There may be nothing better for a cold or rainy day than a hot bowl of tomato soup with a grilled cheese to dip into it. Here, we give it a slight upgrade: Instead of classic white bread with American cheese, slices of potato bread are filled with grated Comté and Gouda for a sharp, crisp grilled sandwich.
Though this soup is vegetarian, feel free to substitute chicken stock instead of vegetable for a richer end result. And keep an eye on the grilled cheese while it cooks. The butter burns easily, so make sure the pan doesn't get too hot or the bread will burn before the cheese has a chance to melt.
Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
For the Tomato Soup:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 garlic cloves, minced
One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
3 cups vegetable broth
3 tablespoons butter
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Thinly sliced chives, for garnish
For the Grilled Cheese:
6 slices potato bread
2 cups (4 ounces) grated Comté cheese
2 cups (4 ounces) grated Gouda cheese
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1. Make the soup: In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook until golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the chile flakes and garlic, and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes more. Pour in the crushed tomatoes and the stock. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and cook until the liquid has slightly reduced, 20 minutes.
2. Using a blender, purée the soup until smooth. Return to the pot and stir in the butter until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper, then keep warm until serving.
3. Make the grilled cheese: On a cutting board, lay out 3 slices of bread. Divide the grated Comté and Gouda between the 3 slices and season with pepper. Top each with another slice of bread and press lightly. In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. Add one sandwich and top with a smaller, clean skillet to weigh it down. Cook, flipping once, until golden on both sides, 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board and slice in half diagonally. Repeat this process with the remaining 2 sandwiches.
4. Divide the soup between bowls and garnish with the chives. Serve immediately with the grilled cheeses on the side.