Why doesn’t this ever get old?
There’s just something about it that lifts you up, ya know? Having a bad day? Make grilled cheese and tomato soup. If it’s crappy weather, make grilled cheese and tomato soup. Not feeling well? Make a grilled cheese and tomato soup – it’s the cure for everything!
The soup – quality canned tomatoes, veggie stock, seasonings and cream and you have good ol’ fashioned tomato soup.
The Pesto Grilled Cheese – Thin white crusty bread, sharp white cheddar cheese and basil pesto. Oh, and a little butter, of course. You guys!! This grilled cheese is where.it’s.at. Its not ooey and gooey and it’s not made with yellow American cheese, but it is SO flavorful and crispy and and and I just can’t get enough of it.
I wanted to keep things simple yet fancy which is why I didn’t go overboard with the cheeeeeeese. I put just enough on the sandwich to give it that cheesy punch of flavor while keeping the bread nice and crispy. Because, well…GRILLED CHEESE CROUTONS. No one wants cheesy soggy croutons so just a good sprinkle of white cheddar will do.
I know. I know. Grilled cheese croutons are not a new idea but they are one of the best ideas ever. You can eat the soup and sandwich however you want – I dunked half the sandwich and cut the other half into croutons because they’re just so fun. SO fun.
Don’t forget to pin this recipe on Pinterest by clicking the image below!
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves (about 3 teaspoons), minced
- 1, 32 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1, 32 ounce can diced tomatoes (do not drain)
- 1¼ cups vegetable or chicken stock
- ¾ cup half & half (for lighter version) or heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 4-5 medium to large basil leaves, chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Homemade or Store bought basil pesto (you will only need a few tablespoons so save the rest for another recipe)
- White bread, sliced
- 2 tablespoons softened butter
- Grated cheddar cheese
- In a large pot, add olive oil and place over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute until softened.
- Add both cans of tomatoes, veggie or chicken stock, salt, pepper and sugar, cover pot and bring to a light boil then turn low and simmer for 20 minutes (or longer if you have the time. The longer the tomatoes have to cook the less acidic it will be). Check often to stir and to make sure bottom does not burn.
- Add basil and cream and stir.
- To make pesto grilled cheese, slather one side of the two pieces of bread with butter. Place one piece of bread butter side down and slather the top with pesto then cheese. Slather the other piece of bread with pesto (on the un-buttered side) and place on top of cheese. "Grill" over medium-low heat in a saute pan until browned and crisp on one side then flip and continue to "grill" until the other side is crisp, about 2 minutes per side. Serve with soup.