Rainy-Day Tomato Soup

Topped with buttery fresh-baked croutons, here is a tomato soup that is anything but ordinary.

Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup carrot, peeled and cut into 2-inch sticks
  • 1 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Italian Croutons:
  • 1 loaf day-old bread, crusts removed
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

Preparation

  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat; add onion and garlic and sauté until onion is translucent. Add celery and carrot; cook 5 more minutes. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 1 1/2 hours or until thickened. Ladle soup into 4 bowls; top each serving evenly with Italian Croutons.
  2. Italian Croutons:
  3. Cube bread and place in a large plastic zipping bag; set aside. Combine butter and seasoning; pour over bread. Mix well; arrange bread cubes on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 425° for 10 minutes; turn bread cubes and bake 5 more minutes.
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