Vegan Tomato Soup w/ Grilled Cheese Croutons
Prep time 15 mins Cook time 30 mins Total time 45 mins Serves: serves 3-4 Ingredients 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled 4 medium fresh tomatoes 1 small yellow onion, sliced into quarters 1 (14-ounce) can Happy Harvest Diced Tomatoes with Basil, Garlic, and Oregano ⅓ cup Dakota's Pride Garbanzo Beans, rinsed 1 tablespoon Specially Selected Balsamic Vinegar ½ teaspoon Specially Selected 100% Pure Maple Syrup 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves 1 tablespoon SimplyNature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, more for drizzling ¼ to ½ teaspoon Stonemill Crushed Red Pepper flakes Heaping ½ teaspoon Stonemill Sea Salt freshly ground Stonemill Black Pepper for the croutons: 8 slices SimplyNature Knock Your Sprouts Off Sprouted 7 Grain Bread heaping ½ cup Earth Grown Vegan Mozzarella Style Shreds Instructions Preheat the oven to 450° F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Wrap the garlic cloves in a piece of foil and place it on the baking sheet along with the whole tomatoes and the onion wedges. Drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper and roast for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the tomatoes and onions are well browned. Peel the garlic and transfer the roasted vegetables to a blender. Reduce the oven heat to 400° F and line the baking sheet with a fresh sheet of parchment paper. Make the croutons: Sprinkle 4 slices of the sprouted bread with the vegan shredded cheese (don't pile too high in the middle or the croutons will be too melty to slice). Top with the remaining bread slices to make sandwiches and drizzle the outsides of the bread with olive oil. Bake until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden brown, about 8 minutes. Let cool completely before slicing into croutons so that the cheese doesn’t ooze out when you cut it. To the blender, add the canned tomatoes, garbanzo beans, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, thyme leaves, 1 tablespoon olive oil, red pepper flakes, ½ teaspoon sea salt, and freshly ground pepper and blend until creamy (a Vitamix is ideal here. If using a regular blender, just blend longer!). Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. At this stage, the soup should still be hot. If not, pour it into a pot to reheat it. Serve the soup with the croutons (some in the soup, some on the side) and additional fresh thyme, red pepper flakes, and chickpeas, if desired. Notes note: this soup serves 4 if you serve each bowl with 1 sandwich worth of grilled cheese croutons (as written). If you make the soup without these substantial croutons, it makes 3-4 smaller side-dish servings. Serve with a salad or double the recipe to serve more.Make this recipe gluten free by using gluten free bread.