Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons


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Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

© Paden Reich

Some things never change. When I get a taste for soup, my thoughts immediately go back to my mom opening a can of Campbell’s tomato soup and fixing a grilled cheese sandwich to go with it. How many people have had that same meal over generations? If America had a collective recipe box, this would be in it. Tens of millions of kids have been served this soup when they come in from a rainy day or hunker down next to the fireplace with a good book. I wanted to pay homage to that experience, but instead of a sandwich, I thought grilled cheese croutons would be a fun, slightly decadent twist on the tradition. This soup itself is creamy and comforting—and takes practically no time to make. Serve with a salad to keep the meal light and refreshing. You’ll smile, and so will everyone at the table.


1. Combine the broth, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and 1/4 cup of the basil in a large Dutch oven over medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion and garlic are softened, about 30 minutes. Puree the soup with an immersion blender until smooth.

2. Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a medium skillet over medium. Whisk in the flour, and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is lightly browned, about 2 minutes.

3. Gradually whisk in the heavy cream, whisking until the mixture is thickened and smooth. Gradually stir the cream mixture and Parmesan into the tomato mixture; cook, stirring occasionally, over medium-low until the cheese melts and is well incorporated, about 15 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a medium skillet until foamy. Place 2 bread slices in the skillet; top each bread slice with American cheese slices, 2 tablespoons of the chopped basil, and 1 bread slice.

5. Cook until the bread is golden brown and the cheese melts, about 3 minutes per side. Cut each sandwich into 9 pieces. Serve the soup with the croutons, and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup basil.


Give the croutons an upgrade by using sharp Cheddar or Manchego cheese.


4 cups chicken broth
2 (15-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (10-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 medium white onion, diced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup chopped fresh basil
5 tablespoons salted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups shredded fresh Parmesan cheese (about 8 ounces)
4 soft white bread slices
4 American cheese slices

You can freeze this soup for up to 3 months, so make a few batches of it.

serving size

4 People as a Main Dish, 10 as an Appetizer

Hands on time

25 Minutes

Total time

1 Hour


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