Grilled cheese and tomato soup is the best classic combination! Here’s how to make stellar versions of both.

Grilled cheese and tomato soup

What’s more homey than a bright bowl of tomato soup and a grilled cheese? Something about this American classic hits the spot in any season, be it the depths of winter or a summer afternoon. The best version of this meal is not out of a can, or made with American cheese (sorry!). It’s a steaming bowl of homemade tomato soup flavored with tangy fire-roasted tomatoes, and a gooey gourmet grilled cheese with a hint of smoked gouda. Here’s how to make them, and a few tips for making it for a crowd (like baked grilled cheese!).

How to make homemade tomato soup: some tips!

Every cook needs a great homemade tomato soup recipe, and this one’s ours! It relies on a few simple ingredients to make big flavor. It takes just 25 minutes to make, and you can simmer it while you make the grilled cheese! Here are a few tips on assembling this simple soup:

  • Fire-roasted tomatoes bring the best flavor. This type of canned tomato is roasted over a flame before canning, which makes it taste sweeter right out of the can. This means you can get away with less simmering time! Most mainstream grocery stores in the US now carry this type, but if you can’t find them, just use the best quality tomatoes you can find.
  • Give the soup a quick blend! You can use a standard blender or immersion blender, which makes a nice, creamy texture and helps emulsify the oil.
  • Add fresh basil (optional) and a little butter. Fresh basil adds great flavor and an herby pop, but it’s not required! We like finishing the soup with butter to provide a rich, silky mouthfeel.
Tomato soup recipe

Tips for a gourmet grilled cheese

You can make any type of grilled cheese to go with this tomato soup. But our favorite is this gourmet grilled cheese! Just a few small tweaks take this classic sandwich from good to great. Here’s what to know:

  • Use sourdough bread or another type of artisan loaf or crusty bread. Great bread makes the sandwich!
  • Combine shredded smoked gouda and cheddar cheese. The hint of smoky cheese makes this sandwich taste incredible! Shredded cheese is great for a grilled cheese, because it makes the gooiest, meltiest interior (stay away from slices).
  • Add a sweet element. Pairing sweet with the savory takes it to another level! Try tomato, fig or apricot jam, or a thinly sliced apple or pear.

Making it for a crowd: grilled cheese in the oven

Let’s say you’re making this grilled cheese and tomato soup for a crowd — that means anything other than 2 people. Should you make each sandwich to order? Well, you can. Or, you can make grilled cheese in the oven! Here are two ways to make grilled cheese for a crowd:

  • Make grilled cheese in the oven! This method lets you make a large amount of sandwiches at once. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Make the sandwiches as noted in the recipe below. Place them on a baking sheet and bake for about 6 minutes per side, until golden brown (if not brown, alternate sides every minute or so until browned).
  • Or, make the grilled cheese and keep warm in the oven! Make the sandwiches on the stovetop, then wrap them in foil and keep warm in a 250 degree oven.
Gourmet Grilled Cheese

Step it up: make grilled cheese dippers

A fun way to make this meal even more fun? Cut your grilled cheese sandwich into dippers! All you have to do is cut it into 1 1/2″ strips. Then dip in the soup and enjoy!

What to serve with grilled cheese and tomato soup

This grilled cheese and tomato soup works as a meal on its own, but you may want to add some fresh vegetables or fruit to the mix. Here are some ideas for other foods to add:

More tomato soup recipes

Want another spin on tomato soup…or grilled cheese? Here are a few more ideas:

This grilled cheese and tomato soup recipe is…


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Tomato soup recipe

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


Grilled cheese and tomato soup is the best classic combination! Here’s how to make stellar versions of both.



For the tomato soup (makes 4 servings): 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 28-ounce can and 1 15-ounce can crushed fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • Optional: ½ cup chopped fresh basil, 1 splash heavy cream

For the grilled cheese (makes 1 sandwich; multiply as desired): 

  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 slices sourdough bread
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons grated smoked gouda cheese
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons grated cheddar cheese (or other cheese of choice)
  • 1 tablespoon fig, tomato or apricot jam, 1 teaspoon honey, or 6 apple or pear slices


  1. Start the soup: Heat the olive oil to medium heat. Add the minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute until light brown and fragrant. Stir in both cans of tomatoes, vegetable broth, garlic powder, onion powder, ½ teaspoon of the salt, and basil (if using). Bring to a simmer.
  2. Simmer the soup: Simmer 15 to 20 minutes until slightly thickened and the tomato flavor mellows.
  3. Meanwhile, make the grilled cheese: Spread mayonnaise on the outside of each slice of bread, and jam or honey on the inside of one of the slices. Place a skillet over medium high heat and add one slice of bread, mayo side down. Top with the shredded cheese (and apple, if using) and other slice of bread. Cook until the bread is golden brown and toasted, then flip and cook a few minutes more until the second bread slice is toasted and the cheese is warm. If you’re making multiple sandwiches, make the sandwiches as noted, then bake them on an oiled or parchment lined baking sheet at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for about 5 minutes per side, until golden brown.
  4. Finish the soup: Immersion blend the soup or carefully transfer to a blender and blend until smooth (this step makes it creamier; you can skip this step if you’re ok with the texture as is). Then stir in the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and 2 tablespoons salted butter. For a richer soup, you can also stir in a splash of heavy cream.
  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Grilled cheese and tomato soup

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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