Roasted Tomato Basil Soup with a Round Grilled Cheese

When I was a little girl it seemed like I was sick all the time with either colds or some sort of virus. Soups became my best friend and comfort food (my favorites were Campbell’s Tomato Soup with milk or Chicken Noodle) paired with a round grilled cheese sandwich.
We had what was called a Toas-tite. You’d lay a piece of bread on one side of this contraption, place a couple slices of cheese on the bread, top it with another slice of bread then seal. Place it on the burner and toast on both sides. The end result was an incredible grilled cheese sandwich where the center would swell up making a nice hot gooey cavity of cheese.

When I moved out of my parents home I confiscated the Toas-tie.  I wanted to be certain no one else in my family would take it.  This was mine!    You can read more about the Toas-tite here.

This past week it was raining and cold. My body was screaming for a pot of Tomato soup and a round grilled cheese. So I decided to make some for dinner. Tomato Basil sounded great but wasn’t up for anything too creamy or fattening. Checking out various recipes online Ina Gartens Roasted Tomato Basil Soup appeared in more recipes than you could imagine with rave reviews. So I decided I’d try hers. I did make a few minor changes to her recipe and although I wanted to strictly use fresh tomatoes, her recipe called for both fresh and canned. Why not test out the recipe that received great reviews and then change it up next time, if I felt like it.

The Roasted Tomato Basil Soup was fantastic. You would have thought there was cream in it. This recipe is a keeper and one that if you haven’t made before but love Tomato Soup, you have to try.

Here’s the recipe with the changes I made in blue.

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

serves 6-8


  • 3 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons good olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions) (I used one large yellow onion)
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced (I roasted a head of garlic in EVOO, wrapped in foil with the tomatoes)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 (28-ounce) canned plum tomatoes, with their juice
  • 4 cups fresh basil leaves, packed (I used 2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 quart (32oz. or 4 cups) chicken stock or water
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss together the tomatoes, 1/4 cup olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Spread the tomatoes in 1 layer on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes along with a head of garlic that’s been wrapped in heavy duty foil and drizzled with EVOO). When tomatos and garlic are done, set aside to cool. Then peel the skins off the tomatoes, discarding the skins.

In an 8-quart stockpot over medium heat, saute the onions and garlic with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the butter, and red pepper flakes for 10 minutes, until the onions start to brown. Add the canned tomatoes, basil, thyme, and chicken stock. Add the oven-roasted tomatoes, including the liquid on the baking sheet, along with squeezing out 6 cloves of roasted garlic into the pot.

Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes.

Pass through a food mill fitted with the coarsest blade. Using an immersion blender or upright blender puree to your desired consistency. Add Balsamic Vinegar. Taste for seasonings. Serve hot or cold.

Note: You don’t have to roast the garlic. I chose to because roasted gives the garlic a sweeter, milder flavor than raw garlic which I prefer. The leftover roasted garlic can then be squeezed out onto crostini or a cracker for a delicious snack!

After pureeing and doing a tase test I felt something was missing.  I added a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar and for me it was just right.

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  1. I have been meaning to make this soup, perfect for the weather a bit chilly out these days.. Yours looks so smooth I never can get it like that.. looks really delicious~

  2. It is a lovely soup and I like the changes you made to it, Vicki. I’d never seen the toasting contraption before. Fascinating! I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  3. What a delicious soup, and perfect for those days you need a warm cup of comfort. I love the sandwich maker! 🙂

  4. @Pegasuslegend, Mary and Scrambledhenfruit – thank you for your comments. The soup is delicious and that contraption is the best. They have similar presses out now but IMO none make a grilled cheese like the Toas-tite. Everything about it is wonderful, from the crusty edges to the ooey gooey cavity of luscious cheese. You can find them online still, from the link I posted.

    Have a great week, ladies!

  5. I trust Ina’s recipes more than anyone else’s. I’m not surprised at all that the soup turned out so well.
    And the Toas-tite sounds amazing!

  6. This looks incredible, it’s sunny and lovely here but I still wish I had a bowl of this to enjoy for lunch – Roasted tomatoes are so……….. yummy! thanks for sharing

  7. Such a grown up soup, Vicki! And I love the sound of your little toasts 🙂

  8. @Beth, The Cafe Sucre Farine and Lizzy – Easy soup to prepare and the Toas-tite is a full size sandwich, it’s not so little and it’s yummy.

    Thanks for your posts.

  9. Delicious! I remember those sandwiches! I always thought they were the coolest contraptions…although the one we had made triangular sandwiches!

    I really like the idea of roasted tomato soup….I’ve made it once (Alex Guarnashelli’s recipe) and it gives it an amazing flavor

  10. I love this soup. I bookmarked and I’ll need to try this one day. Now I suddenly need the urge to buy an immersion blender – this is so cool and I want one….

  11. What a warming and comforting soup! I love it.

  12. This looks like a beautiful soup Vicki!

    Roasted tomatoes will give this soup such a beautiful flavour. I wonder if I can also chill it and serve it in small shot glasses like a gaspacho or cocktail in summer. That would make a fantastic soup for our next home party 🙂

  13. @Ann – I’ll have to check out Alex’s recipe. Roasting the tomatoes definitely enchances the flavor of the soup.

    @Nami – immersion blenders are great and make it so simple to use especially since all you have to do is put the blender into the pot rather than transporting the food. Cuisinart makes some in a variety of fun colors for just $39 I believe.

    @Angie – it is comforting and delicious

    @Chopinandmysaucepan – This is delicious chilled. I ate plenty of it cold and would be wonderful in shot glasses drizzled with balsamic, chopped basil and croutons, homemade of course!

  14. I have to try this soup…beautiful flavors and a perfect comfort food!
    I have never seen a Toas-tit before but it sounds like a fun way to make a grilled cheese 🙂

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