Heat the EVOO over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven
or soup pot. Add the thyme
, lemon zest
, garlic, celery and onions
. Season the vegetables with the celery salt and black pepper. Cook the vegetables to tender, then deglaze
with the vodka. Add the spicy tomato juice, stock, horseradish, hot sauce, Worcestershire and canned tomatoes
. Bring the soup to a boil and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer
to thicken and combine flavors, about 30 minutes. Cool and store for a make-ahead meal. Reheat over medium heat.
To serve, while the soup
warms up, butter
8 slices of the bread on one side. Build the sandwiches with the Cheddar
slices, buttered sides facing out. Griddle
the sandwiches over medium heat until deeply crispy and the cheese
melts. Using a serrated knife, cut each sandwich into nine 1-inch croutons.
Stir the lemon juice
into the hot soup just before serving. Ladle the soup into shallow bowls, then sprinkle with the parsley and top with the croutons.