Tomato Soup Treated Like Cheesy French Onion Soup

Grilled cheese and tomato soup is the ultimate comfort meal. 

What, you say? Sure enough, the last-minute thought that turned into a keeper soup variation when preparing this week’s soup just in time for a classic turned fabulous dinner on a chipper frosty day.

Of course, many people have a go-to tomato soup recipe and now I have a great variation to my favorite adorned with garlic and rosemary sliced bread croutons and a pile of gruyere cheese baked in the oven like my favorite ooey-gooey French onion soup.

I normally begin by roasting Italian plum tomatoes, I didn’t find any great ones at the store so it was off to the pantry for a can of San Marzano whole tomatoes that I put through a food mill and reinforced the deep tomato flavor with some sun-dried tomato paste and 4 ounces of halved sun-dried tomatoes

2 tablespoons EVOO
1 medium Vidalia onion, diced
1 medium shallot, minced
1 1/2 cups diced carrots
1 tablespoon sun-dried tomato paste
4-ounce packet of sun-dried tomatoes
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 large bay leaf
1 pod of concentrated chicken stock (Knorr) and 3 cups of water
3 halves of jar roasted red peppers, rough chopped
1-28 ounce can of San Marzano whole tomatoes, I put through a food mill to remove seeds or use strained tomatoes
freshly ground salt and pepper and an optional pinch of red pepper flakes
6-8 fresh basil leaves a whole stem to float in the soup and some extra for garnish

*Optional addition of heavy cream if you like…

Set Instant Pot to sauté and when the oil heats up a bit, add the onions and carrots, sauté for 3-4 minutes. Stir in the shallot and garlic cook for 1 minute, add the stock pod, bay leaf, fresh thyme sprigs, and tomato paste, and stir for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Pour in the water, stir, add the tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, basil, season with salt and pepper (red pepper flakes if using).

Place the lid on the Instant Pot, seal the vent, and manually set for 15 minutes on high pressure. Allow the pressure to come down naturally, remove the lid, fish out the herb stems and bay leaf, and use an immersion blender to purée the soup. Taste before adding more salt and pepper, add chiffonade of fresh basil leaves for garnish. Serve with your favorite croutons or grilled cheese sandwiches…

I used my French onion soup bowls, fill almost to the top and top with EVOO spritzed and broiled slices of roasted garlic and rosemary bread, and cover with grated gruyere cheese. Place the soups on a rimmed sheet pan ad cook in a 350º oven for 7-10 minutes until cheese is hot and bubbly.

Link to another roasted tomato soup adapted from Ina Garten: