Roasted Tomato Basil Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons
There are many perfect pairing in this world: peanut butter and jelly, eggs and bacon, sand and sun, Noah and Allie… but of all these, nothing is quite as comforting as Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese. Which is why I’m so excited to share this flawless recipe for Roasted Tomato Basil Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons. Basically your favorite childhood snow day lunch grown up just a touch.
The Roasted Tomato Soup is based on Ina Garten’s recipe, but with a few small tweaks. It will make your house smell insane from about 5 minutes into the tomato roasting all the way through to the soup simmering. This tomato basil soup basically tastes like rich, creamy tomato sauce … that you can just eat with a spoon!
We love to make this Roasted Tomato Basil Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons on a cold snowy evening. The recipe below makes just enough for 2 people to have a bowl (plus a little more cause it’s just too good not to!) for dinner and a little bit is leftover for lunch the next day! It’s super cozy and the croutons are super crunchy, just a bit gooey and really fun!
The key to making crispy grilled cheese croutons that are actually croutons is to keep the oven on while you grilled up all the sandwiches and pop each finished sandwich onto a rack on a baking sheet in the oven. This will keep them warm and dry them out just a touch to give them that true crouton feel!
And really what’s more fun than sprinkling a little grilled cheese on your soup 🙂
- 8 Roma Tomatoes
- 3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 6 garlic cloves separated
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- 1 28 oz. can plum tomatoes
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup basil leaves
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese shredded
- 1/4 cup heavy cream optional
- 8 slices white or wheat bread
- 8 slices american or provolone cheese
- 2 tablespoons butter
Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Slice the tomatoes length-wise and place on sheet pan. Drizzle with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper and toss. Spread out cut side down and roast for 20 minutes. Add 3 garlic cloves to the pan and roast for another 40 minutes.
In a stock pot, add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and heat to medium heat. Add in the diced onion and the other 3 garlic cloves, minced. Cook for about 6 minutes until translucent and aromatic, stirring frequently. Add in the tomatoes, garlic and any juices from the sheet pan, the canned tomatoes with all the juices, chicken broth, basil leaves and salt and pepper. Stir well and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and let cook for about an hour.
With about 20 minutes left in the soup cooking, preheat the oven to 300 F. Prepare a sheet pan with a rack on top and place in the oven. We'll use this to keep our grilled cheeses crispy until ready to serve. Preheat a skillet over medium heat and butter one side of all slices of bread. Place 2 slices on skillet butter side down. If 2 don't fit on your skillet, cook them 1 at a time. Top the slices with 2 slices of American Cheese each, then top with another slice of bread, butter side up. Cook for about 5 minutes or until browned on the bottom, flip and cook for another 5 minutes to brown on other side and melt the cheese. Place cooked grilled cheeses on the rack in the oven, then repeat with the 3rd and 4th grilled cheeses.
When the soup has finished simmering, blend together with an immersion blender or using a high speed blender. Stir in the shredded parmesan cheese and heavy cream, if using. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed.
Remove the grilled cheeses from the oven and dice into croutons. Serve the soup in bowls topped with croutons.