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Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

064 A Tomato Soup Grilled Cheese Croutons 03.jpg
064 A Tomato Soup Grilled Cheese Croutons 03.jpg

Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons


There is something nostalgic about grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. Leave it to Ina Garten to come up with the genius idea of making the grilled cheese sandwich into croutons. This way, it feels a little more grown up but the kids still love it to.

Yield: 4 servings

Oven: N/A

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

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Tomato Soup:

2 tablespoons olive oil

5 sprigs thyme

1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped (approximately 1 1/2 cups)

2 garlic cloves, finely minced (2 teaspoons)

1/4 cup tomato paste

2, 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano

4 cups chicken or vegetable stock

kosher salt, as needed

freshly ground black pepper, as needed

1/2 cup heavy cream or whole milk, slightly warmed, optional and used according to desired creaminess

Grilled Cheese Croutons:

4, 1/2-inch thick slices white bread

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

6 slices American cheese


To prepare the tomato soup:

1. In a large pot over medium heat, add oil and allow to heat for 2 minutes.

2. Add thyme sprigs and onion and cook while occasionally stirring until fragrant and onions are translucent, approximately 6 minutes.

3. Add garlic to onion mixture, and while stirring, cook for 1 additional minute.

4. Increase heat to high, add tomato paste, canned tomatoes, and stock and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, reduce heat to medium – low and allow to simmer until slightly reduced, and flavors have developed, approximately 30 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, prepare the grilled cheese croutons.

To prepare the grilled cheese croutons:

6. Preheat a Panini grill, Panini pan or frying pan over medium heat.

7.  On a cutting board, arrange the slices of bread in a single layer. Using a pastry brush, brush the melted butter on the bread. Turn the bread over and evenly space 2 slices of American cheese on two of the slices. Top each with the remaining bread ensuring the buttered side is not touching the cheese.

8. Place on the pre-heated grill or grill pan and cook each side until golden brown and cheese has melted, approximately 4 – 5 minutes in the grill or 2 – 3 minutes per side on the grill pan.

9. Once cooked, transfer to a cutting board and allow to rest for 2 minutes. Once cooled and the cheese has settled, cut each sandwich into 1-inch cubes.

10. Adjust soup seasoning to taste with salt and pepper and remove thyme sprigs. While whisking, add the warmed milk or cream and continue to stir until combined and until desired creaminess.

11. Divide soup among 4 serving bowls and finish with grilled cheese croutons on top.


Kitchen Note:  I’m a huge fan of American cheese but feel free to substitute your favorite cheese, and bread for that matter, instead.