Fresh Tomato Soup with Cheddar Croutons3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
2 pounds fresh tomatoes, chopped
Salt and pepper
4 1/2-inch-thick diagonal slices Italian bread
1/2 cup finely grated Cheddar
Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add parsley, tomatoes and 1 cup water. Season with salt and pepper. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes are very soft, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool.
Top bread slices with cheese, place on a baking sheet and bake until cheese is melted and lightly browned, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove parsley sprigs; discard. Puree soup in a blender in batches and return to Dutch oven. Gently reheat. Ladle into bowls, rest a crouton on top of each; serve hot.
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