Creamy tomato and basil soup with parmesan croutons
Tomato soup always seems to conjure up days spent stuck in the rain for me. The anticipation of getting home to get cozy, dry and curl up with a hot bowl of soup was one that always brought upon a smile. Tomato soup was always my first choice and my grandma made a mean one. This recipe is my twist on the classic favourite.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay out cut tomatoes and garlic cloves, drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil and sprinkle with thyme and salt and pepper. Bake for 40 minutes.
- For the basil oil, crush fresh basil with a pestle and mortar until you get somewhat of a paste. Add ¼ cup olive oil and combine. Cover and let sit.
- In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add the remaining ½ tbsp olive oil and chopped bacon. Cook until browned and slightly crisp. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon, add chopped onions and cook until soft and golden. Add bacon back to the saucepan and stir in the tomato paste. Add the stock and bring to a boil, turn off heat.
- Once the tomatoes are done roasting add them to the saucepan. With a hand blender, blend until smooth. Sieve through a fine-mess strainer to remove any large seeds. Add the strained soup back to the pot, add milk and simmer for 5 minutes until hot. Adjust seasoning.
- To make the croutons: In a bowl combine the torn bread, olive oil, thyme, Parmesan and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes turning over once halfway through. (This can also be done while the tomatoes are roasting.)
- Add soup to bowls, top with croutons and drizzle with basil oil, cream and a sprig of fresh basil.