Herbed Tomato White Cheddar Soup
Oven roasting the tomatoes gives this soup a rich tomato flavor. The tart acidity of the tomato is rounded out with fresh herbs, garlic, cream, roasted onion and white cheddar cheese. Then, if you like, top it all off with an open-faced grilled cheese sandwich (french onion style!) or some grilled cheese “croutons”.
I want to thank my sweet friend Ann from The Fountain Avenue Kitchen for giving me the grilled cheese crouton idea! It’s really fun.
- About 3.7 pounds of fresh garden tomatoes (or substitute canned fire-roasted tomatoes ... the amount of tomatoes doesn't have to be exact ...)
- 1 small onion, cut in fourths, NOT peeled!
- 2 - 4 cloves of garlic
- 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- A dash of nutmeg
- 1 cup fat free half & half
- 1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
- about 1/4 cup of mixed fresh herbs: I used basil, thyme, oregano, and tarragon.
- Red Robin Seasoning (or your favorite seasoned salt) and freshly ground pepper
- Thinly sliced French bread
- Shredded or sliced white cheddar cheese
- Thin slices of fresh tomato (optional)
- Fresh herbs for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 375 F. Spray a baking sheet or two with cooking spray. (I needed two!) Cut the tomatoes in about 1/2 inch slices and place them on the baking sheet side by side (no overlapping!) Set the onion on the baking sheet as well.
- Sprinkle the tomatoes lightly with Red Robin Seasoning and bake for about 20 - 30 minutes or until the tomatoes look soft and cooked and the onion is soft and translucent and maybe even a little blackened on the top edges.
- Let the roasted vegies cool for a bit, then pull the very outer skin off the onion and put the tomatoes and onion with the garlic cloves in your blender and blend till smooth. It should have the thickness somewhere between tomato sauce and tomato paste at this point.
- Pour the tomato mixture into a soup pot and add the broth, bay leaf, rosemary and paprika, bring the pot to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Add the half and half and cheddar cheese and reduce the heat to medium low or low and heat till the soup is hot, but not boiling. If the cheese is not mixing in properly, you might need to blend the soup again to get it smooth.
- Add the herbs and season to taste with Red Robin Seasoning and freshly ground pepper.
- Pour the hot soup into oven-safe mugs or bowls. Top with thinly sliced toasted French bread, then add some white cheddar on top of the bread. Place a thin slice of tomato on top. Bake at 350 for about 5 - 10 minutes or until the cheese is completely melted and a little bubbly. Garnish with a sprig of fresh thyme or other herb, if you like. Serve immediately.
- Make grilled cheese sandwiches using thinly sliced bread. Cut the sandwiches into crouton-sized pieces and serve the hot soup with a few croutons in the soup.
Soup can be made ahead of time and reheated.
This recipe was shared at Mix it Up Monday, My Meatless Monday, Melt in your Mouth Monday, Tuesday Talent Show. Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesday, Cast Party Wednesday, Fresh Foods Wednesday, Wednesday Extravaganza, Full Plate Thursday and All my Bloggy Friends.