- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, very thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, smashed
- 5 cups canned whole tomatoes in their juice (from three 14-ounce cans)
- 1 cup water
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Four 3/4-inch-thick slices of white country bread, crusts trimmed, bread cut
into 3/4-inch dice
In a large saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the sliced onion and smashed garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juice, the water, heavy cream, sugar, crushed red pepper, celery seed and oregano and season with salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil over high heat, breaking up the tomatoes with the back of a spoon. Reduce the heat to moderate and simmer for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small skillet, cook the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter over moderately high heat until it begins to brown, about 1 minute. Scrape the browned butter into a medium bowl. Add the olive oil to the skillet. Add the diced bread and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until it is slightly browned, about 6 minutes. Transfer the bread to the browned butter and toss well.
Working in batches, transfer the tomato soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Return the soup to a clean pot and rewarm the soup if necessary. Season the soup with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with the croutons.