w/ Garlic Multigrain Croutons
For the soup...
4 cups fresh chopped yellow tomatoes, skins removed
(red canned tomatoes will work too)
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
1 tsp tried oregano
1 clove garlic, minced
4 cups vegetable stock
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
(I used Star's Arbequina EVOO for Vegetables)
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
fresh cracked pepper to taste
For the croutons...
1 loaf multigrain french bread torn into 1 inch pieces
3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
pinch of salt
1. For the croutons, place the torn bread pieces on a rimmed sheet pan. Toss them with the olive oil and a generous pinch of salt and a sprinkle of garlic powder. Bake for 10 minutes in preheated 350 degree F. oven, stirring once. Turn off the oven and allow the croutons to continue to dry out in the oven while you prepare the rest of the soup.
2. In a large stock pot on medium heat, warm up the butter and olive oil together. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent and the carrots become tender.
3. Add the oregano, pepper, bay leaf, and garlic. Cook for 1 minute, until the garlic becomes fragrant. Add the vegetable stock and tomatoes. Bring this to a boil. Simmer on low with a lid partially covered for 30 minutes.
4. Blend the soup with an immersion blender until you have a chunky/smooth consistency. (You can also do this in smaller batches in a blender.) Lower the heat to its lowest setting and pour in the whole milk and heavy cream. (You may use all whole milk or half and half. Do not use skim or low fat milk!) Stir in the parmesan cheese until it melts. Add the fresh basil.
5. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Serve the soup topped with croutons and additional parmesan cheese. We also enjoy our soup with hemp seeds for additional protein.