Time for some nostalgic Americana. How many of you hold on to that cherished part of your childhood, where your mom brings out a hot steaming cup of tomato soup with your favorite grilled cheese? Albeit it was soup from a Cambpell’s can with American cheese in between some white bread. But it was good… Mmm Good. With cold winter approaching in some parts, I am thinking to present your classic combo with a new spin. Two of your favorites, All In One Bowl. This is a bowl of the easiest yummiest tomato soup, bubbling out of the oven with melty, gooey cheese oozing like a lava flow. Oh, and there are croutons too, how can I forget that. Now ain’t that perfect? Time to get on some cheesy Luhv!!
Well, I’ll be honest, I didn’t grow up on this classic iconic duo. Dunking a grilled cheese sandwich into tomato soup seemed a little odd at first. This is what you learn when marrying an American :). I wonder who came up with this combination the first time. Someone obviously looking for a quick fix without slaving too much for a meal. Just opening a can of soup, which was the rage back in those times, and whipping up a quick sandwich.
And when you think more, it doesn’t seem odd at all. That age old formula of tomato and cheese works exceptionally well together. Then give it to a kid who would eat anything slathered with cheese. Win Win. And there you go, in no time everybody just got hooked on this favorite pairing for over half a century. I first tried this a few years back and remember enjoying slurping the soup off the cheesy toast.
So what is Grilled Cheese Tomato Soup?
The idea of making the “All in One” grilled cheese tomato soup hit us when we saw this dish in the frozen section at Aldi’s. Basically, it’s tomato soup topped with croutons and cheese then baked. The idea sounded great, but we are not big fans of frozen meals at the Beisers’. So we decided to recreate the same in our kitchen with homemade tomato soup. I feel ready made store brand soups are some of the most overpriced, and unappetizing, things I have ever come across. Sometimes I try to like them when I am starving and too lazy to cook. But I always regret opening that can and not moving my lazy butt to cook something. Anyways, that’s what’s behind the birth of this new look for your age old combo.
Before I go on with the rest of the post, please make fresh tomato soup
- Its super easy and quick.
- You get more nutrients and flavors than processed food.
- And it simply tastes like food… palatable, delicious & tasty.
What tomatoes to use for the soup?
We are using canned San Marzano tomatoes. San Marzano is near Naples and the tomatoes that grow there are pulpy and juicy with the right tang and beautiful red color. Using canned, good quality, tomatoes is ideal for making sauces or soups. Fresh ones would take a few more steps, like blanching and skinning. Besides that, unless you are using heirloom or garden fresh tomatoes, most of the grocery store tomatoes are picked too soon so they lack flavor. Canned tomatoes, however, are picked at peak ripeness and canned almost immediately to preserve their lovely flavors. I normally always vouch for fresh ingredients and produce, but in the case of soups and sauces, canned tomatoes are the way to go. Save those heirloom goodies for salads, salsas and compotes.
- San Marzano tomatoes
- Yellow or white onion
- Vegetable or chicken broth
- Herbs & spices – Oregano, thyme, basil, bay leaf
- Butter and oil
- Salt and pepper
- Sharp cheddar cheese
- Bread croutons
Who thought recreating these classic flavors is so easy?
First make a tomato soup that is easy but loaded with tons of flavors.
Heat up olive oil and butter in a pan. Once the butter is melted, sauté chopped onion and garlic till they get soft and translucent. Stir in flour and mix well. Add in tomatoes and break them up with the help of a spatula. Cook for five minutes. Mix in the broth along with herbs and bay leaf and simmer for 30 minutes. Season the soup with salt and pepper and sugar to your liking. Remove from heat to cool a little. Remove the bay leaf and blend it smooth in your blender, or use an immersion blender. Stir in cream and voila… your tomato soup is ready.
Who wants a canned soup when homemade can happen so quick?
Now the fun part… make this soup bubble and sizzle!
Use individual soup bowls and pour in your tomato soup. Top it up with a thin layer of cheddar cheese, then croutons and again more cheddar cheese. When you layer it in this manner, the croutons will still be a little crispy. You can skip adding croutons and just layer it with cheese and add croutons when it comes out of oven for completely crunchy ones. But we kinda like it when part of the croutons sop up some of the soup. But then again, we have a bag of croutons handy to keep on dunking.
Anyways… pop these bowls in a preheated oven for 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbling. When they come out of the oven, the sight of gooey, melty cheese bubbling may make you tempted to dunk your spoon right away. Be careful, it will be smoking hot. Let it cool a bit, then it’s all yours… cheese pull and all… Enjoy basking in some childhood memories.
Try making your soup a little different
- Adding some chopped carrots along with the onions, they add to the taste profile and color.
- Fire roasted canned tomatoes make a great soup too.
- Experiment with the cheese. Think Gruyere, Mozzarella, Provolone or Swiss.
Did I mention how this soup just get tastier and tastier each day? Well it sure does! This makes a pretty big pot of soup. I recommend adding the cheese and croutons to only what you are going to eat right away, as the croutons will get soggy when stored. The soup alone ages beautifully in the fridge for up to four days. It can also be frozen in an airtight container for up to three months.
With some cold nights coming your way, try this new unique way to eat that classic combo… “All-in-one-bowl”. This could end up as your go-to-meal from October to March… 🙂 Gobble up a bowlful of this tomato soup with endless croutons and melty cheese. Then warm up and cuddle up with your loved ones with a belly full of the simple things in life.
Happy meal = Happy tummy = Happy life!!
(Ain’t that a great equation??)
Stay tuned and subscribe for some more warm things coming to your kitchen…
Grilled Cheese Tomato Soup, on my Gypsy Plate… enjoy!
- 1 28oz whole tomatoes in can
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 Tbsp flour
- 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 cup cream
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- 8 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 cup croutons
- Heat up olive oil and butter over medium heat and sauté onion till it gets soft and translucent, Add in garlic and stir in for a minute. Stir in flour and sauté for another minute.
- Add tomatoes and break them up with a spatula. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Stir in broth along with bay leaf and all dried herbs. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Blend the soup in a blender to smooth consistency, working in batches, or use immersion blender.
- Stir in cream and mix well.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Pour the soup into individual soup bowls. Top it with a thin layer shredded cheese. Place some croutons on top of the cheese and again cover all with another layer of cheese. (see note 1)
- Bake the soup for 8-10 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbling.
- Rest for few minutes and serve with additional croutons.
- There are three ways to layer your cheese and croutons. If you place first the croutons, then cheese, your croutons will be partially crunchy and partially saturated with soup. If you place all of the chees atop the croutons they will be completely soggy. If they are on top of the cheese, none will have sopped up the soup. We prefer the first method.
- Refrigerate leftover soup for up to four days in an airtight container. It gets tastier as it ages.
- Experiment with different cheeses for a variety of flavors.
Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 437Total Fat 31gSaturated Fat 17gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 11gCholesterol 83mgSodium 910mgCarbohydrates 24gFiber 5gSugar 9gProtein 18g
Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix.
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