Roasted Tomato and Chile Soup with Gruyère Croutons
This superb recipe for roasted tomato and jalapeño chile soup with Gruyère croutons was created by Chef Ben Berryhill.
1 red bell pepper, stemmed and seeded
3 jalapeño chiles, preferably red, stemmed and seeded
1/2 large yellow onion
1 carrot, trimmed and peeled
3 garlic cloves, peeled
10 ripe tomatoes, stemmed and halved or 12 to 14 whole canned tomatoes, preferably roasted (two 28-ounce cans plus one 15-ounce can)
1/2 cup cilantro, stemmed plus 2 tablespoons for garnish, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 quart (4 cups) chicken broth, homemade or prepared
Juice of 1/2 lime
Sea salt to taste
1/2 tablespoon pure maple syrup
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 tablespoon oregano, toasted*
18 (1 x 1-inch) bread cubes, cut from a 9-inch round country-style loaf (NOT sourdough)
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 ounces (1/4 cup) melted butter
1 1/4 cup (5 ounces) Wisconsin Gruyère cheese, grated - divided use
- For Soup Base: Preheat oven to 375ºF (190ºC).
- Roughly chop the red bell peppers, jalapeños, onions, carrots and garlic. Combine with fresh tomatoes and 1/2 cup cilantro leaves. If using canned tomatoes, set tomatoes aside for later.
- Coat vegetable mixture with olive oil and roast in a jelly roll baking pan until caramelized and tender, about 30 minutes. Cool. Remove tomato skins.
- If using canned tomatoes, dry well, halve and mix with vegetables.
- Purée vegetables in batches in a food processor, leaving some texture. Add purée to chicken broth. Heat to a boil and lower heat; simmer for 1/2 hour.
- Season with lime juice, salt and maple syrup.
- For Croutons: Preheat oven to 250ºF (120ºC)..
- Finely mince garlic and toasted oregano.
- Combine bread cubes, garlic and oregano with olive oil and melted butter. Toss until evenly coated.
- Slowly toast in the oven until crusty and crunchy, 30 minutes. Remove from oven, briefly cool and toss warm croutons with 1 cup of Gruyère cheese, pressing cheese into crouton sides. Cool.
- Serve hot soup with 3-cheese croutons in each of 6 large bowls. Sprinkle the reserved cilantro and Gruyère over the top.
Makes 6 servings.
*To toast oregano: Heat a small, heavy skillet until hot. Add oregano and stir constantly with wooden spoon until aromatic. Be careful not to burn.
Recipe and photograph provided courtesy of Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc.