Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

by | Dec 1, 2022

Grilled cheese and tomato soup is a classic combo to enjoy throughout the colder months. This comfort food is elevated with ingredients like fire roasted tomatoes and sliced cheese of your choice.

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup on white backdrop

This post has been sponsored by Pacific Coast Producers. All opinions are my own; I never feature a brand that I don’t love! See my disclosure policy for more details.

Where did grilled cheese and tomato soup come from?

Grilled cheese likely dates way back, but some mention this combo became popular in foodservice when they were looking to add a bit of extra vitamin C to grilled cheese. Therefore, they decided to serve it with tomato soup!

Is grilled cheese and tomato soup healthy?

As a dietitian, my nutrition philosophy is all about balance. By pairing grilled cheese and tomato soup together, you get the delicious crunch from the crusty bread and protein from the cheese. Then, the fire roasted tomato soup provides a creamy texture loaded with nutrients like vitamin C and potassium. To create the soup, we’re using affordable and sustainable canned tomatoes!

Dripping grilled cheese into creamy tomato soup

How should you choose canned tomatoes?

When you walk down the canned tomatoes aisle, it can be pretty overwhelming with all the different options available. You’ll find both national brands and the store brands. I typically stick with the private label or store brand options because they are more affordable while still being high quality! You’ll even find that grocery store specific brands offer organic versions that are usually less costly than national brands.

Here are a few examples of ones you may find at your local grocery store:

What are fire roasted tomatoes?

For a flavorful spin on regular tomato soup, I’m using canned fire roasted tomatoes as the star. Did you know canneds foods are sustainable, affordable, and high in nutrients? Read more about the advantages of canned foods here!

Many people think fire roasted tomatoes are spicy—I know I thought this at first too! However, they are just regular tomatoes that have been charred over an open flame before they are canned. This allows them to have more of a smokey, caramelized flavor. 

Fire roasted tomatoes have the skin left on too. This allows them to have extra fiber and other functional nutrients like lycopene, potassium, and calcium.

You’ll find fire roasted tomatoes whole, diced, and crushed—making them super versatile. In fact, in any recipe that calls for regular tomatoes, you can swap 1:1 for fire roasted tomatoes!

What recipes should I use fire roasted tomatoes for? 

Here’s some ideas of recipes you can use fire roasted tomatoes in:

Tomato soup with splash of cream

How do you make this tomato soup?

The star of the show for this recipe combo is our homemade soup made with canned fire roasted tomatoes. It’s super easy to make and delicious served with the grilled cheese. Here’s how to make it:

1. Cook the veggies and aromatics

This soup uses tons of aromatic ingredients like carrots, celery, garlic, tomato paste, and Italian seasoning. Saute these ingredients to release more flavor before adding over the liquid ingredients. 

Ingredients on white background

2. Add the canned tomatoes

This recipe makes a smaller amount (about 5 cups) so we are using just 1 – 28 ounce can of fire roasted tomatoes. You’ll pour over the tomatoes along with broth. You can even make your own homemade broth from scraps if desired!

3. Blend until smooth

If you have an immersion blender, it makes clean-up a breeze. Simply blend the soup in the same pot until everything is smooth. 

If not, transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. Be sure to firmly hold the lid on top while blending. Sometimes the heat can cause the lid to pop off. 

If you don’t have an immersion blender or a regular blender, you could also skip the blending and enjoy as is. It will have more of a chunkier, vegetable soup consistency. 

4. Stir in milk or cream

After blending, stir in a splash of milk or heavy cream to give it a lovely silky texture and pop of color. 

How do you make grilled cheese?

Grilled cheese is simple to make but there are certain tips to really make it shine. Let’s break it down:

1. Butter the bread

This recipe makes 2 sandwiches total. Of course, feel free to make more as needed.

Lay out all 4 pieces of bread and butter ONE side. Be generous here and get all corners—using enough butter creates that beautiful even browning. 

If you store your butter in the fridge or your home is cold, the butter may be too hard to spread. Spreading hard butter on the bread could rip it. If your butter is hard, I recommend softening it in the microwave for 10 second intervals. 

2. Add cheese

Flip the buttered side over and add two pieces of cheese per sandwich.

3. Assemble

Assemble the grilled cheese so the cheese is in the middle and the buttered sides are facing outwards. 

4. Cook each side

Add your sandwich to a heated pan and cook for 3-4 minutes per side. Use a spatula to help you carefully flip the grilled cheese. 

Did you know you can turn grilled cheese into croutons?

If you’re not feeling like dipping your sandwich into the soup, try cutting the grilled cheese into 1-inch cubes. They then work like croutons and are perfect sprinkled on top… yum! 

Grilled cheese croutons

Customize it your way

Like all of my other recipes, this tomato soup and grilled cheese is completely customizable. 

  • Cheese of your choice – White or sharp cheddar cheese are my favorites but use any kind you like. This is also a great way to use up any leftover charcuterie cheese!
  • Broth of your choice – Vegetable or chicken broth pair perfectly with this soup. You could also use a chicken or beef bone broth for extra protein. 
  • Heavy cream or whole milk – We’ve tested both variations and they are equally delicious! Whole milk gives a thinner consistency whereas heavy cream makes it feel more like a comfort food soup.  

Is this recipe vegan? 

This recipe is 100% vegetarian! However, this recipe is not vegan because it uses butter, cheese, and milk which are dairy products. To make it vegan friendly, swap out the following:

Need more help with recipes for your busy schedule?

In my coaching + cooking program, I help busy people with beginner cooking knowledge become confident in the kitchen so that they can enjoy nourishing foods they love and stress less about mealtime. Click here to learn more about this virtual program led by a dietitian.

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

Yield: 2 servings (~2 1/2 cups of soup & 1 sandwich per serving)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Grilled cheese and tomato soup is a classic combo to enjoy throughout the colder months. This comfort food is elevated with ingredients like fire roasted tomatoes and sliced cheese of your choice.

Ingredients

Tomato Soup

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup onion, diced
  • 1 small carrot, sliced
  • 1 celery stalk, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 - 28 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 cup broth of your choice (vegetable or chicken broth)
  • 1/4 cup whole milk or heavy cream

Grilled Cheese:

  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened or melted
  • 4 large slices sourdough or rustic bread
  • 4 thick cut sliced cheese of your choice (sharp cheddar, white cheddar, american, etc.)

Instructions

Tomato Soup Instructions:

  1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add over onion, carrots, and celery. Saute for 5 minutes until slightly browned. 
  2. Add over garlic, tomato paste, and Italian seasoning and saute for 1 minute.
  3. Add over fire roasted tomatoes and broth and let simmer for 5 minutes with the lid on to avoid splatter.
  4. Blending soup: If you have an immersion blender, blend the soup on low until it reaches a smooth texture. Alternatively, you can transfer soup to a blender and blend on low until it reaches a smooth texture. If using a regular blender, be sure to firmly hold the lid on top while blending. 
  5. After blending, stir in whole milk or heavy cream. 
  6. Keep warm until ready to serve with grilled cheese.
  7. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Grilled Cheese Instructions:

  1. Butter one side of each slice of bread. On the unbuttered side, add over 2 slices of cheese per sandwich. Put bread together (with buttered sides facing outward) to make 2 sandwiches total. See blog post above for step-by-step photo instructions.
  2. Heat large pan to medium heat. Once hot, add over sandwiches and cook for 3-4 minutes per side to give it that nice golden brown crust. 
  3. Serve the grilled cheese sandwiches with prepared tomato soup.*

Notes

*Note: You can turn your grilled cheese into croutons by cutting into 1-inch cubes. Then, sprinkle over your tomato soup!

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 servings Serving Size: ~2 1/2 cups of soup & 1 sandwich
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 650Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 18gSodium: 990mgCarbohydrates: 60gFiber: 6gSugar: 19gProtein: 20g

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Hi, I'm Mackenzie...

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I’m a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) and recipe developer. I create simple recipes with customizable ingredients “of your choice.” I also help busy people gain kitchen confidence through my hands-on program.

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