roasted garlic & sun dried tomato soup with pumpernickel croutons

seattle weather is completely unreliable! i woke up to a cold cloudy sky and instantly though of soup! this is my fancied up version of tomato soup with crackers:

roasting garlic adds a ton of flavor without the bitterness of raw garlic. to roast, simply peel your garlic, coat with olive oil, and wrap all the cloves in tin foil. bake at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes until browned.
it may be a lot of effort... but so worth it!

the soup: 
one onion chopped 
2 full heads of roasted garlic (15-20 cloves... oh yeah!)
dried thyme & oregano
3 small or 1 large potato, cubed 
1 cup sun dried tomatoes (not in oil)
4 cups vegetable stock
3-4 cups canned tomatoes

saute the onion with olive oil for 3-5 minutes, add in a spoonful of thyme and a pinch of oregano along with the roasted garlic cloves. saute for another minute. add in your cuped potatoes and sun dried tomatoes. cover with 4 cups vegetable stock. bring to a boil, and let simmer until potatoes are tender (15-20 minutes depending on the size of your cubes). add in the canned tomatoes. taste - add salt and pepper! use an immersion blender (my favorite kitchen toy!) or puree in batches in a blender until smooth. 

pumpernickel croutons:
tall grass bakery - a local bread company that frequents the seattle farmers markets - makes amazing artisan breads. their pumpernickel loaf is light and great for making flavorful croutons! 
cut your bread into 1 inch cubes. mix together a quarter cup olive oil, 2 finely diced or crushed cloves of garlic, tons of dried thyme, salt and pepper. drizzle over bread cubes and mix with hands. spread out on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, until edges are brown and crisp. let cool on a paper towel or paper bag.