Fire-Roasted Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons for October’s Blustery #BloggerCLUE Reveal

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October’s blustery weather is the perfect backdrop for a yummy #BloggerCLUE reveal; Fire-Roasted Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons.

Fire-Roasted Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons | | October's blustery weather is the perfect backdrop for this month's yummy #BloggerCLUE reveal; Fire-Roasted Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons.

October hasn’t been kind to us thus far. We began the month with a strange system that Hurricane Joaquin pushed in our direction, dropping heavy rains, high winds and cold temperatures in our laps without ever making landfall itself.

Even though that storm’s passed, leaving just a messy memory, the jackets that were pulled out when it was chilly are hanging on hooks instead of being tucked in the back of the closet where they were shoved with a ‘good riddance’ last spring.

That’s why, when the theme for this month’s Blogger C.L.U.E. Society turned out to be Autumn, my mind turned to soup … immediately.

Luckily, I was paired with Aly from Cooking in Stilettos and I already knew which soup I wanted. Aly and I go way back, you see. I’ve been a fan of hers and her high-heeled shoes for years. While my fear of heights won’t let me wear anything but slippers or sneakers in the kitchen, I love the food that Aly serves up on a regular basis.

While I almost changed my mind and went for the Pasta with Braised Short Ribs that she just made me drool over a few days ago, that’s not the dish I wanted.

For me, it had to be the Fire-Roasted Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons.

The Process

Other than the fact that I used a blender because I don’t own an immersion blender [yet], I followed the recipe exactly as Aly wrote it and it flowed smoothly and without a hitch. I’m thrilled that she had me cooking the onions until they began to brown in order to pull out their sweetness.

I love that she used Aleppo pepper, which is a bit less hot, just a touch sweet and paired perfectly with the smoked paprika.

I loved the aroma that adding fresh thyme gave the soup while it was simmering on the stove.

As far as a process goes, this one was a pleasure.

The Verdict 

Oh my goodness golly yes. Like many, I grew up with tomato soup and grilled cheese and I know how wonderful it is on cold, blustery days, which is exactly what we’ve had here in North Carolina recently.

This soup was the perfect way to brighten up the lack of sun and warm bodies that have felt rain and mist for the past week or so. The blend of the flavors from the onion, garlic, smoked paprika and Aleppo pepper is wonderful, especially when carried from bowl to mouth with the grilled cheese croutons.

Thank you, Aly, for a yummy, delicious recipe!

The Recipe

Fire-Roasted Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons for October's Blustery #BloggerCLUE Reveal
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
from the kitchen of Cooking in Stilettos
Reviewed by:
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4
  • For the Tomato Soup:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon Aleppo pepper
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes (depending on how spicy you like it)
  • 3-4 cups of chicken stock (depending on how thick you want your soup)
  • 1 28 oz. can of fire roasted crushed tomatoes (I adore Muir Glen)
  • ½ teaspoon of fresh thyme (1 – 2 sprigs)
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
  • ½ cup orzo
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • For the Grilled Cheese Croutons:
  • 4 slices of your favorite bread (I used sourdough)
  • 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 slices of sharp provolone
  • 4 ounces of fontina cheese, grated
  1. For the Tomato Soup:
  2. Over medium heat, heat the olive oil in a heavy bottomed stock pot or dutch oven.
  3. Add the onions and sauté for about 10 minutes until they turn a nice golden hue.
  4. Add the minced garlic and sauté for another minute or so.
  5. Add the thyme, smoked paprika, Aleppo pepper and red pepper flakes to the onion garlic mixture and sauté for another minute to bloom the spices.
  6. To the onion mixture, add a bit of chicken stock to deglaze the pan. Add the crushed tomatoes, chicken stock, thyme, salt and pepper and stir to combine.
  7. Let the tomato mixture come to a boil and then immediately reduce the heat so that it simmers for about 15 minutes.
  8. While the tomato mixture is simmering, to a medium saucepan of boiling water, add a bit of kosher salt and the orzo. Let the orzo cook for 7 minutes, drain and set aside.
  9. At the end of 15 minutes, blend the tomato mixture with an immersion blender, food processor or blender and return to the pan.
  10. Add the cooked orzo and the heavy cream, stir and let simmer for another 10 minutes.
  11. For the Grilled Cheese Croutons:
  12. Preheat your Panini press or grill pan.
  13. Lay out the bread on a cutting board and brush the sides with the melted butter.
  14. Flip over two pieces and to the unbuttered sides, layer a slice of sharp provolone, a bit of grated fontina and finish with another piece of sharp provolone.
  15. Place the remaining two slices on top of the cheese, buttered side up and place on the Panini press or grill pan.
  16. Grill until golden, remove and set on a cutting board for a minute to cool.
  17. Slice into "croutons".


About The Group


As you know, over this past year the second Wednesday of the month has been reserved for the Blogger C.L.U.E. Society, a group of food bloggers who play a game together; sneaking around each other’s sites and surprising one another with the dishes we make from what we find. It’s our chance to have fun together and since you’re here, you get to be a part of the game. I’d love it if you’d take a minute and check out the other players. Heck, you may even find the person who got Taking On Magazines as their blog before I do. If you do discover who it was, let me know, okay?

Participating Bloggers:

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