Soup is a meal prep classic—it freezes beautifully or can keep in the refrigerator for a few days. But what I like about this recipe is that you get a two-for-one for the same amount of time. First you will make my Meal Prep Roasted Tomatoes, featuring rosemary, garlic and olive oil. All of that flavor is then the foundation for this soup. Plus you can save the extra tomatoes to add to sandwiches or your favorite pastas. You use the extra olive oil from roasting tomatoes to make homemade croutons that are coated in Parmesan cheese, which absolutely fills my craving for the classic tomato and grilled cheese combination. This soup can be made in advance, portioned and then stored in the refrigerator for 4 days or in the freezer for 2 to 3 months so you can have it anytime you want.
Measure out 2 tablespoons of the reserved tomato juice and olive oil mixture from the Meal Prep Roasted Tomatoes. Place the bread on a rimmed baking sheet along with the leaves from 1 sprig of the reserved roasted rosemary and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sprinkle with the reserved tomato-oil mixture and toss. Spread the bread out evenly and bake until brown and crispy, about 10 minutes. Immediately toss with the Parmesan; the residual heat will melt the Parmesan to the croutons. Set aside.
While the croutons bake, remove and reserve the roasted garlic and remaining rosemary sprigs from the roasted tomatoes. Add the tomatoes with the remaining tomato juice and olive oil mixture to a blender with the leaves from the reserved rosemary sprigs. Set aside.
Set a medium saucepan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Mince the reserved garlic. When the oil is hot, add the shallots and garlic and saute until the shallots soften and just begin to brown, 2 to 3 minutes; season with a pinch of salt. Transfer the mixture to the blender and blend on high speed until smooth.
Pour the tomato mixture back into the saucepan and stir in the stock. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat. Simmer until heated through, 8 to 10 minutes. Season the soup with 2 teaspoons salt. Stir in the cream, reduce the heat to medium-low and gently simmer 3 to 4 minutes. Turn off the heat, stir in the lemon juice and add more salt to taste. At this point, you can cool the soup completely and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or freeze for 2 to 3 months.
When ready to serve, ladle the hot soup into bowls and top with the croutons, pepper and torn basil leaves.
Meal Prep Roasted Tomatoes:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Toss together the tomatoes, olive oil, rosemary sprigs, garlic, 1 tablespoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl until everything is evenly coated. Divide between 2 rimmed baking sheets and bake until the garlic begins to brown and the tomatoes just begin to burst, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely.
Transfer the tomatoes, garlic, rosemary sprigs and tomato juice-olive oil mixture to an airtight container and refrigerate up to 4 days. Use these tomatoes to make soup, serve with eggs for breakfast, add to sandwiches or make into a pasta sauce for dinner.