in a blender or food processor, in shifts if necessary, and then transfer to large pot. Add stock, thyme, red pepper flakes to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook, uncovered for 25 minutes. Remove from heat and season to taste.

For the cheddar croutons, slice hearty bread (I used sourdough) into thick slices and slather with softened butter. Transfer the warm soup into oven-safe bowls (or if you're serving an army and have cooked the  soup in a heat-proof dutch oven, simply do the following directly into the large pot) and float the bread, butter side up, into each bowl. Sprinkle grated cheese generously on top of the bread. Broil for 3-5 minutes, until the crouton is bubbly. Keep a close eye on your soup - broiling does its thing FAST. Allow to cool for a few minutes before eating.

If you don't have oven-safe bowls, you can prepare the cheddar croutons on a baking sheet and place on top of soup before serving.

Makes 4-6 servings. Freezes well. Comforts better.


  1. Hopefully Katherine doesn't see this. I think it looks delish. My mouth is watering! Stay warm, friend!!

    1. it was pretty rude of me to post this ON her birthday. this is my favorite soup. i miss you and hope you're doing well! xx

  2. Wow - this looks amazing! I'm excited to try it soon!

  3. One of my very favourite soups, love this!

    1. hi kathryn! this soup is such a comfort. and now i'm addicted to thyme. loved the pics from your usa trip - looks like you had a fabulous vacation!

  4. as i have personally consumed numerous bowls of this ridiculously delicious soup, i am VERY happy to finally have the recipe added to my collection. thanks, ak!