Sunday, September 23, 2012

Perfect Sunday Afternoon

Nothing like a chilly, lazy Sunday afternoon with soup simmering on the stove and football noise in the background. We liked this soup more than the Tomato-Basil Soup I made in the spring and Mr. Lawyer declared it a keeper. It was quite tasty and while turning your grilled cheese into croutons is completely unnecessary, it was fun. We used a delicious Pepperidge Farms sourdough and Cooper cheese ("because that's what mom always gets"-Mr. Lawyer), a winning combination.

Recipe Notes: 1/2 cup of orzo doesn't look like a lot but it will puff up and soak up some liquid. The original recipe called for 1 tablespoon of salt which is a ton! I changed it to taste. I also used diced tomatoes and it was fine. If you wanted to be more healthy you could probably omit the cream. I was tasting as I went and the soup tasted fine before adding it, I don't think it made it very creamy texture wise. Obviously I omitted the saffron because I'd rather pay our utility bill this month.
Check out my new Fiesta bowl totally rocking this soup!
Tomato-Orzo Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons
(Adapted from Ina Garten, Food Network Magazine)
3 tablespoons good olive oil
3 cups yellow onions, chopped (2 onions)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
4 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano (I used diced)
Large pinch of saffron threads (I omitted this)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup orzo
1/2 cup heavy cream
Grilled Cheese Croutons
1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Stir in the chicken stock, tomatoes, saffron, salt (to taste) and 1 teaspoon pepper. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, fill a medium pot with water, add 2 teaspoons salt and bring to a boil. Add the orzo and cook for 7 minutes. (It will finish cooking in the soup.) Drain the orzo and add it to the soup. Stir in the cream, return the soup to a simmer and cook for 10 more minutes, stirring frequently.
3. Serve hot with Grilled Cheese Croutons scattered on top.

Grilled Cheese Croutons
4 (1/2-inch-thick) slices country white bread
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
1. Heat a panini grill. Place the four slices of bread on a cutting board and brush lightly with the melted butter, being sure to butter the corners. Turn the slices over and pile Gruyere on two of the slices. Place the remaining two slices of bread on top of the Gruyere, buttered sides up.
2. Grill the sandwiches on the panini grill for about 5 minutes, until nicely browned. Place on a cutting board, allow to rest for 1 minute and cut into 1-inch cubes.

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