Jamika Pessoa's Tomato Soup With Grilled Cheese Croutons
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion (diced)
2 garlic cloves (sliced)
kosher salt (to taste)
cracked black pepper (to taste)
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 can 28-oz crushed tomatoes
2 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1/2 cup cream cheese (room temperature)
4 pieces multigrain bread
1/2 pound sharp cheddar cheese (sliced)
3 tbsp butter (room temperature)

To Make the Soup:

Place a medium-sized saute pan over medium heat and add in the olive oil.

When hot, add in the onions and garlic and season with salt and pepper.

Cook the onions and garlic until translucent, about 6 to 8 minutes and set aside.

Add the onions and garlic to the carafe of a blender and add in the tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, and stock.

Blend until smooth and season with salt and pepper.

Place the soup into a slow cooker and set on high for 3-4 hours.

Right before serving, stir in the cream cheese and taste for seasoning.

To Make the Croutons:

Make two cheese sandwiches.

Heat a large saute pan with 1 tablespoon butter over medium-low heat.

Place the sandwiches into the pan and brush the tops of the sandwiches with the remaining butter.

Cook until golden brown and crispy on each side making sure that the cheese is melted.

Remove the sandwiches from the pan and let rest for 1 minute.

Cut each sandwich into 9 equal pieces.

To serve: ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the croutons.

Just when you thought grilled cheese and tomato soup couldn't get any better. This recipe turns the classic sandwich into croutons, elevating your soup to a whole new level.