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Creamy Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

Cook Time:
35 mins
Prep Time:
10 mins

Chef notes

Tomato soup and grilled cheese is one of the best combinations in food. Toasting the pepper and garlic powder on the outside of the grilled cheese to create the croutons takes this classic combo to the next level.

Technique tip: I'll sometimes serve this as a party appetizer. Simply fill a bowl with some of the soup and arrange the croutons on a platter beneath so that guests may dip as they please.

Swap option: Olive oil may be substituted for butter in the soup. Vegetable stock may be substituted for chicken stock for a vegetarian option.

Special equipment: Immersion blender.


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans peeled tomatoes
  • 1 sprig fresh basil (about 4 leaves)
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Parmesan rind or 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Grilled Cheese Croutons
  • 6 slices sourdough bread
  • 8 ounces shredded Gruyere
  • butter, room temperature
  • garlic powder
  • freshly ground black pepper


For the soup:


Place the butter in a large saucepan on medium heat. Once melted, add the olive oil and onion, and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes or until soft.


Add the garlic and cook another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.


Add the tomatoes, basil, cream, Parm rind, chicken stock, sugar, crushed red pepper, oregano and Worcestershire sauce.


Bring the soup to a boil while mashing the tomatoes a bit with a spoon. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes.


Remove the basil and Parmesan rind and using the immersion blender blend until smooth. Simmer for 15 minutes.

For the grilled cheese croutons:


While the soup simmers, heat a large skillet to medium.


Place two slices of sourdough on a cutting board. Add a handful of Gruyere to one slice and place the other slice on top.


Butter the top slice and then lightly sprinkle with garlic powder and fresh cracked pepper.


Place the sandwich butter/pepper-side down in skillet and butter and pepper the top side.


Cook until golden brown (about 3 to 4 minutes), flip and repeat.


Remove the sandwich from the skillet, place on cutting board and cut into 1/2-inch squares.

To serve:

Ladle soup into a bowl and top with a few of the grilled cheese croutons.