It was a cold and rainy day, so I stayed in and made an amazingly delicious tomato basil soup for lunch. This soup, a standard for comfort food, topped with grilled cheese croutons, provided a warm and satisfying meal. Once you try this soup, you will be spoiled for life, you’ll never be able to enjoy plain canned tomato soup again.
A very rustic looking soup with enough immensity to make a meal. I added orzo, which I could have easily left out, but am so glad that I didn’t. I loved biting into the little nibbles of pasta and tasting the sweetness of basil. Very little preparation is required since canned tomatoes are used instead of fresh. Perfect for a cold day in winter when summer tomatoes are just a memory.
Personally, I can’t enjoy eating tomato soup without dunking a grilled cheese sandwich in it. I can hear you asking me now “aren’t grilled cheese sandwiches high in fat?” Yes, so I easily solved that problem by using wheat bread and reduced fat cheese, minus the butter. I cut my grilled cheese sandwich into little squares and added them as croutons.
I wasn’t offended that my teenage daughters would not taste this soup. I would not dare eat tomato soup until I became an adult. I recall taking a trip to Miami with a group of girlfriends; we were celebrating a birthday at a popular restaurant, and had the chef’s special. One of the courses was a very small taster’s cup of tomato soup, severed with a tiny grilled cheese sandwich. I loved it and may have actually recreated that tomato soup in this recipe. Maybe one day, when my teenagers are adults, they will try it.
My husband, still recovering from the flu, ate the soup and loved it. He raved about it which made me very happy.
Tomato basil soup with grilled cheese croutons
1-tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups low sodium chicken broth or 2 cups vegetable broth (keeping it vegan)
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Grilled Cheese Croutons (see below)
- Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
- Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, about 4 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and chicken broth; bring to a boil.
- Decrease heat to med-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, fill a medium pot with water, add 1-teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Add the orzo and cook for 8 minutes. (It will finish cooking in the soup.) Drain the orzo and set aside.
- Remove from the heat, using a hand held immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. Add the orzo, sugar, basil, and salt, and pepper to taste. Return the soup to a simmer and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring frequently.
- Serve hot with Grilled Cheese Croutons scattered on top.
Grilled Cheese Croutons
4 (1/2-inch-thick) slices whole wheat bread
2 slices reduced fat American cheese
- Heat a Panini grill.
- Make a sandwich by Enclosing 1 slice of cheese between two slices of bread. Repeat.
- Spray grill with cooking spray and place the two sandwiches onto the grill.
- Grill the sandwiches on the Panini grill for about 5 minutes, until nicely browned. Place on a cutting board; allow to rest for 1 minute and cut into 1-inch cubes.
Serving Size 441 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 46
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5.1g 8%
Saturated Fat 0.8g 4%
Trans Fat 0.2g
Sodium 186mg 8%
Total Carbohydrates 33.6g 11%
Dietary Fiber 5.3g 21%
Vitamin A 37%•Vitamin C 48%Calcium 6%•Iron 12%
Nutrition Grade A
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet