Roasted Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

Maddie mentioned the other day that the only soup she really likes is tomato soup. Campbell's, that is. That of the liquidy ketchupy fame. A definite yuck for me but apparently appealing to her. Felt like she'd thrown down the gauntlet and I was up for the challenge. When I found this roasted tomato soup recipe I was pretty sure I could top the canned variety but obviously I spoke too soon. My first mistake was probably thinking I could make a truly flavourful tomato soup when it's the end of November and not exactly prime tomato season. But I still held out hope that the roasting process would somehow intensify the flavours. It didn't. Then, of course, as the pic shows, my soup turned out more orange than red, which led to kid-suspicions that I had actually made butternut squash soup or sweet potato soup and was trying to pass it off as the tomato variety. Taste couldn't convince them otherwise since it was so bland that none of us could identify what the main vegetable even was. The only redeeming grace was the addition of the grilled cheese croutons, which saved the greasy finger approach of having to dip your sandwich in da soup. But enough said: quite simply, Campbell's won this showdown.

serves 4

2 lbs tomatoes, diced

1 red pepper, diced and seeded

1 onion, diced

1 carrot, diced

4 cloves garlic, unpeeled

olive oil

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp paprika

1 tsp oregano

2 cups chicken stock

1/4 cup heavy cream, optional

handful of basil, chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place the tomatoes, red pepper, carrot, onion and garlic on a baking pan and drizzle with the oil and salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes. Place everything but the cream into a saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes. Puree with a hand blender and mix in the cream and basil.

For the croutons, make up a couple of grilled cheese sandwiches (I used my panini press) with the cheese of your choice. Cut off the crusts and cut into small squares.

Rest of the week

Nov 26 Dinner at Bravi with friends

Nov 27 Rotini with sun-dried tomato sauce

Nov 28 Roasted tomato soup