On the Cheap

Grilled Cheese and Fresh Tomato Soup

September  2, 2014

Every week, Caroline Wright creates simple, civilized recipes for Food52 that feed four -- for under $20, in under 20 minutes.

Today: Grilled cheese and tomato soup -- all grown up. 

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Tomato soup and grilled cheese is an inarguably classic pairing that holds strong in the memories of children and adults. But I have never been able to recreate it to match my memory -- a common occurence among many cooks and eaters I know.

This recipe is my attempt to capture the tomato soup I remember from childhood in a way that reflects my adult palette. The soup's base is a pile of plum tomatoes, seasoned with touches of fresh thyme, garlic, and vinegar. I served mine with half of a very thick grilled cheese -- we do things bigger in Texas, after all -- though a thinner, more traditional sandwich works great here, too. Fill it with whatever cheese you prefer, and enjoy. 

Fresh Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese

6 tablespoons softened butter, divided
1 tablespoon tomato paste
8 plum tomatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds), quartered
1 sprig fresh thyme
Pinch of sugar
1 medium garlic clove, halved
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
White wine vinegar to taste
Five 1 inch-thick slices of white sandwich bread (2 ounces each)
4 ounces Raclette cheese, sliced

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

As a freelance food writer and cook, I first wrote this style of recipe as a column on my blog, The Wright Recipes, as an excuse to cook good food for my friends in a quick and simple way. 

Twenty-Dollar, Twenty-Minute™ Meals grew into a cookbook that was published by Workman in May 2013. The recipes found here are original, made especially for Food52 to once again celebrate simple food with friends.

Photo by Caroline Wright

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Before her diagnosis, Caroline wrote a book on cakes called Cake Magic!. She started developing a birthday cake using her gluten-free mix found in that book. Check out other recipes she’s developing for her new life—and the stories behind them—on her blog, The Wright Recipes. Her next book, Soup Club, is a collection of recipes she made for her underground soup club of vegan and grain-free soups she delivers every week to friends throughout Seattle's rainy winter.


Clif F. June 9, 2015
Sprinkle a little Clif Family Kitchen Classic Hazelnut Dukkah on this soup for a dash of exotic flavor.
Angie H. September 2, 2014
Sounds wonderful! Think there's a good way to preserve some from my fresh garden tomatoes for the winter? Freezer? Canning?