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Creamy Tomato Basil Soup with Grilled Montasio Cheese Croutons

Yield: 6 servings

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Creamy Tomato Basil Soup with Grilled Montasio Cheese Croutons

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped red onion
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (26 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 8 slices white bread
  • 6 ounces Montasio cheese, thinly sliced

Directions

  1. In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add onions and carrots.
  3. Cook, stirring occasionally until tender; about 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in garlic.
  5. Add tomatoes, basil, broth, salt and pepper.
  6. Bring to a boil.
  7. Reduce heat, cover and let simmer 15 minutes.
  8. Let cool 10 minutes.
  9. Puree, in batches, in blender or food processor; return soup to pot.
  10. Reheat over low heat.
  11. Meanwhile, to make croutons, butter one side of each slice of bread.
  12. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat.
  13. Lay four slices of the bread butter side down in the skillet.
  14. Put cheese slices on bread.
  15. Top with remaining bread-butter side up.
  16. Cook until bread browns and cheese begins to melt, about 5 minutes.
  17. Flip and cook 3 to 4 minutes longer until browned and cheese is melted.
  18. Cut sandwiches into 1-inch croutons.
  19. Ladle soup into shallow bowls.
  20. Serve soup with a mound of croutons in the center.

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