There are few things more comforting than dunking a crispy, melty grilled cheese sandwich into a hot bowl of tomato soup. This recipe ups the flavor factor with hearty chickpeas and fragrant rosemary. Plus, mini grilled cheese croutons let you enjoy this classic soup and sandwich combo in every bite.
Technique tip: If you like slightly thicker soups, puree a few cups of the soup in a blender then stir the smooth soup back into the pot.
(By TODAY with our sponsor Citi, a partner of Taste of the Nation and No Kid Hungry)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup diced red onions
- 1 small pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- 3 tablespoons minced garlic, divided
- One 19-ounce can chickpeas
- One 19-ounce can diced tomatoes
- Water, to cover
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 1 to 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 lemon, zested (optional)
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley (optional)
- 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano (optional)
- Salt, to taste
Mini grilled cheese croutons
- 4 slices sourdough or other rustic bread
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 8 slices aged white cheddar cheese
- 4 skewers
For the soup:
1. In a medium sized pot, heat the oil, onion, red pepper flakes and 2 tablespoons of the garlic over medium low heat until onions become translucent.
2. Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, rosemary sprig and cover with water. Bring to a light simmer and let cook for about 15-20 minutes.
3. Add in the last of the garlic and cook for about 2 more minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed and add in the lemon juice.
For the mini grilled cheese croutons:
1. Brush both sides of each slice of bread with the olive oil.
2. Evenly distribute the cheese amongst 2 slices of bread and then top with the remaining slices.
3. Place a nonstick pan over medium-high heat and cook the sandwiches until golden brown and the cheese is oozy.
4. Remove from pan and cut into quarters and then slice each quarter diagonally.
Place about 4 pieces of the grilled cheese croutons on a skewer.
Divide the soup between 4 bowls and top with the lemon zest, parsley and Pecorino Romano, if using. Place the crouton skewer on the side and serve.