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Tomato Basil Soup with Mini Grilled Cheddar-Bacon Croutons

  • Prep
    10 min
  • Total
    40 min
  • Servings
    4

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 celery stalk, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 can (28 oz/796 ml) Italian plum tomatoes
  • 2 cups (500 ml) vegetable or chicken stock
  • ¼ tsp (1 ml) each ground pepper and granulated sugar
  • pinch salt
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) fresh basil
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) salted butter, softened
  • 16 slices whole wheat baguette
  • 4 oz (125 g) Armstrong Old Cheddar Cheese, sliced
  • 8 pieces cooked bacon, halved

Directions

  1. In a saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat; sauté onion, celery and carrot for 5 minutes, or until softened and golden. Add garlic and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, stock, pepper, sugar and salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. In the last 5 minutes of cooking, add half of the basil to the soup. Remove from heat and purée with an immersion blender or in a blender.
  2. Butter one side of each baguette slice. Assemble the sandwiches by layering 1 slice of Armstrong Old Cheddar cheese, 1 slice of bacon and an additional slice of cheese on half of the baguette slices, buttered side down. Top with remaining baguette slices, placing them buttered side up.
  3. Fry sandwiches in a pan over medium heat until golden brown and cheese is melted.
  4. Garnish soup with remaining basil; serve with mini grilled cheese sandwiches on the side.

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