Tomato Basil Soup with Asiago Croutons

Tomato Basil Soup with Asiago Croutons
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Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons Organic Basil EVOO
  2. ¾ cup chopped onion
  3. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 28 ounces canned crushed tomatoes
  5. 28 ounces canned San Marzano (or plum) tomatoes
  6. 3 cups beef or chicken stock
  7. ¼ cup basil, packed and roughly chopped
  8. ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  9. 1 teaspoon salt
  10. 1 teaspoon pepper
  11. 3 tablespoons Aged Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar
  12. ½ teaspoon sugar
  13. ½ cup heavy whipping cream, warmed
  14. 8 (1 inch) slices of ciabatta bread
  15. 1 tablespoon Organic Basil EVOO
  16. 1 cup shredded Asiago cheese
  17. Chopped basil, for garnishing
Instructions
  1. In a large stockpot, sauté 2 tablespoons Basil EVOO and chopped onions over medium heat for about 5 minutes (or until onions have softened and are translucent). Add minced garlic and sauté for an additional 1-2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, stock, basil, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, Aged Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar, and sugar. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour, stirring often to help breakdown the whole tomatoes (use the back of a wooden spoon). Slowly whisk in warmed heavy cream.
  2. Asiago Croutons: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly brush both sides of the ciabatta bread slices. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle each slice of bread with about 1 tablespoon Asiago cheese. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until light golden brown and crisp. Remove from the oven and slice into croutons.
  3. To serve: Ladle desired amount of soup into each bowl. Top with prepared Asiago croutons, additional Asiago cheese, and chopped basil. Enjoy!
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