Roasted Tomato Soup with Open-faced Grilled Cheese


Even though buds are popping out in the back yard as we speak, I’m in a comfort food state of mind – and really, for many of us grilled cheese and tomato soup are about as nostalgic as it gets. I got it in mind awhile ago to take the gooey toasted bread that typically lids a baked French onion soup and apply it to tomato soup using cheddar, and save us all the trouble of dunking our grilled cheese sandwich into our soup. I mean, look at it.

Although it’s not exactly tomato season, I like to pull out a good can of tomatoes for soup – and it can rely just on canned, if that’s what you have. I happen to be clearing all the rogue tomatoes out of my freezer – when they start getting wrinkly, I toss them in whole, and then drop them straight from the freezer into soups, stews, chilis, whatever benefits from a little tomato. If you’re someone who likes to peel their tomatoes, the freezer will get things started – as the fruit freezes it will expand and split its skin, making it easy to peel off with your fingers. (I don’t bother.)


If you’re a tomato soup fan, making a batch from scratch is worth the effort – use whatever tomatoes you have, roast them if they’re fresh, or just drop them into the pot frozen, and don’t worry too much about being precise with your measurements. After all, it’s just soup. (And a vehicle for melted cheese.)

Roasted Tomato Soup with Open-faced Grilled Cheese


April 19, 2017


canola or olive oil, for cooking

12-15 plum or Roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise

1 tbsp (15 ml) butter

1 onion, peeled and chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1-2 tsp fresh thyme

1 28 oz (796 ml) can San Marzano-style or diced tomatoes, with their juices

4 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1/2 cup half & half or heavy (whipping) cream

salt and pepper, to taste

Cheese Toasts:

6 thick slices crusty bread

butter (optional)

grated aged cheddar or Parmesan cheese, or a combination


1Preheat the oven to 450?F.

2Spread the tomatoes out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment or foil; drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 20-30 minutes, until soft and starting to turn golden.

3In a medium pot set over medium-high heat, heat another drizzle of oil along with the butter and sauté the onion for 3-4 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for another minute. Add the roasted and canned tomatoes along with the chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and let cook for 20 minutes, or until the tomatoes are very soft.

4Remove from the heat, add the cream and purée with a hand-held immersion blender in the pot. (Alternatively, carefully transfer to a blender to purée until smooth.) Season with salt and pepper and divide between oven-proof bowls or ramekins set on a rimmed baking sheet.

5Toast the bread - if it's thick, it's easy to do in the preheated oven. Butter it if you like, and sprinkle generously with cheese. Float a cheese toast atop each soup and place in the oven for 5 minutes, or until bubbly and golden. (If you like, turn on the broiler for a minute or two to speed up the process.) Serves 6.


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12 comments on “Roasted Tomato Soup with Open-faced Grilled Cheese

  1. Carolyn
    April 20, 2017 at 9:38 am

    Love this idea! I haven’t yet found a perfect tomato soup recipe so I can’t wait to try this one (your recipes are consistently winners so I have high hopes!). Question – fresh tomatoes are still kinda pricey, and I didn’t have the forethought to put some away last fall. Could another can (or 2) of canned tomatoes be substituted?

    • Julie
      April 24, 2017 at 2:00 pm

      Totally – just use two cans!

  2. Jackie H
    April 21, 2017 at 9:18 am

    This is geniu! Thank you so much Julie 🙂

    • Julie
      April 24, 2017 at 2:00 pm

      You’re welcome! 🙂

  3. Anonymous
    April 22, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    Amazing! French onion soup on steroids 🙂

  4. heather davey
    April 22, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    Amazing! French onion soup on steroids 🙂

  5. Heather
    April 26, 2017 at 9:33 am

    Julie – I’ve only had one cup of coffee, sorry about the premature post. Can you delete?
    Made this last night to RAVE reviews. I didn’t have fresh tomatoes, so I drained a can of canned whole tomatoes, drizzled them with s&p and roasted them for about 40-45 minutes. I reserved the juice and added to the soup. The soup’s flavour was outstanding and was perfect for a chilly spring supper with artisan mini open faced cheese toasts.

    • Julie
      May 1, 2017 at 3:11 pm

      So great to hear it! Brilliant to roast the canned tomatoes!

  6. Laurie Nixon
    April 28, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    I made this soup today and it was fabulous. I had made Garlic Cheese buns (Julie’s recipe) a couple of days ago and had a few left over. I sliced the buns horizontally and toasted them as the bread. Great combination. Thanks Julie.

  7. Anonymous
    September 16, 2018 at 12:53 pm

    Just made this for the first time. I had no idea tomato soup could be this good and the addition of the bread and cheese made it deeply satisfying on a cold rainy day.

    Thanks for this! You’ve hit it out of the park again!

    P.S. I didn’t have cream, so I substituted a tablespoon of creme fraiche and 1/3 c. of 1% milk. Yum!

    • Julie
      September 19, 2018 at 6:48 pm

      Amazing!! Now I have to make this again…

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