Easy roasted tomato soup served with a simple, extra-cheesy grilled cheese sandwich is comfort food personified. Served with a swirl of cream and fresh basil, it’s your childhood favorite all grown up.
There are few things that scream “home” and “comfort”as much as a bowl of creamy tomato soup served with a grilled cheese sandwich. The simple meal consists of ingredients we all have in our homes so it’s the kind of recipe I turn to often. Whether as a simple lunch for the kids or a family dinner, grilled cheese and tomato soup is the answer. Perfect for feeding a crowd and exactly what I’m craving when the weather is on the cooler side.
- Tomatoes. Ripe tomatoes are always best but canned whole tomatoes will also be delicious.
- Balsamic vinegar.
- Olive oil.
- Salt, pepper and sugar.
- Basil leaves. Other herbs like thyme and oregano are also delicious with tomatoes.
- Stock. Use any stock or broth of your choice. I used chicken broth but vegetable stock can be used if you want to keep this recipe vegetarian.
- Tomato paste.
- Cream. Heavy cream/whipping cream.
How to make homemade tomato soup
- Roast the tomatoes: Roasting the tomatoes with aromatics before blending into the soup builds serious flavor. It’s a quick and easy step that means your soup goes from good to great. If you don’t have access to ripe, in-season tomatoes, using whole canned tomatoes are perfectly fine. Flavor the soup with ingredients that compliment tomatoes. Balsamic vinegar, basil and garlic are always a good idea where tomatoes are concerned. A pinch of chilli flakes/red pepper flakes will add a hum of heat if you like spicier foods.A little sugar tempers the acidity of the tomatoes but is completely optional.
- Make the soup: In a large pot or Dutch oven set over medium-high heat, cook the onions, garlic and basil in a little olive oil or butter until soft and translucent. Add the roasted tomatoes and tomato paste to this base along with stock/broth. Bring to a boil then cook until all the ingredients are soft then transfer to a blender and blend until smooth (alternatively use an immersion blender). Season to taste with salt and black pepper and add cream. Bring back up to a simmer then serve hot with bread of your choice or grilled cheese sandwiches.
How to thicken tomato soup
Allowing the soup to simmer and reduce will thicken it but if you want a thicker end result, mix 1-2 teaspoons of corn starch with a few teaspoons of water and stir into the soup. Allow to simmer until thickened. Alternatively, you can add some cubed potatoes to the onions and allow to cook completely. The blended potatoes will thicken the soup without the need for any additional thickeners.
Freezing and storing
- To freeze: Always freeze before adding cream. Allow blended soup to cool to room temperature. Transfer to freezer-safe jars, containers or bags and seal. Freeze for up to 4 months. Thaw completely before adding the cream and reheating.
- Make-ahead: This soup can be made up to 3 days ahead. Keep the chilled soup covered in the fridge and reheat over medium heat before serving.
There is no better side dish to tomato soup than a grilled cheese sandwich. However, any fresh, crusty bread will be good on the side.
Easy tomato soup with grilled cheese
- 1½ kg (3lbs) Tomatoes Use ripe, seasonal tomatoes or replace with whole canned tomatoes. San Marzano tomatoes are excellent but any good quality Italian tomatoes can be used.
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 red onions finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
- ½ cup fresh basil
- 2 tsp tomato paste
- 8 cups vegetable / chicken stock
- ½ cup cream
- salt & black pepper to taste
- fresh basil to serve
for the grilled cheese sandwich
- 2 slices bread per person
- 2 cups grated mozzarella
- 2 cups grated mature cheddar
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/390°F.
- Place the tomatoes (if using canned tomatoes, add all the juices as well) in a roasting tray and add the Balsamic vinegar, 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 to caramelize.
- In a large pot, sauté the onions in some olive oil until they are translucent and fragrant. Add the garlic and basil and fry for another minute.
- Add the roasted tomatoes, tomato paste and sugar. Stir to combine all the ingredients and pour in the stock.
- Lower the heat and cover the pot. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the heat and blend the soup.
- Add the cream and season to taste.
- To make the grilled cheese sandwiches, mix the mozzarella with the cheddar. Add ½ cup cheese to half of the slices of bread. Sandwich with the remaining bread. Butter both sides generously.
- Cook in a non-stick pan, over medium heat until the cheese is melted and the sandwiches are golden brown on both sides.
- Serve the tomato soup with a swirl of cream and fresh basil leaves with the grilled cheese sandwiches.
Super delicious! Have also used this without the cream to add to my bolognaise when I had a lot of tomatoes to use.
delicious!!!!!!!! but when do you put in the tomato paste?
In step 4 of the recipe you’ll see when to add the tomato paste.
When does the tomato paste come in?
I’ve amended the recipe. Thanks so much for notifying me, Britney.
I am seriously confused. I see all these comments talking about an onion puree, but the recipe and blog post doesn’t mention this at all! Please clarify!
I amended the recipe years ago to do away with the onion puree I added to the grilled cheese sandwich. It was delicious but a very fussy step for a simple recipe.
Thanks Alida, looks delicious! Do you need to chop the tomatoes or roast them whole?
I just roast them whole as they get blended anyway.
So when do you cut the tops off? Like the stem? After they get out of the oven or before
I just take them off after roasting.
Made this for supper last night after being at a loss as to what I should make and boy, am I glad we did it! Was so quick and easy, and the cheese toastie works perfectly??
The grilled cheese makes it, doesn’t it?
Amaryllis @ thetastyother.com
This looks like the perfect tomato soup (balsamic! soy sauce! onion puree!)- and you’ve paired it with a toasted cheese sandwich! I’m in love! Thanks for sharing, Alida!
Thanks for your comment! Glad you like the look of it.
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?
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.
I used what we call brown onions which I think will be your yellow onions. But any onion would work pretty well here.
Do you recommend a specific type of onion for the onion puree? Red, yellow, vidalia/sweet, etc.?? Thanks 🙂
Hi, do you know how many calories this would be per portion of soup/ and sandwich? I really want to make this.
Katherine, unfortunately I don’t do calorie counting on my recipes so I’m not sure.
…. I’m gonna make it anyway, forget the calorie counting! 🙂
How long will the onion puree keep in the fridge?
I would say around 2 weeks safely in a airtight container.
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 ?
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.
This looks amazing – I love soup like that! And I love the onion puree
Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie
I love grilled cheese and tomato soup, but who doesn’t?
I think it’s a universal favourite Erin!
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!
Mouth watering is exactly what I had in mind! 😉
Wholly shmolly…this sounds fantastic!! It feels like I’m sitting at your table and enjoying it with you! Thanks for the mouthwatering feeling!
Thanks for the lovely comment!
When do I add the onion puree in the soup?
The onion puree goes on the cheese sandwich, not into the soup. 😉