Administer salt and pepper liberally. Engage spoon!
This soup is the closest thing I have to a yearly ritual. It has become a spiritual practice to make it at least once each fall.
Tomato Soup with Toasted Cheese Croutons
3 Tbsp. butter, divided
1 small onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
6 sprigs parsley
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 sourdough baguette, sliced into 1/2" rounds
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
1. In a large pot over medium heat, melt 2 Tbsp. butter. Add onion, carrot, and celery. Sauté until tender but not browned, about 6 to 8 minutes.
2. Add tomatoes, parsley and stock. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer and cover. Skim foam and fat from top of soup and cover. Simmer until carrots are tender, about 25 minutes. Remove parsley sprigs from soup and discard. Puree soup in batches in a food processor or blender. Return to pot and stir in cream and remaining Tbsp. of butter. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.
3. Meanwhile, toss cubes of bread with olive oil and Parmesan. Place on a sheet pan and bake at 400º for about 10 minutes, until golden brown and crispy. Pour soup into mugs and place a few croutons on top. Makes 8 servings.