November 6, 2013

Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese Sandwich & Tomato Bisque

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Bisque

Who didn’t love grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup as a kid? Let’s take a walk down memory lane and do that again today, mmmkay? Because while some of your palates may indeed have progressed since the good ‘ol days when your favorite food was mac & cheese with hotdogs, sometimes the classics never go out of style. And a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup falls under The Classics in my book. Only today we’re going to make the much more sophisticated and grown-up version of our childhood favorite. Think caramelized onions and mustard. Mayo and pepperjack cheese. Dipped in a rich and creamy tomato bisque. It’s brilliant, I tell you!

For the tomato bisque:

Start by dicing up an onion.

Diced onion

Heat up a bit of oil in a large saucepan and add onions and garlic, cooking until onions are tender.


Add your lovely red tomatoes (use canned garden tomatoes if possible; it will rock your world), sugar, basil, oregano, parsley, salt, and pepper.


Simmer baby, simmer. For 10 minutes.


While the tomato mixture is simmering, melt butter in a medium saucepan. Once it’s melted, add flour slowly while whisking like a mad woman. This prevents lumps. And preventing lumps means preserving sanity. So just whisk and don’t ask questions.

Whisk roux

Ah ha! You just made a roux, the thickening agent for our bisque!


Now, slowly add milk and cream to the roux, while whisking whisking whisking! Keep stirring until it’s thickened a bit.Cream

Add the cream mixture to the tomato mixture and stir to combine.

Tomato bisque

Pour your hot soup into a blender and blend it all up until it’s nice and silky smooth. Dang it, I forgot to take a photo! But it’s not hard to picture, right? Be careful to let some steam escape from inside the blender, or it could blow the lid right off! Seriously, not fun.

And your soup is done! Next up, the sandwich.

For the grilled cheese sandwich:

Slice up an onion.

Slice onion

Heat some oil in a sauté pan, and add onions with a pinch of salt. The salt helps the onions brown faster. Cook slowly until caramelized.

Caramelized onions

Get your ingredients ready: your bread (I used honey-whole wheat), grilled onions, mustard, mayonnaise, and pepper jack cheese.

Grilled cheese sandwich ingredients

Spread some butter on each slice of bread.

Bread & butter

Flip the bread slices over. On one slice of bread, spread some mustard. On the other slice, spread some mayonnaise.

Mayo & mustard

Add pepperjack cheese and onions.

Pepperjack & onions

Grill the sandwich on a skillet until melty and toasted.

Serve with the tomato bisque, dipping happily and reminiscing of old times.

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Bisque


Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese Sandwich & Tomato Bisque
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This is a childhood favorite all grown up. Caramelized onions & pepperjack cheese make this grilled sandwich to die for. And the tomato bisque is rich and creamy.
Recipe type: Soup & Sandwich
Serves: 6
  • For the Tomato Bisque:
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 quart canned tomatoes (or 2 large cans stewed tomatoes)
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ tsp. dried basil
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • ½ tsp. dried parsley
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 4 T. butter
  • 4 T. flour
  • 2 ½ cups milk (1% or 2%)
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • For the Grilled Cheese Sandwich:
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • Pinch of salt
  • Sliced bread of choice (French bread would be excellent; I used honey-whole wheat)
  • Mustard
  • Mayonnaise
  • PepperJack cheese
  • Butter
  1. For the Tomato Bisque:
  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add onions & garlic and cook until onions are tender.
  3. Add tomatoes & seasonings to onions. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt butter.
  5. Add flour to butter very slowly, while whisking constantly to prevent lumps.
  6. Once flour is all added, add milk & cream to the roux mixture, whisking constantly.
  7. Continue whisking cream mixture until thickened slightly.
  8. Add cream mixture to tomato mixture and stir to combine.
  9. Pour the bisque into a blender and blend until smooth.
  10. Serve hot with grilled cheese sandwich.
  11. For the Grilled Cheese Sandwich:
  12. Heat oil in a sauce pan. Add onions and a pinch of salt, and cook over low heat until caramelized.
  13. Spread butter on two slices of bread. Flip the slices over.
  14. On one slice of bread, spread a layer of mayonnaise.
  15. On the other slice of bread, spread a layer of mustard.
  16. Add sliced pepperjack cheese and top with caramelized onions.
  17. Top with the other slice of bread and grill in a skillet until cheese is melted and bread is toasted.

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Sandwiches, Soups