So, we had our friends over this past weekend and decided to indulge in a childhood favorite. The inspiration for tomato soup came from our friend Josiah. He requested a grilled ham and cheese sandwich with tomato soup when a group of us went out to eat. His choice caught everyone’s attention and left us craving the comfort food that he had ordered!
We are always looking for ways to please a crowd. Our home has always been an open door to amazing people that we do life with. Feeding them is our love language. I have learned in my tomato soup journey that it is very different from marinara sauce. The texture and levels of flavor are very different, and should be. For me, it’s ok to have some texture and a little spice in my tomato soup. To me it lets you know that it was made from the heart and from scratch. Although I love tomato soup, I had not really made it from scratch before. Campbells has been the tomato soup of most our childhood. However when expressing our art and love of food it had to be home made and a little more grown up.
I started by dicing 2 large, sweet onions and about 6 medium peeled carrots. Next, I sautéed the onions and carrots in a fair amount of butter and olive oil. When it was browned, I added some garlic. At this point the aroma coming up from my pan was dreamy! I added some salt, pepper and spices to the pan, making sure I didn’t forget the secret ingredient—red pepper flakes. The red pepper flakes take the soup up a few notches.
When everything looked lightly browned and caramelized, I added the diced tomatoes. This helps to deglaze the pan and mix all the flavors together. Once combined, I put the mixture in my Instant Pot and added the chicken stock. I set the cooker to slow cooker, the temperature to medium heat, and the cook time to about 5–6 hours. This soup is done at any point you would like it to be. However I do enjoy letting the soup cook and flavors deepen over time.
This soup was a make ahead meal for us for an after church gathering. When we were ready to serve it, I placed the soup in my Vitamix blender. I made sure the center hole of the lid was open. This is to prevent a hot soup explosion. Due to its hot temperature make sure to cover the center hole with a towel. I then blended the soup to our desired smoothness. Another way to blend the soup is to use an immersion blender if you have one available. When the soup was blended, I put it back into the pan and added one cup of heavy whipping cream.
Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese Party
At this point it was looking like the most indulgent tomato soup I have ever had. Upon taste test I knew it was. A tip is to arrange a few different types of bakery style bread with an array of sliced cheeses. Maybe even some deli ham, turkey, or chicken. Our cheeses we used ranged from a mild mozzarella to a spicy pepper jack. The countertop griddle was heated up and the butter was ready to spread on the bread. Everyone that came over got to pick their cheese and bread. We then joined the line for the make-your-own grilled cheese sandwich buffet.
This was a fun party and having the activity of making your own sandwich created a great memory. Our guests were able to be creative and custom make the grilled cheese sandwich of their dreams. Obviously, there were also a variety of mustards, pickles, jalapenos, and mayo condiments and even some hot sauces to add a special touch. This meal was familiar to everyone and, though simple, it caused some great smiles and full bellies. The cheese pulls and tomato soup dipping had begun. I am sure we will do this again!Print
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 60 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Yield: 12 cups 1x
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 carrots, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 4 – 15 oz cans diced tomatoes, any variety
- 2 teaspoons salt, to taste
- 1/2 – 1 teaspoon black pepper, to taste
- 1 teaspoon basil, dried
- 1 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 – 32 oz carton chicken broth, reduced sodium
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- Fresh basil, for garnish
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese, for garnish
- In a stock pot or dutch oven heat your olive oil and melt your butter.
- To the stock pot add the diced onion and carrots and sauté till softened. The last 2 minutes add the minced garlic, salt, pepper, basil, oregano, and red pepper flakes.
- Add the tomato paste and saute for 2-3 minutes until the red tomato paste darkens in color
- Allow soup to simmer for at least 30-60 minutes. (It can be left to cook for as long as you would like)
- When ready to serve, blend in your blender (like a Vitamix blender) until smooth. Or use an immersion blender directly in the stock pot. (If using the Vitamix, keep the clear plastic topper off the lid and cover hole with paper towels to allow heat to vent.)
- When all the tomato soup has been blended, return it to the soup pot.
- Pour in the heavy cream and mix until combined.
- Garnish with fresh basil and parmesan cheese, Enjoy!
(Tip: Serve along side your favorite sandwich, such as a classic grilled cheese)
- Serving Size: 2 cups
- Calories: 286 calories
- Sugar: 12 grams
- Sodium: 276 miligrams
- Fat: 23 grams
- Saturated Fat: 15 grams
- Carbohydrates: 17 grams
- Fiber: 4 grams
- Protein: 6.5 grams
- Cholesterol: 73 miligrams