carrot tomato soup with homemade croutons

what to do with all these tomatoes?  

that's the thought i had after i realized i had way more than i could eat myself.  the problem is no one else in this home likes tomatoes but me.  however, they all like tomato soup.  ding ding ding!

i made this soup the other night.  it was pretty good.  i say "pretty" good only because we all could have done without the carrots which is interesting consider the original source adds carrots so her kids will eat it.

i'd make it again for sure but without the carrots.  if you like carrots though and your kids like carrots then i'd say it would go over quite well on your table.

carrot tomato soup
2 TBSP butter
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 lbs tomatoes, peeled* and sliced in half with stems removed
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
(optional) fresh sprigs of thyme, oregano or rosemary
1 medium sized yellow onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
5 medium sized carrots, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chicken (or vegetable) stock
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
3/4 cup heavy cream
Place sliced tomatoes on a baking sheet. Cover with most of the olive oil (reserving 2 TBSP or so), and the salt and pepper. If you'd like a little more flavor, I sometimes add a fresh sprig or two of oregano or thyme atop the tomatoes. Place in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes to roast.

Halfway through the roasting, melt the butter and remaining olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat. Add onion, celery, carrots, and garlic and cook until the vegetables begin to get soft (15 minutes or so). When the tomatoes are done, add those to the pot (removing the sprigs of herbs), along with the stock. Simmer on low until the vegetables are all tender (another 15 minutes or so).

Puree the soup. (I don't have an immersion blender, so my regular blender works just fine, doing it in batches.)
Return the soup to the pot and onto the stove. Heat slowly. Add the chopped basil and heavy cream.
*To peel the tomatoes, heat a sauce pan full of water and bring to a boil. Place tomatoes in for a minute. Remove and let cool. The skins will peel off easily after that.

homemade croutons
3/4 loaf french bread cubed (as large or small as you'd like your croutons to be but, keep the size the consistent)
olive oil, salt, pepper and whatever seasoning/cheese you'd like (i stuck to plain old s&p)
chop your bread.  
while bread is in a large bowl, pour oil and seasonings over the top and mix well with your hands.  once the bread is evenly coated, place the bread in a single layer on a foil lined baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes in a 350 degree oven tossing several times during baking (bake until golden and crunchy).

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