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Tomato Bisque with Parmesan Croutons

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes • Serves: 8

3 teaspoons Essential Everyday® unsalted butter
2 teaspoons Essential Everyday® extra virgin olive oil
1 medium carrot, diced (about 1 cup)
1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
1 stalk celery, diced (about 1 cup)
2 cans (14.5 ounces each) Essential Everyday® peeled, whole, no salt added tomatoes
1 can (28 ounces) Essential Everyday® peeled and diced tomatoes
1 cup Essential Everyday® low sodium tomato juice
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon Essential Everyday® granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup Essential Everyday® half and half
8 slices County Market® Grainseed French baguette, cut 1/4-inch thick
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh thyme leaves for garnishs

1. In large saucepot, heat 2 teaspoons butter and oil over medium heat. Add carrot, onion and celery, and cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add whole tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato juice, thyme, sugar and pepper. Heat to boiling over medium-high heat; reduce heat to a simmer. Partially cover and cook 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to prevent sticking. Stir in half and half, and remove from heat.

2. Meanwhile, preheat broiler. Place bread slices on rimmed baking pan. Divide and spread remaining 1 teaspoon butter over bread slices, and sprinkle each with cheese. Broil 3 to 5 minutes or until tops are lightly browned.

3. In batches, transfer soup to blender and purée. Transfer puréed soup to large bowl before puréeing next batch.

4. To serve, ladle soup into individual soup bowls. Top each with a Parmesan crouton and garnish with thyme leaves.

Approximate nutritional values per serving:
162 Calories, 5g Fat (2g Saturated), 7mg Cholesterol,
370mg Sodium, 26g Carbohydrates, 4g Fiber, 5g Protein