Grilled cheese and tomato soup are, for me, the ultimate comfort food. Whenever I was home from school sick, my mom would make this classic pairing for lunch and it had a way of making me feel better in a way that nothing else could. Today, I make it for my own children when they’re not feeling well. And I also make it for an easy, comforting dinner, especially on Sundays. Cook up your own or use this delicious version from Bon Appétit.
(image and recipe from Bon Appétit)
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, plus ½ cup (1 stick) at room temperature, divided
1 medium red onion, chopped
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 28-oz. cans crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
4 cups vegetable broth
2 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons sugar
½ cup heavy cream
16 slices Pullman loaf
16 ounces cheddar, grated
Heat 4 Tbsp. butter in a Dutch oven or medium stockpot over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened and lightly browned around the edges, 8–10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring to coat onion, until tomato paste is slightly darkened in color, about 2 minutes. Add canned tomatoes, vegetable broth, thyme, bay leaf, and sugar and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper and cook until flavors are melded, 35–40 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cream. Remove thyme stems and bay leaf and let cool slightly. Working in batches, purée in a blender until smooth.
Heat a dry skillet, preferably cast-iron, over medium heat. Dividing evenly, spread room-temperature butter over bread slices. Top unbuttered side of 8 slices with cheddar, dividing evenly. Top with remaining bread, buttered side up, and cook, turning once, until bread is golden brown and cheese is melted, about 3 minutes per side. Cut sandwiches into soldiers and serve alongside hot soup for dipping.