Writer and Photographer Francine Coles

Do you remember the comforting feeling you experienced while eating Campbell’s tomato soup with grilled cheese for lunch as a kid? Well, here is an elevated, more adult version of that classic combo. This roasted tomato soup with grilled cheese croutons is sure to warm you up on a cold winter day!

Serves: 10–12


For the Roasted Tomato Soup:
2 (28-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 medium celery stalks, diced
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons flour
3 cups chicken broth
1 dried bay leaf
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

For the Grilled Cheese Croutons:
4 slices white bread
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 slices cheddar cheese


For the soup, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat with non-stick cooking spray. Strain tomatoes, reserving their juices, in a medium bowl. Spread strained tomatoes on the prepared baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Roast for 15 minutes.

While the tomatoes are roasting, in a large soup pot, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-low heat. Add onion, carrots, celery and garlic, cooking until softened, about 8 minutes. Add flour and stir to coat.

Over high heat, add then roasted tomatoes, reserved tomato juices, chicken broth, bay leaf, sugar and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce to a gentle simmer. Cover and continue to simmer for 30 minutes.

Remove from heat, discard bay leaf and puree the soup (using a handheld or countertop blender) until smooth. Stir in 2 tablespoons butter and chopped basil.

For the croutons, spread butter on both sides of bread slices. Heat a frying pan over medium heat and place two slices in the pan. Top each with one slice of cheese and place the remaining bread slices on the cheese. Cook for 2 minutes, until the underside is golden brown. Flip and cook for 1–2 minutes more. Remove from pan and allow to cool for a few minutes before cutting into 1-inch squares. Sprinkle a small handful on each bowl of soup, serve and enjoy!