Few things could be as satisfying and easy to make as tomato soup and grilled cheese. I like to make my tomato soup from the expensive canned San Marzano tomatoes at the store. They impart a wonderful, full flavor that is much richer than your average canned tomatoes. They are definitely more expensive but they are worth it! Whip up this easy soup on a cold day and you’ll be feeling warm and toasty in no time.
Start by finely chopping the shallots and adding them to a pre-heated heavy-bottom pot with olive oil, then add salt sweat the shallots in the oil until they begin to caramelize. For a lighter soup in the summer you can cook the onions until just translucent.
Add your dried spices and stir to incorporate, then cook out for about 2 minutes. This process brings out the full flavor of the herbs, so don’t rush it. Toss in garlic and cook another 30 seconds until fragrant but not burned to avoid any bitter taste, then add in your can of tomatoes. I usually take second to carefully break up the tomatoes with the back of my spoon but be careful as they tend to splatter. You’ve been warned!
Finally add in your vegetable broth and the golden potatoes. Bring the soup to a boil then cover and change the heat to low. the potatoes should be tender after about 15 to 20 minutes.
While the soup simmers with the potatoes, begin work on the grilled cheese croutons. Start by slicing your bread into… slices. I used a French baguette but you could use any hearty bread. Either grate or finely slice the cheese and place over half of your slices. In a heavy bottom pan (really, cast iron is the best) melt butter over medium heat. Once the butter has melted add the slices of bread with the cheese. I put a lid over the pan to help the cheese melt. Once the cheese has melted and the bottoms of the bread become toasted, add the second half of the slices to create little sandwiches and flip, cooking until that side is also golden.
With the grilled cheeses done, take the soup off the heat and blend with an immersion blender, or in a blender. If you are using a blender be sure to temper the glass by first running warm then hot water over the pitcher. Adding hot liquids to cold objects is never recommended. Ladle in as much soup as you like, anywhere from a couple scoops to the entire soup to get the desired consistency. If using an immersion blender, you can blend as long as you like to create a semi-chunky or smooth soup. If you’re going for an even more elegant finish, run the blended soup through a seive.
Add in your half and half, stirring to combine. serve up and top with the grilled cheese croutons and chopped or torn basil.
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 2 large Shallots
- Salt (to taste)
- Black Pepper (to taste)
- 1 tablespoon dried Sage
- 1 tablespoon dried Oregano
- 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
- 3 cloves of Garlic
- 1 large Golden Potato, peeled and chopped into ½ inch cubes
- 1 (28 ounce) can of San Marzano Tomatoes
- 1 quart vegetable broth
- ½ cup half and half
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 loaf of bread
- 8 ounces of good gruyere cheese
- Fresh basil to top
- Heat your pot over medium heat and add in your olive oil. Finely mince up your shallots and add to the oil, cooking them until translucent.
- While the shallots cook, peel and cube your potato.
- When the shallots are translucent, add in all your dried spices (Sage, Oregano, Red Pepper Flakes) and cook out for 2 to 3 minutes, being sure to stir occasionally.
- Mince your garlic and add to your pot, cooking for 30 seconds, then pour in your can of tomatoes and stir in. Add in your vegetable broth and potatoes, bringing the soup to a light boil then lowering the heat to a simmer. Cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes to 20 minutes.
- While the soup simmers, cut your bread into slices.
- In a new pan, apply medium heat, and melt your butter, then working in batching make grilled cheese by placing one side of the bread down, adding the grated cheese on top, until the under side is golden. Place the other slide of bread over the cheese making a little sandwich, flip and cook until the other side is golden. Once done, cut sandwiches into smaller pieces.
- Remove soup from the heat and blend with an immersion blender or ladle soup into a blender in batches and blend until smooth.Pour the soup back in your pot and stir in the half and half keeping the soup on low heat.
- Serve with croutons on top and julienne basil for garnish.