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.
Table of Contents
- 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.