Thursday, April 29, 2010

Olivia's Croutons Review and Soup!

I was recently given the opportunity to sample and review Olivia's Croutons. But I didn't want to just use them as toppers on a salad. I envisioned them floating in a bowl of creamy tomato soup nestled cozily with a dollop of pesto and fresh Parm shavings. Folks, I made it happen and it was everything I thought it could be.

I don't make soup very often because Mr. H claims he doesn't like it. I threatened to make this for a few days and every time I brought it up he'd snarl at me. But faced with a big hearty bowl of soup, he'll eat it, happily. Cause he ain't gonna get nothing' else. ha ha! Truthfully though, he liked this soup- we all did. I took this soup and all the fixin's over to my in-laws' house and my father-in-law went back for seconds! The Olivia's Crouton floaters were a hit and added a nice balance of textures to this creamy soup.

This soup was thick and creamy, a bit garlicky and had great tomato flavor. It was simple and satisfying and so were these croutons. I was sent 2 different flavors- Parmesan Pepper and Butter & Garlic, their two most popular flavors. What I liked about these croutons is that they actually tasted like bread and olive oil and seasonings. They aren't doctored up with anything artificial and don't contain any preservatives. They also received awards for winning taste 2 years in a row. This is no ordinary crouton people.

Olivia's Croutons were originally made at home in their kitchen in Vermont. As the popularity of their croutons increased and their business grew, they were forced to find a larger commercial space to produce their products. That eventually led them to the big beautiful historic barn where they set up kitchen and the house in which they call home. All this on 50 acres of land--I think I'm in love! Did I mention that on this land they also grow their own wheat for their croutons? Yeah you read that right, THEY GROW THEIR OWN WHEAT! So not only are the croutons essentially homemade, but they're home grown! Isn't that impressive?!

If you happen to make this soup I suggest you top them with Olivia's Croutons. If soup is not your thing, toss them into your salad or make one the recipes found on Olivia's Croutons website. Either way, I hope you'll give Olivia's Croutons a try and taste a little bit of "wholesome, all natural, uncomplicated" taste. Place your Order Here.

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup from Monica H

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced or sliced
  • 2- 28 oz. cans diced tomatoes, drained (reserve the liquid)
  • 1 Tbsp. basil puree or fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup reserved tomato liquid (from the cans)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper


In a large pot over medium high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the chopped onion to the pan and cook til translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir. Cook for another minute til fragrant. Add the drained diced tomatoes, basil and thyme and cook, uncovered, for another 10 minutes until the flavors meld together.

Add the reserved tomato liquid and chicken broth. Stir and lower the heat to medium. Cook, uncovered, for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Season with salt and pepper to taste. In small batches, puree the chunky soup in a blender or use an immersion blender til the desired consistency is achieved. Stir in heavy cream til well incorporated. Re-season with salt and pepper if necessary.

Garnish with basil pesto, Parmesan shavings or Olivia's Croutons if desired.

Thank you Francie for giving me the opportunity to try Olivia's Croutons!


oneordinaryday said...

Monica, you are such a foodie. I would have just plunked the croutons onto a salad and called it a day.

cookies and cups said...

oh my! This look so yummy. I love the basil pesto you added!

♥peachkins♥ said...

these croutons are great!

blowing peachkisses
The Peach Kitchen
peach and things

Holly said...

Sounds divine!! We have been having rainy weather so that soup looks extra delish;)

Memória said...

LOL @ OneOrdinaryDay's comment. I so agree!!

This soup looks good. I'm not crazy about croutons, but I would totally love them with this soup for the contrast in textures. Looks great, Monica!

Julie said...

These look great floating around in that soup.

Sue said...

I think I'll be saying "Olivia's Croutons" in my sleep after reading this! The soup looks delish and the parm/pepper croutons sound wonderful.


Unknown said...

This looks delicious! I love me some tomato soup with a fat BLT on sourdough bread. I will have to try to pesto and parmesan shavings next time...and of course the croutons!

Unknown said...

WAHHHH!!!!!! I need to feature them on my Buying American Made series! Those looks so darn great.
Oh and the soup looks good too!

Katie said...

The soup looks wonderfully creamy and comforting

From the Kitchen said...

That soup's aroma seemed to waft right off the computer and into my home! It's the end of April and still hot soup weather. Well, around our house, we eat soup year round. I'm going to look for the Olivia's Croutons. I agree that they have a place on soup as well as a salad. And, at times, I stir them into scrambled eggs.


Debbie said...

Sounds like a delicious soup and it looks so good. Great idea to use the crouton in the soup!

Lalycairn said...

I have so been craving tomato soup - but am getting away from anything with corn syrup in it - so the little red can was not an option. . . . I'm gonna make this today - it's a good day for comfort food. :)

Still can't copy any of your recipes - says they are copyright protected - how about working a print page link into your recipes??? (just a thought. . . . )


Monica H said...

Heather, I'm still not sure why you're having this problem. I've tried copy and pasting on my blog using different computers and I don't have that issue. Are you sure you're only copy and pasting the recipe and not the pictures? If any pics are highlighted or if you right click while one is higlighted or your cursor is over it, it won't copy.

Maybe one of these days when I figure out how to do the 'printable recipe' thing, I'll add that on here. Until then, if you need a recipe just let me know and I'll email it to you. Oh and please leave me your email address.



Mmmm! Forget the croutons-the soups looks amazing! There's nothing quite like the combination of tomato and basil!

Lalycairn said...

Monica - no, I thought of that too. It just doesn't work for some reason. I've tried it a couple of ways a couple of times. HOWEVER! That did not deter me from writing it on the back of an envelope and making it tonight for dinner. :)

DH and I have been trying to cut back on sweetners - (corn syrup) and I've been craving tomato soup. So I thought I'd just give it a shot. OMG!! I will NEVER use the stuff from a can again. That was absolutely DELICIOUS! I've never made tomato soup from scratch before. Not sure why - but I sure will from now on!!!

Lalycairn (at)

Unknown said...

MMM love tomato soup, the pic of the soup up close with the croutons is fantastic!

Donna-FFW said...

Leave it to you to make me want to have croutons instead of popcorn while watching my show!! You make evrything look so good. Ive missed you too!!!

Ally's Sweet and Savory Eats said...

Yum! Just found your blog...and I love a good, crunchy crouton, who doesn't?

Kerstin said...

Croutons are the perfect soup topper because they stay nice and crunchy! And your soup looks so tasty!

Lorraine said...

Looks wonderful. I am a huge tomato soup fan and the croutons make it look even better!

Foodiewife said...

It's nice to see that savory side of Monica. As you know, I love to make soups. Great shot with all that steam, too! Call me. I can walk you through how I do my printable recipes. It's super easy, and your readers will love it. The croutons sound fab, too.

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Heather S-G said...

Ah, soup is a beautiful thing. One of my faves is a tomato/basil one that I've been making for years...the only one the whole family will devour (only tomato soup, that is)! This sounds awesome with the tasty croutons, as well :D

Ingrid_3Bs said...

Show off....just had to run it in that you have a fancy french pot now. LOL :)

Zsofi Anna said...

Oh, I LOVE homemade tomato soup! I don't know why my silly husband is against it. I always make it when he goes away.

ghadee said...


nice soup

Can I Basil replacement of something else if not available,?

Roz | La Bella Vita Cucina said...

I'm going to make this recipe this fall with the tomatoes that I freeze and puree. It's our favorite soup that we always add cream and butter to as well! love the basil addition! roz

ShellE said...

I'm in the midwest and today finally feels like fall with temps in the upper 40's. This creamy goodness may be on the dinner table tonight!

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