Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese – The Perfect Comfort Meal


If you are looking for a tasty, simple and comforting meal then look no further. This is a great adaptation to the classic tomato soup. This meal screams sophistication and comfort that it would  even pair nicely with a glass of white wine.  Making everything from scratch will impress any guests you decide to have over.  I attribute the inspiration for the soup to Ree Drummund of Food Network Channel.  The recipe that she has was similar to others, but I made a few additions and deletions to come up with my own version.  Six of us ate and there was soup left over for about 3 additional meals.

Products Used Worth Buying
“>Dutch Oven 

The Perfect Comfort Meal


25 minPrep Time

30 minCook Time

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What you will need

  • 1 sweet onion (diced small)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Two 14.5-ounce cans petite diced tomatoes
  • One 46-ounce bottle low sodium V8
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons roasted garlic bouillon (link to purchase above)
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/4 tablespoon celery salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • soup crackers (for topping)
  • For Grilled Cheese:
  • 2 Brioche Loaves (un-sliced)
  • Any cheese you like: I used Gouda slices and Brie Cheese
  • 3-4 tablespoons butter
  • Salt

How to Make it

  1. In a large dutch oven on medium high heat, add the butter and then the onion
  2. Saute the onion until translucent
  3. Add the two cans of tomatoes, along with all of the V8 and stir everything together
  4. Add the sugar next (I thought the same thing, but trust me, you will need it as it balances all the flavors and the bitterness of the tomatoes)
  5. Add the roasted garlic bouillon
  6. Add the pepper, salt, celery salt and celery seeds and stir everything together
  7. With an immersion blender, try to blend up as much as possible but still leaving a few onions and tomatoes
  8. Let the soup come to a slow boil and then lower the heat and cover for about 10-15 minutes
  9. Turn heat off and then add the cream, basil and parsley, stir and serve (top with soup crackers) with grilled cheese (instructions below)
  10. For Grilled Cheese:
  11. Slice the Brioche bread into 8-3/4 inch slices
  12. Place a non-stick pan on medium to low heat
  13. Assemble all the sandwiches
  14. Spread butter on both sides of the breads and sprinkle them with a little salt
  15. Sear both sides until golden brown and cheese is melted
  16. Serve next to the soup


The Best Black Beans

Al's Black Beans.JPGNot sure what everyone makes for Noche Buena, but since we are a Cuban family, we make your typical Lechon asado, black beans and rice, yucca, etc. This recipe is tried and true and is actually in my up and coming cookbook as a side dish. I usually try to make dishes from scratch and I wouldn’t consider myself a lazy person, but making beans from scratch is a very lengthy process and that time is better spent doing something else in my eyes; especially if canned beans are good.

Another great thing about these beans is if you make them in advance it gives all the flavors more time to marry and they taste even better! I serve it with a garlic rice that I also make but that recipe is for another blog and is also in my cookbook. If any of you decide to make it for Noche Buena (Christmas Eve) please send me a photo and/or a comment on how you liked them.

*Red pepper – 1 whole, small dice
*Green pepper – 1 whole, small dice
*Vidalia onion – 1 whole, small dice
*Garlic – 3 cloves, miced
*Black Beans – 2 cans (15.5 oz), don’t drain
*Olive oil – 3 tablespoons
*Red wine vinegar – 1 teaspoon
*Cumin – 1/4 teaspoon
*Kosher salt – 1/2 teaspoon
*Pepper – 1/4 teaspoon
*Turmeric – 1/4 teaspoon
*Onion powder – 1/4 teaspoon
*Garlic powder – 1/4 teaspoon
*Bay leaves – 2
* Cilantro – 1 1/2 tablespoon, chopped

  • In a medium sauce pan, on medium heat, add the oil, onion and red and green peppers and cook until the onion is translucent (about 5-6 minutes)
  • Add the garlic and cook for a few more minutes (about 1-2 minutes)
  • Add the black beans and stir well mix all the ingredients
  • Add the cumin, salt, pepper, turmeric, smoked paprika, onion powder and garlic powder and mix everything well
  • Add the bay leaves, cover the pan and lower the heat to simmer
  • Simmer for at least 30 minutes
  • Add the red wine vinegar and cilantro and stir well
  • Keep covered until ready to eat and remove bay leaves before serving

Tips: You can also turn this recipe into a soup. You can blend it in a blender or use a hand held to liquefy it. If you actually drain some or most of the liquid from the can of beans, you can also add everything to the food processor once cooled and pulse to become a dip that you can serve with chips or veggies or use in a 7-layer dip. I have a lot of other recipes that you can use these beans, but those will come in a seperate post.