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Roasted Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

Grilled cheese and tomato soup – a classic combo! I have always loved grilled cheese, but despised tomato soup. I realized in my adulthood, that was because I’d only had it from a can (no offense, Campbell’s). It wasn’t until I had tried some roasted tomato soup from Panera that I was sold. Of course, Panera’s would be loaded with cream and other junky stuff though. So, I attempted to make a “clean” home made batch of my own that would be a lighter version, but hopefully still give me flavor galore. This is what I landed on. I am happy to say that I successfully converted my dad over to tomato soup as well (he had the same canned soup hang up that I did). He said “you should put this on your blog!”. I had better listen to him. So, here it is!

-10 Roma Tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise

-3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive oil

-1 tsp salt

-1/2 tsp pepper

Toss Tomatoes in olive oil, s&p in a lg bowl, and then lay on baking sheet, skin side down. Roast in 400 degree oven for 40 min

1 lg yellow onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp butter

1 lg (28 oz) can crushed tomato

1 quart (32 oz) chicken or vegetable stock, or 1 1/2 C almond milk, which I prefer

1/2 C fresh basil leaves, julienned

Sautee onion and garlic in olive oil and butter on med heat until translucent (add onion first, and then garlic after a minute or two). When onion and garlic are ready, add the crushed tomato, stock, basil and the roasted tomatoes with all their pan juices. Bring to a boil, and then simmer on low about a half hour. Puree in blender or with hand held blender until desired texture is achieved. Season with more with s&p to taste. I prefer my soup a bit chunky and rustic, served with grilled cheese croutons.

*Grilled cheese croutons: Our all time fav way to do grilled cheese is with colby jack cheese (use cheese of your choice, but none of that processed crap!) and whole wheat country bread, grilled on our panini grill. I then dice into crouton sized cubes and pile on top of soup. I like to save a few pieces to pop into my mouth separately. Trust me, when I say that this is a far superior way to eat this classic winter comfort food!


*Feature picture by: Rebecca O’hara Photography

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