This recipe, developed by Cynthia Wilson, was the winning entry in the No Reservations McCormick Gourmet™ recipe contest.
Heat oil in 2-quart saucepan on medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir 10 minutes or until softened. Add tomatoes; cook on medium-low heat 25 minutes or until tomatoes are softened, stirring occasionally. Add water; simmer 30 minutes or until tomatoes are tender
With center part of cover removed to let steam escape, puree soup in batches in blender on high speed until smooth. Strain and return soup to saucepan. Add salt, thyme and pepper; simmer 20 minutes or until slightly thickened
Meanwhile, for the Cornbread Croutons, preheat oven to 350°F. Cut prepared cornbread into 12 (3/4-inch) cubes. Place on baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes or until toasted. To serve, ladle soup into bowls and top each with 3 croutons
Test Kitchen Tip: This soup is also delicious served chilled. Prepare soup as directed. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight. Serve with Cornbread Croutons.