Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 (28-ounce|794-gram) can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand
3 cups|750 ml chicken or vegetable stock
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
8 tablespoons|1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 ounce|30 grams fresh basil leaves
8 slices good bread, sliced ¾-inch thick
8 ounces|225 grams sliced aged cheddar
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high. Add the garlic and onion and cook until soft, 6 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook 2 minutes more. Add the stock, sugar, and tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, then stir in half of the butter until melted. Season with salt and pepper, cool slightly, then either transfer to a blender with the basil to blend in batches, or purée using a stick blender. Return to the stovetop and keep warm.
- Meanwhile, heat the oven to 425°F. Brush the bread all over with the remaining butter and top each piece of bread with a slice of cheese (about 1 ounce). Cook until the cheese is bubbling and the crust is lightly golden, 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- Divide the soup among bowls and serve with the cheesy bread.
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