The flavor of the freshly roasted tomatoes in this soup makes it so much tastier than store-bought. (Look for tomatoes marked "RIPE" they are often on sale).The croutons are made from thyme-sprinkled grilled cheese sandwiches and served right on top of the soup -- even better than dunking!

What you'll need:

    6 cups (3 pints) cherry tomatoes
    3 tablespoons olive oil
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon pepper
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1 cup chopped onion
    1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
    4 cups chicken broth
    1/2 teaspoon thyme
    1 cup whipping cream

How to make it:

    Heat the oven to 400°. On a baking sheet, combine the cherry tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and the salt and pepper. Toss the ingredients to coat evenly and spread them in a single layer. Roast the tomatoes until they are shriveled with brown spots, about 35 to 45 minutes.

    In a large pot, heat the butter and the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and sauté until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the canned tomatoes with their juice, the broth, the thyme, and the roasted tomatoes, including any liquid on the baking sheet. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 40 minutes.

    Using a food processor or blender, puree the soup until it's smooth. Return it to the pot and stir in the cream. Without letting the soup boil, warm it over medium heat, stirring often, until steaming. Add salt and pepper, if necessary.

    Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with Grilled-Cheese Croutons. Makes about 10 cups