Roasted Carrot and Basil Soup with Grilled Cheese Dunkers
- 2 pounds carrots, washed and cut into chunks
- 1/2 large Vidalia onion, cut into chunks
- 4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 5 cups chicken broth
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- Sour cream or Greek yogurt, for topping, optional
- Grilled Cheese Dunkers, for serving, recipe follows
- Grilled Cheese Dunkers:
- 1 1/4 cups shredded extra-sharp Cheddar
- 8 slices nice sourdough bread, quartered and crusts removed
- Mayonnaise, for spreading
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Add the carrots, onions and garlic to a sheet tray, drizzle with the olive oil and season with a big pinch of salt and pepper. Toss everything together so it's nice and coated. Roast until tender and golden brown in spots, about 45 minutes.
Add 4 cups of the chicken broth to a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Pop the garlic out of their skins and add to the sauce pan with the roasted carrots and onions. Simmer everything together for 15 minutes. Add the basil at the very end of cooking. Puree until smooth by adding in batches to a blender or by using an immersion blender. Add the remaining broth, a little at a time, when pureeing to loosen it up a bit.Grilled Cheese Dunkers:
Heat a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Divide the cheese among 4 slices of the bread and top with the other 4 slices. Spread the outside of the bread with mayonnaise. Add the sandwiches to the pan and cook until golden brown and the cheese is melted, 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Slice into dunkers and serve with the soup.
Cook Notes: When blending hot liquids, first let cool for 5 minutes or so, then transfer to a blender, filling only halfway. Put the lid on, leaving one corner open; this will prevent the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Cover the lid with a kitchen towel to catch splatters and pulse until smooth.