Start your Chanukah party with a warm delicious savory tomato soup; ours is topped with unusual croutons!
For the soup:
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
4 cups water
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1/2 cup orzo
1/2 cup heavy cream
For the grilled cheese croutons:
4 slices rye bread
2 tablespoons butter, softened
4 ounces mozzarella or Muenster cheese, shredded
In a large pot heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer. Stir in the water, tomatoes, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, fill a medium pot with water, add 2 teaspoons salt and bring to a boil. Add the orzo and cook for 7 minutes. (It will finish cooking in the soup.) Drain the orzo and add it to the soup. Stir in the cream, return the soup to a simmer and cook for 10 more minutes, stirring frequently.
Prepare the croutons:
Heat a medium-sized fry-pan or panini pan. Place the four slices of bread on a cutting board and smear with the butter, being sure to butter the corners. Turn the slices over and pile shredded cheese on two of the slices. Place the remaining two slices of bread on top of the cheese, buttered sides up.
Fry or grill the sandwiches on the pan for about 5 minutes, until nicely browned. Press down with a spatula or panini press. Place on a cutting board; allow to rest for 1 minute and cut into 1-inch cubes.
Ladle soup into bowls, top with a few croutons and serve immediately.