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Smoky Tomato Soup with Gruyère Toasts

January 10, 2011

by Emily

So why would I want to get ahead of myself and completely give up cheese as a key component of my meals? Although I supposedly am not eating cheese for dinner, that shouldn’t stop me from using it completely, right?  Liz actually forwarded me this soup recipe (and seven other options, don’t worry) while I was doing my “real job,” and I selected this Food & Wine option since we both noticed that we: 1.) hardly have any soups on the blog, and 2.) don’t even have a basic tomato soup! Oh, and there is cheese involved. Done. Recipe selected.

So surprisingly, it is a bit chilly in Houston and everyone – including myself – seems to be a bit under-the-weather with a cold, which makes a soothing soup sound all-the-more appetizing. The best part about this simple twist on a basic tomato soup isn’t just the addition of cheese, but the more complex smoky flavor played up by the paprika. I found that this special soup was much more more satisfying than cheese alone – although I admit the nutty Gruyère is pretty exceptional – and I would definitely recommend it as a tasty comfort food during these long winter months.

Smoky Tomato Soup with Gruyère Toasts
from Food & Wine

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika
3 1/2 pounds tomatoes, quartered
1/2 cup water
1 thyme sprig
1 bay leaf
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
Eight 1/4-inch-thick baguette slices, cut on the bias
2 ounces Gruyère cheese, coarsely grated (3/4 cup)

In a soup pot, melt the butter in the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook over moderately high heat until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the paprika and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, water, thyme sprig and bay leaf, season with salt and pepper and bring the tomato mixture to a boil. Cover and simmer over moderate heat until the tomatoes break down, about 15 minutes. Discard the thyme sprig and bay leaf.

Preheat the broiler. In a blender, puree the soup in batches until smooth. Strain the soup back into the pot, pressing on the solids to extract as much soup as possible. Stir the cream into the soup and season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, place the baguette slices on a baking sheet. Broil 6 inches from the heat until lightly toasted on both sides, about 2 minutes total. Top the toasts with the Gruyère and broil for about 30 seconds, until the cheese is bubbly. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with the Gruyère toasts.

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