Q: How do you fix a broken tomato?
A: Tomato paste.
The title of this soup is spot on accurate.
And creamy, flavorful and studded with orzo pasta.
But, it is the Grilled Cheese Croutons that make the soup so fantastic.
What a great idea to make grilled cheese cut into croutons to garnish the soup. Gruyère is a welcome change of cheese from the usual varieties used for grilled cheese sandwiches.
I made one extra sandwich, to cut into croutons, to make sure I had enough for a hungry lunch bunch. I probably should have made more, they were that good.
One thing I would change next time, is to use a lot less saffron. A large pinch was too much, in my opinion.
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 yellow onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups chicken stock
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
Large pinch of saffron threads (or less, I suggest)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup orzo
1/2 cup heavy cream
Grilled Cheese Croutons (recipe follows)
1. In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown.
2. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Stir in the chicken stock, tomatoes, saffron, 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, fill a medium pot with water, add 2 teaspoons salt and bring to a boil. Add the orzo and cook for 7 minutes. (It will finish cooking in the soup.) Drain the orzo and add it to the soup.
4. Stir in the cream, return the soup to a simmer and cook for 10 more minutes, stirring frequently.
5. Serve soup hot with Grilled Cheese Croutons scattered on top.
4 (1/2-inch-thick) slices country white bread
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated
1. Heat a panini grill or grill pan.
2. Place the four slices of bread on a cutting board and brush lightly with the melted butter, being sure to butter the corners. Turn the slices over and pile Gruyère on two of the slices. Place the remaining two slices of bread on top of the Gruyère, buttered sides up.
3. Grill the sandwiches on the panini grill for about 5 minutes, until nicely browned. Place on a cutting board, allow to rest for 1 minute and cut into 1-inch cubes.
Cozy up to this beautiful song by Mount Eerie. Other worldly, it is one of my favorites ever.
“The lights in the park
The moving trees
The silent corners
The world’s new cloak
A final breath of storm blows snowdrifts in the street
then blows away over the water.”
Check out Mount Eerie on Bandcamp, where you can buy the music.