Silky Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Crouton Bites

4 cups

Tomato Soup

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 small onion, peeled and diced

1 large carrot, peeled and diced

2 garlic cloves, peeled and diced

2 large tomatoes, diced (about 2 cups)

2 cups vegetable or chicken stock

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon salt

Grilled Cheese Croutons
Makes about 24 croutons

Butter, for the pan

4 slices bread (any type you prefer: whole wheat sandwich, French baguette . . .)

4 packaged slices Cheddar cheese

Tomato Soup

1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for 2 minutes, or until translucent. Add the carrots and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes more.

2. Add the remaining ingredients to the pot and stir to combine.

3. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

4. Carefully move the soup to a blender and blend until smooth. You can also use an immersion blender to blend the soup in the pot.

Note: If you do not have fresh tomatoes, you can use one 28-ounce can diced tomatoes and decrease the stock to 1 cup.

Grilled Cheese Croutons

1. Butter a skillet and heat it over medium heat.

2. Sandwich 2 slices of cheese between 2 slices of bread and place in the hot skillet. Cook for 2 minutes on each side, or until the bread is browned and the cheese is melted. Repeat with the remaining bread and cheese.

3. Cut each sandwich into 12 pieces and serve with the Tomato Soup.

Note: For crunchier croutons, place the sandwich cubes on a baking sheet and bake them for 5 minutes in a 400°F oven.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Weelicious Lunches. Find it on Amazon here.