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You're gonna need a bigger pot-- this dish as an absolute classic!

1 vote


  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) Olive oil
  • 2  Onions, chopped
  • 2  Stalks celery, chopped
  • 1  Carrot, chopped
  • 3  Cloves garlic, peeled, smashed
  • 12  Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 2  Bay leaves
  •  Sprig thyme
  • 8 cups (2 L) Vegetable broth
  • 10  Slices Dempster’s® Stays Fresh® White Bread, divided
  • 1 1/3 cups (325 mL) Grated Cheddar cheese
  • 6  Slices Maple Leaf® Bacon, chopped and cooked
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) Softened butter
  • 1/3 cup (80 mL) Whipping cream (35 %)
  •  Salt and Pepper
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) Freshly chopped basil


HEAT olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, carrot and garlic. Sauté for 5-6 minutes. Add tomatoes, bay leaves and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally for 3-4 minutes. Pour in vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Remove from the heat. REMOVE bay leaves and sprig of thyme. Break up 2 slices of bread and add to the soup. Using a hand blender or regular blender, puree soup until smooth. Return to the stove over low heat.  ASSEMBLE grilled cheese for croutons. Sprinkle 1/3 cup (60 mL) of grated cheese over each of 4 slices of bread. Divide the bacon bits between the bread, sprinkle with remaining cheese and top with remaining bread. Butter each side of the sandwich.  HEAT a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Grill cheese sandwiches for 3-4 minutes per side or until golden. Remove from the pan to a cutting board and cut into 1-2 inch (2.5-5 cm) squares. STIR cream into soup and heat through. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle hot soup into serving bowls and garnish with fresh basil and bacon-grilled cheese croutons. Serve immediately.

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