It feels so appropriate that I’m posting a recipe for warm, comfort food grilled cheese and tomato soup today because it is STILL snowing. It is a pretty snow, to be honest. It looks like we’re being dusted with powdered sugar from the heavens! Ok, maybe that’s a weird analogy but that’s immediately what I thought of when I saw the snow starting to fall.
It may seem odd that I’m posting a grilled cheese + tomato soup recipe smack dab in the middle of April – but, the weather has been so wintery that it kinda fits.
I also equate this food with spring. When I was growing up, my mom would often take a well-deserved break from cooking on Sundays, which meant I would bug my Dad to find something for me to eat. He is not a good cook (sorry, Dad!) but he can make a great grilled cheese and reheat tomato soup from a can like a pro! I remember eating his tomato soup and grilled cheese on many spring evenings.
This tomato soup recipe in this post is truly the best I have EVER had and it comes from Jessica Merchant’s (creator of the stunning blog, How Sweet Eats) second cookbook – The Pretty Dish.
People – I cannot recommend this cookbook enough. You know how sometimes you pick up a cookbook at the store, flip through it, and think to yourself, “Well, I would probably make about three of the recipes in here”?
THIS IS NOT THAT COOKBOOK. Nope, not at all. I can’t remember the last time I picked up a cookbook and was actually excited about pretty much every recipe in it! The Pretty Dish is full of creative, doable, and delicious recipes – not to mention the GORGEOUS photos! There are also 50 beauty DIYs at the end of the book, sooo basically this is the only book we’ll ever need ?.
This Toasted Garlic Tomato Bisque comes together so quickly – and it doesn’t require any complicated ingredients or techniques. It took me well under an hour to pull together the tomato soup and the grilled cheese. Deeply flavored, easy to make, and quick?! Yes please. I’ve already made this soup three times because of how delicious + easy it is!
Now, let’s talk CHEESE. I am terrible at making grilled cheese. I always burn the bread when I cook it in a skillet and somehow the cheese never gets quite as melty as I want it, and then the bread is SO crunchy that it kind of hurts to take a bite.
I accidentally bought extra thick fluffy bread when I was grocery shopping, and Grant pointed out that, ahem, this bread was too thick for grilled cheese and would probably burn before the cheese could get melted (not that this would be anything new, hah).
But, this led to one of my best kitchen discoveries to date! I decided to make the grilled cheese in the oven, under the broiler, to avoid burning the bread in the pan! I’m happy to announce that it worked like a charm and Grant and I happily devoured our grilled cheese + tomato soup as fast as we could.
I even convinced Grant to do the above “cheese pull” photo for me since I, sadly, do not have three hands. I think he nailed it – don’t you agree?? Maybe he has a future in hand-modeling. Anyways – the important thing here is that you:
- Check out How Sweet Eats for more of Jessica’s fabulous recipes
- Treat yourself to a copy of The Pretty Dish because it is the most amazing cookbook I have seen in a LONGGGG time
- Make and eat and love this tomato soup and this grilled cheese!!
- Probably buy enough ingredients to make the soup twice, because you will want to
That’s all for today, folks! I hope the weather is better wherever you are. And if it’s not, well, what a perfect reason to make these recipes! As always, if you make a recipe I’d love to see it. In this case, tag #bluebowlrecipes AND #thepretty dish!
Thank you, Jessica, for a stunning cookbook and my new favorite tomato soup recipe ?.
A Better Way To Make Grilled Cheese + The Best Tomato Soup I've Ever Had
- FOR THE TOMATO SOUP
- 2 tbsp butter salted or unsalted works
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 shallots, sliced The shallots I bought were very large, so I only used one
- 1 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 28 oz. can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 2/3 cup cooking sherry
- 1/3 cup chicken stock Vegetable stock works too, if you want to make this recipe vegetarian!
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 3/4 cup heavy cream Plus a little extra for garnish
- fresh basil and oregano, chopped For topping
- FOR THE GRILLED CHEESE
- 1 loaf of good bakery bread
- 6 oz cheese We used a mix of gruyere and mild cheddar, and we used blocks of cheese and cut slices
- 1/4 cup butter
- Make the soup: In a medium saucepan (or dutch oven), melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring often, until it is golden brown and toasty. With a slotted spoon, transfer the garlic to a plate. Add the shallots to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until soft and slightly golden. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 5 minutes. Return the garlic to the pan, along with the tomatoes, sherry, stock, sugar, basil, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Then, reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
- When the soup is done simmering, transfer to a high-powered blender and carefully blend until pureed. Return the soup to the pot and heat over low heat. Right before serving, stir in the cream. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if desired.
- Make the grilled cheese: Turn your oven's broiler on. Spray a baking sheet generously with non-stick spray. Slice your bread. Spread the outsides and the insides of each slice with butter. Lay two slices of bread on the baking sheet, and lay half of the cheese on each slice. Put in the oven for 1-2 minutes without adding the top pieces of bread. Keep a close eye on the sandwiches so they don't burn! After the 1-2 minutes, add the top slice of bread to each of the two pieces on the pan and return to the oven for 1-2 more minutes. Flip the sandwiches and broil for another 1-2 minutes. Keep a close eye on the sandwiches during this part! The broil function is super powerful and things can go from golden brown to charcoal black quickly.
- Before serving, drizzle the soup with the extra cream and top with basil and oregano. Serve with the hot grilled cheese!
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