Alright, I have to confess something here. Once a week (at least) Six and I eat tomato soup with toasted cheese sandwiches for dinner. However, the soup and sandwiches we consume are not this absolutely beautiful easy tomato soup and delightful grilled cheese croutons.
Nope. The tomato soup comes from Trader Joes and the sandwiches are two pieces of bread and two pieces of cheese that are put into something called a toaster bag (brilliant invention that lets you melt cheese onto bread in your toaster without setting fire to your toaster). We usually eat baby carrots and apple slices as side dishes. And that was my weekly grilled cheese and tomato soup meal. It took ten minutes from start to table and it was edible.
This darn tomato soup and grilled cheese croutons recipe has ruined my 10 minute soup and sandwich ritual. This soup takes about 45 minutes of active cooking time, that means time on the stove, not time you are actually doing something. You have to chop onions (which I hate doing), but aside from that there is very little to do to make this pot of goodness. Also, you can make the grilled cheese croutons while the soup is cooking so from start to table this took me an hour. Now, that is 50 minutes longer than my carton o’ soup and toaster bag sandwich. There will be nights when I will only have time for the 10 minute soup and sandwich, but on nights when I have a bit more time I will be dragging out the soup pot and cast iron skillet.
This and that about the recipe:
- If you eat gluten free, leave the orzo out of the soup and you should be okay. Obviously figure out bread for your sandwiches.
- I have made this soup three times in 6 weeks.
- Saffron threads are expensive, I have made the soup once without them and it was still delicious.
- The heavy cream I had in the fridge turned into something that smelled like old socks. I used some 2% milk I had on hand and the soup tasted just fine.
- Six hates the grilled cheese crouton concept. His grilled cheese is served on the side, not cut up and floating in the soup.
Grilled Cheese Croutons
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Stir in the chicken stock, tomatoes, 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, fill a medium pot with water, add 2 teaspoons salt and bring to a boil. Add the orzo and cook for 7 minutes. (It will finish cooking in the soup.) Drain the orzo and add it to the soup. Stir in the cream, return the soup to a simmer and cook for 10 more minutes, stirring frequently.
- Serve hot with Grilled Cheese Croutons scattered on top.
- Heat a panini grill or a pan, whatever you cook your grilled cheese on or in. Place the four slices of bread on a cutting board and brush lightly with the melted butter, being sure to butter the corners. Turn the slices over and pile the cheese on two of the slices. Place the remaining two slices of bread on top of the Gruyere, buttered sides up.
- Grill the sandwiches for about 5 minutes, until nicely browned. Place on a cutting board, allow to rest for 1 minute and cut into 1-inch cubes. Or leave as grilled cheese sandwiches. It’s your life.