Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup is an irresistible combo and a meal that is easy to pull off with these two great recipes. The tomato soup is intensely tomatoey with a spicy kick. The grilled cheese is open faced, cooked in the oven, and includes some special ingredients that make it out of this world delicious!
This wonderful rich spicy tomato soup has only two main ingredients - onions and canned tomatoes, plus olive oil and spices. A garnish of fresh basil is optional and highly recommended. The recipe comes from one of my favorite chefs, Barbara Lynch, from a recipe in her cookbook Stir.
My inspiration for the grilled cheese comes from a vintage recipe my mother used to make when she entertained. She called it cheese grille. It's a sinfully delicious appetizer consisting of equal parts grated parmesan, grated onion, and mayonnaise, mixed together and mounded onto small triangles of white bread, and broiled. I went way lighter on the mayo for this recipe and it's still sublime!
How did Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup become a thing?
It's not clear exactly why and when grilled cheese and tomato soup became a thing. Some food historians say it was after World War ll, when institutional foodservice decided it was important to serve more rounded meals in federal institutions and school cafeterias. Grilled cheese, which was popular and affordable, needed a healthy accompaniment. Tomato soup, with its vitamin C component, fit the bill.
How to make the best grilled cheese and tomato soup
These two recipes are easily manageable for a weeknight dinner.
- For the grilled cheese: Toast the bread in the oven. Make the cheese mixture and spread it on top of the bread. Pop it in the oven until the cheese melts.
- For the tomato soup: Sauté chopped onions and red pepper flakes in a soup pot. Add canned tomatoes and simmer for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, puree, done.
The cheese mixture for the sandwich includes grated sharp cheddar cheese, grated onion, dijon mustard and a bit of mayo to hold it all together. The combination of flavors is incredible.
If you have an immersion blender (one of my favorite kitchen gadgets) you can puree the soup right in the pot rather than having to transfer it to a food processor or blender. It will save you lots of time and messy clean up.
In Praise of Open-Faced Grilled Cheese Sandwiches cooked in the oven
What I love about open-faced grilled cheese sandwiches is the higher cheese-to-bread ratio. It's the same reason I prefer thin crust pizza over thick and why I hollow out bagels before toasting them and topping with cream cheese and salmon.
It's not about reducing calories, though that's a nice side benefit. It's more that I don't want to dilute the delicious flavors of sandwich fillings and pizza toppings with too much bread and dough. Another benefit of the open-faced grilled cheese is that you don't have to stand over a frying pan and you can cook multiple sandwiches at the same time.
These crisp cheesy sandwiches are a perfect partner for this rich spicy tomato soup.
Here's the oven grilled cheese and tomato soup recipe. If you try this recipe, I hope you'll come back to leave a star rating and a comment. I'd love to know what you think!Print