Roast tomato soup with the ultimate Toasted Cheese sandwich

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Roasted tomato soup with grilled cheese

When I was young, I despised tomato soup. I always thought it tasted of tomato sauce, which is strange because I liked tomato sauce (ketchup) on everything. But now, I appreciate its subtle acidity and its gentle sweetness. And when served with a rich, oozy, toasted cheese sandwich, it’s simply perfection.

Roasted tomato soup with grilled cheese   The ultimate toasted cheese

I call these my ultimate toasted cheese because they are by far the best I’ve tasted. They are simple with only one secret ingredients, a slow-braised onion purée flavoured with butter and white pepper. This purée mimics the texture of the melted cheese and infuses the sandwich with sweet, buttery, peppery flavour which is just to-die-for.

Roasted tomato soup with grilled cheese

I’m not quite sure when I became the type of person who willingly makes a slow-braised onion purée for something as simple as a toasted cheese sandwich but I have. Maybe because I have always loved the simplest of recipes but am now motivated to make the very best ‘simple’ food I can. Also, it must be said that just because it takes long to make this glorious onion purée doesn’t mean that I’m standing in front of the oven waiting for it. I toss everything into an oven-proof dish and let it bubble away until I’m ready to purée it. I keep this puree in a jar in the fridge and believe me when I tell you, it is a must-have. It adds the most incredible depth to any dish you add it to. Gravy, pasta, rice, stews, meat braises, sandwiches, burgers are all made better with a spoonful of this purée. Something magical happens to onion when it’s allowed to cook for a long time and this is the result. Sweet, buttery and divine.

Roasted tomato soup with grilled cheese

Roasted tomato soup with the ultimate toasted cheese sandwich
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Recipe type: Soup, Grilled Cheese, Toasted cheese, Sandwich
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 4 tins (400g (14.11 ounces) each) whole, peeled tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 red onions, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1.5l vegetable / chicken stock
  • 100ml cream
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • fresh basil leaves, to serve
for the onion puree
  • 6 onions, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 750ml stock (I used beef)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • white pepper and salt, to taste
for the toasted cheese (makes 4)
  • 8 slices thick, white bread
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella
  • 2 cups grated mature cheddar
Instructions
  1. To make the soup, Pre-heat the oven to 200°c.
  2. Place the tinned tomatoes and all their juices in a roasting tray and add the Balsamic, olive oil, sugar and salt. Stir to combine and place in the oven for 25-30 minutes until the tomatoes are broken down and have started caramelising slightly.
  3. In a large pot, sauté the onions in some olive oil until they are translucent and fragrant. Add the garlic and fry for another minute.
  4. Add the roasted tomatoes, tomato paste, soy sauce and sugar. Stir to combine all the ingredients and pour in the stock.
  5. Lower the heat and cover the pot. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove the pot from the heat and blend the soup.
  7. Add the cream and season to taste.
  8. To make the puree (I do this at the same time as roasting the tomatoes), place the onions in an oven-proof dish and pour over the stock. Add the salt and sugar then cover and allow to braise for 45 minutes to an hour until the onions are soft and fragrant.
  9. Strain the onions (reserve the liquid to add flavour to sauces/stews) and blend with a hand blender.
  10. Add the butter and season to taste.
  11. To make the toasted cheese sandwiches, mix the mozzarella with the cheddar. Top 4 slices of bread with a tablespoon of the onion puree followed by a generous handful of the cheese.
  12. Close the sandwich with another slice of bread then fry in a non-stick pan, over medium heat (I add a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan) until the sandwiches are golden brown and the cheese is melted and oozy.
  13. Serve the toasted cheese with the tomato soup.
 

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Alida Ryder
Alida Ryder
Being a general food freak has proven to be quite helpful in this career I've found myself in. Author of two cookbooks, photographer, food stylist. Mom to twins. Ex make-up and hair artist obsessed with beautiful clothes and spaces. I love a good G&T and I've been known to spend too much money on shoes.
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  • Maddie

    Wholly shmolly…this sounds fantastic!! It feels like I’m sitting at your table and enjoying it with you! Thanks for the mouthwatering feeling!
    http://www.maddiesvine.com

    • http://simply-delicious-food.com/ Alida Ryder

      Thanks for the lovely comment!

      • orangegirl1312

        Hi,

        When do I add the onion puree in the soup?

        • http://simply-delicious-food.com/ Alida Ryder

          The onion puree goes on the cheese sandwich, not into the soup. ;)

  • http://twitter.com/EkisPorra Nicole Da Rocha

    You’re making my mouth water intensely as I sit in my office, very far may I add, from my kitchen or any semblance of the abovementioned ingredients.

    If only I could have the dish teleported!

    Nicole

    • http://simply-delicious-food.com/ Alida Ryder

      Mouth watering is exactly what I had in mind! ;)

  • Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie

    I love grilled cheese and tomato soup, but who doesn’t?

    • http://simply-delicious-food.com/ Alida Ryder

      I think it’s a universal favourite Erin!

  • jenn@slim-shoppin

    This looks amazing – I love soup like that! And I love the onion puree

  • Daniel

    Great recipe!!! however when I made the onion purée, I only used 4 tablespoons of it for the 4 sandwiches as directed. I was left with probably 40 more tablespoons of the purée. Did I misunderstand something? Not really sure what I was supposed to do with all this leftover onion purée ?

    • http://simply-delicious-food.com/ Alida Ryder

      Daniel, as I said in the post ” I keep this puree in a jar in the fridge and believe me when I tell you, it is a must-have. It adds the most incredible depth to any dish you add it to. Gravy, pasta, rice, stews, meat braises, sandwiches, burgers are all made better with a spoonful of this purée.” Should you not want as much of the puree, minimise the quantities.

  • jayne sadler

    How long will the onion puree keep in the fridge?

    • http://simply-delicious.co.za/ Alida Ryder

      I would say around 2 weeks safely in a airtight container.

  • Katherine

    Hi, do you know how many calories this would be per portion of soup/ and sandwich? I really want to make this.

    • http://simply-delicious.co.za/ Alida Ryder

      Katherine, unfortunately I don’t do calorie counting on my recipes so I’m not sure.

      • Katherine

        …. I’m gonna make it anyway, forget the calorie counting! :-)

  • http://simply-delicious.co.za/ Alida Ryder

    I used what we call brown onions which I think will be your yellow onions. But any onion would work pretty well here.

  • http://coreykovach.com Corey

    I notice in your pictures there appears to be something drizzled on the soup. What is that? Also, is the onion puree only to spread on the toasted cheese or does it have something to do with the soup as well?

    • http://simply-delicious.co.za/ Alida Ryder

      I just drizzled a little cream over the top.
      I use the onion puree in the sandwich only but you could definitely stir some into the soup if you wanted to.

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