We knew we had to see -- and taste -- the recipes featured in the new book "300 Sensational Soups," by Carla Snyder and Meredith Deeds. They didn't disappoint. The flavor of the freshly roasted tomatoes in this soup makes it so much tastier than store-bought. (If the cost of cherry tomatoes in the winter is too high where you shop, hang on to this recipe until the price drops. It's worth it.) The croutons are made from thyme-sprinkled grilled cheese sandwiches and served right on top of the soup -- even better than dunking!
Heat the oven to 400°. On a baking sheet, combine the cherry tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and the salt and pepper. Toss the ingredients to coat evenly and spread them in a single layer. Roast the tomatoes until they are shriveled with brown spots, about 35 to 45 minutes.
In a large pot, heat the butter and the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and sauté until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the canned tomatoes with their juice, the broth, the thyme, and the roasted tomatoes, including any liquid on the baking sheet. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 40 minutes.
Using a food processor or blender, puree the soup until it's smooth. Return it to the pot and stir in the cream. Without letting the soup boil, warm it over medium heat, stirring often, until steaming. Add salt and pepper, if necessary.
Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with Grilled-Cheese Croutons. Makes about 10 cups.
Per serving of Roasted Tomato Soup with Grilled-Cheese Croutons (1 cup and 6 croutons): Calories 272 • Total Fat 21 g •Saturated Fat 12 g • Cholesterol 55 mg • Sodium 978 mg • Total Carbohydrate 16 g • Fiber 2g • Sugars 6g • Protein 5 g