You guys are going to love me for this recipe, I'm still having dreams about it. I took a simple Tomato Basil Soup and melted cheese on top so it got on bubbly and browned, we all know that's the best part of French Onion Soup!
This was another inspiration of my new Blendtec. Blending up vegetable soups in the fall is one of my go to dinner options. See my Butternut Squash & Shallot Soup, Broccoli and Cheese Soup, Moroccan Carrrot Soup and my more recent Butternut Squash and Pear Soup. As you can tell, I also love Butternut Squash in the fall...or anytime of year for that matter.
When making these soups, I usually try to double the batch so we have some to bring to work all week, or, some to freeze and break out for an easy dinner option.
12 plum tomatoes, halved
2 red peppers, de-seeded and sliced
1/2 small yellow onion, sliced
5 garlic cloves
1/4 to 1/3 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons salt, plus more for seasoning to taste
2 teaspoons pepper, plus more for seasoning to taste
15 basil leaves
2 cups low sodium chicken stock
1 14.5 oz can fire roasted crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup half and half
2 to 3 tablespoons crushed red pepper (optional...I like spice)
sliced french bread
gruyere cheese, sliced (can also use swiss)
parmesan cheese, sliced
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Combine plum tomatoes, red peppers, onion, garlic cloves and olive oil on baking sheet. Season with 2 teaspoons of salt and 2 teaspoons of pepper. Roast for 25 minutes.
Place roasted ingredients in blender, along with basil leaves and chicken stock. Do this in two batches if needed. Blend, until well combined.
Place blended ingredients in large stove top pan over medium high heat. Add fire roasted tomatoes and half and half. Season with crushed red pepper and more salt and pepper, if needed. Bring soup to boil and then reduce to simmer and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes. I could have left mine in longer, but I was too excited to start eating.
Place soup in oven safe bowls. Butter one side of sliced bread and place on top of soup, butter side up. Layer Gruyere and Parmesan cheese slices on top so it is hanging over the edge of the bowl. Place bowls on baking sheet (not totally necessary, but will keep your oven cleaner) and then put under broiler for about 5 minutes or until cheese starts to bubble and brown.
Remember the bowl is hot when eating the soup!