Laurel and Hardy, Tom and Jerry, Batman & Robin (well insert any favorite duo here)…do you see where I am going here? On their own, they are good, funny and well a superhero! But even superheroes need friends that complement them. Thats exactly what our superstar duo of grilled cheese and tomato soup do 🙂 Believe it not , I never had a grilled cheese until 3-4 years ago atleast not an American style one. I have always been a fan of tomato soup especially the style thats made in Indian restaurants back home. However, when I discovered the magic of these together especially on cold wintery nights…well I was obviously missing out!
I have been making tomato soup now for a while now. However I initially thought of making an oven roasted tomato soup based on a ratatouille recipe I made a few years ago. It called for roasting the tomatoes in the oven with some olive oil and boy! did it blow my mind. It was full of juicy concentrated tomato flavors. The recipe for this soup uses the same method. We will roast all of the ingredients in the oven for around 40-45 minutes and then blend the soup.
You will find the grilled cheese a cinch to make. All you really need is bread, cheese and a little mayo. I used regular white sandwich bread. You can also use any bread of your choice including sourdough, whole grain, multigrain etc.
Ingredients you will need
Tomatoes – Yes, the obvious ingredient. You can use really any tomatoes you enjoy eating. I used mostly cherry tomatoes. Make sure they are fresh , firm and dont have any spots on them.
Shallots & Garlic – I used shallots as the main aromatic along with garlic.Shallots tend to be milder than onions but still provide great flavor. You can use also use yellow or white onions, leeks, green onions or even chives for a mild flavor.
Herbs – This recipe calls for thyme, bay leaves and basil. I have used both fresh and dry basil here. You can use both as well but if you only have one of them then feel free to use that. Basil is amazing with tomatoes of course but thyme and bay leaves also brings in subtle flavors. Just fish them out after the roasting process before blending the soup.
Spices – Besides salt and pepper, I have used red pepper flakes for some added heat.
Bread – I used white sandwich bread. Any bread of your choice will work here.
Cheese – Slices of cheddar or american cheese is a popular choice for grilled cheese here in the US. However, I love the flavor of pepper jack and decided to use that instead. Swiss cheese, havarti are also good choices.
Mayonnaise – Mayo is a game changer when making grilled cheese. Smear some on the bread before toasting the bread slices on a hot pan. Its adds a beautiful color and richness to the bread. Not a fan?? no worries, you can use butter/ vegan butter to add flavor.
Cream – You can add some cream or creamy oat milk as a topping or stir it in for creaminess and balance.
Croutons – These are optional but add great texture and mouthfeel. You can also use store bought croutons or crackers. However, its extremely easy to make them at home. I have added a little section below walking you through the steps if you feel like making some at home. It is also included in the recipe card.
Helpful tips for making grilled cheese and tomato soup
- Make sure to pass the blended soup through a fine sieve to remove the tomato seeds. This will help make the soup smoother in texture.
- You can blend the soup using both a hand held blender or a full size blender. Ensure the roasted ingredients have time to cool down before blending.
- Make the sandwich just before serving to ensure the bread does not get soggy. Also if possible, use a cast iron pan to make the sandwich. The high heat helps brown and add a crispy finish to the bread.
- To make it completely vegan, use olive oil or vegan butter. Replace cream with vegan cream or thick plant milks like oat or coconut milk. To keep it gluten-free, make sure to use gluten free croutons and ensure any spices used are marked so as well.
How to make croutons?
Croutons are basically bread pieces or cubes tossed in some oil along with seasoning. You can also add some dried herbs like Italian seasoning which is what I did while making these croutons. You can then spread these coated bread cubes on a sheet pan and bake at 350 deg F for around 20 minutes.
Again, you can use any bread of your choice to make these croutons. I had some leftover sourdough bread and they worked out great. These croutons last 2-3 weeks stored in a airtight container at room temperature.
Topping options for the tomato soup and how to store leftovers?
Besides the croutons , some of these options below will work great as well
- Fresh basil leaves
- Grated cheese including parmesan, havarti
- Herb Oil
- Fresh cream
- Crushed dried herbs
The tomato soup can be stored up to 3-4 days in the refrigerator and can be stored in the freezer for up to a month. Reheat in a water bath or let the soup thaw out overnight before reheating.
Well how do you take your tomato soup? Do you eat the grilled cheese and tomato soup separately or do you like to scoop up the soup with the bread? I hope you let me know by leaving a comment below. Have questions or suggestions? Please leave them below as well and I will get back soon. You can also follow along on social media either on Instagram, Facebook and/or Pinterest.
Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup
- 1 9" x 11" Oven Safe Pan
- 1 10" Cast Iron Griddle/Pan
- 1 Fine Mesh Strainer
Ingredients for Soup
- 1 1/4 lb Medium Ripe Tomatoes
- 8 cloves Garlic
- 3 Shallots
- 4-5 stalks Fresh Thyme sub with dried thyme
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 1 cup Fresh Basil
- 1 tsp Dried Basil
- 1-2 tsp Red Chilli Flakes
- 4 tbsp Olive Oil
- 4 tbsp Fresh Cream or Thick Oat Milk optional
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 8 slices White Sandwich Bread
- 4 – 8 slices Cheddar Cheese sub with any sliced cheese of choice
- 5 tbsp Mayonnaise
- 2 cups Bread cut or torn in to equal sized cubes
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
- Preheat oven to 350 deg F. Add the olive oil to an oven safe 9" x 11" pan. Add the tomatoes, shallots and garlic. Mix well to ensure its well coated in the oil.
- Add the other ingredients and gently mix. Place in the oven for 40-45 minutes. Once done, remove from the oven and let it cool down for 10 minutes. Remove the thyme, bay leaves and discard.
- Use a hand held blender or place the ingredients in a high speed blender. Make sure the pan which holds the roasted ingredients is deep enough if using the hand held version. Blend until all ingredients are blended smoothly.
- Pass this soup through a fine mesh strainer. Add the cream/ oat milk if using and mix well or use as a topping just before serving. Keep aside.
- Place all the ingredients in a bowl and gently toss until the bread pieces are well coated. Spread the bread pieces on a sheet pan and bake in the oven at 350 Deg F. You can bake this along while roasting the soup ingredients as well in the lower rack or use a second oven if available. Bake for 15-20 minutes until crispy and remove.
- Spread the mayo on both sides of the bread slices and toast on a pan. Place 1-2 cheese slices on one of the bread slice. Cover with the second slice and let it cook until the cheese is melted.
- Pro Tip: Gently splash some water on the pan away from the bread and cover with a lid. The steam that will get created will help melt the cheese faster. Ensure you use minimal water.