Tomato soup is one of life’s big comforts. And whoever thought of pairing a bowl of tomato soup with a grilled cheese sandwich should be granted knighthood. Sharp gooey cheddar snuggled between buttery crispy bread longs to be dunked into bowls of rich tomatey goodness. Grilled cheese sandwiches are my favourite sandwich and one of the first things I learned how to cook as a child. I’d often make them for lunch alongside a bowl of Campbell’s tomato soup. Now I make my own. This simple soup can be made in less than an hour with basic pantry ingredients. You can keep it simple or dress it up with a swirl of herbed boursin cheese. -bvox
Classic Tomato Soup
Adapted from Fine Cooking
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 1 large white onion, finely chopped
- 3 large cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 28-oz. can whole peeled plum tomatoes (including the juice)
- 1-1/2 tsp. sugar
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme and 1 Tbs. cropped fresh thyme
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a large pot, heat the oil and butter over medium-low heat until the butter melts. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft but not browned, about 8 minutes. Add the flour and stir to coat the onion and garlic.
Add the broth, tomatoes, sugar, bay leaf, thyme, and 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper. Carefully crush the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat while stirring the mixture to make sure that the flour is not sticking to the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30-40 minutes.
Discard the thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Let cool briefly and then purée in two or three batches in a blender or food processor (I use a hand blender and puree it in the pot directly). Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm with cracked pepper, a dollop of boursin cheese, or slivers of fresh basil on top. Dunk grilled cheese sandwich in as necessary
Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- 4 slices of your favourite bread (I used a grainy bread)
- 3-4 Tbs. room temperature butter
- Slices of sharp cheddar (you can use any cheese and as much or as little as you like)
Heat a skillet over medium heat. Butter two sides of the bread liberally. Place cheese on the side of the bread that is unbuttered and place in pan, buttered side down. Put the lid on the pan to help melt the cheese. Cook until the cheese is melty and the bread is golden and crispy. Flip over and grill the other side until equally melty and golden.