Share-A-Chef Wednesday

Hi Guys! So sorry that I didn't have this post up last week, but the hubby and I were dealing with some family issues that took over our lives for a bit. What can I say, Life Happens! Anyways, I am here this week to share with you another amazing Chef and another incredible recipe. This week I will be sharing a wonderful chef who goes by the name "Ina Garten". Ina started out working in the White House on Nuclear Energy Policy. After a while she began thinking "there must be more to life then this". She and her husband then decided on a whim to purchase a food store in the Hamptons. Two months later she became the owner of "Barefoot Contessa", a 400 square feet food store. Twenty years later Barefoot Contessa grew to 3,000 sq. ft. and had twenty cooks and twenty five more employees. 
Ina currently lives in East Hampton, NY with her husband, Jeffrey and she is the host of Barefoot Contessa on The Food Network.
So since we are coming into the Fall Season I figured that I would share a recipe perfect for that cool, crisp, evening when your sitting on your couch trying to decide what to make for dinner. This recipe will be the perfect way to settle in for the evening. It is Ina's Easy Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Croutons. I hope you all try this recipe and let me know in the comments what your favorite Fall recipe is.



Easy Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese Croutons

Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten
Barefoot Contessa
Potluck Party
Total Time:
1 hr
15 min
45 min

Yield:4 to 6 servings
3 tablespoons good olive oil
3 cups yellow onions, chopped (2 onions)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
4 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
Large pinch of saffron threads
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup orzo
1/2 cup heavy cream
Grilled Cheese Croutons (recipe follows)
Grilled Cheese Croutons:
4 (1/2-inch-thick) slices country white bread
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
In a large pot or Dutch oven such as Le Creuset, 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 more minute. Stir in the chicken stock, tomatoes, saffron, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 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.

Serve hot with Grilled Cheese Croutons scattered on top.

Grilled Cheese Croutons:
Heat a panini grill. Place the four slices of bread on a cutting board and brush lightly with the melted butter, being sure to butter the corners. Turn the slices over and pile Gruyere on two of the slices. Place the remaining two slices of bread on top of the Gruyere, buttered sides up.

Grill the sandwiches on the panini grill for about 5 minutes, until nicely browned. Place on a cutting board, allow to rest for 1 minute, and cut into 1-inch cubes. Yield: 4 to 6 servings


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