Tomato Soup and Waffle Iron Grilled Cheese

Everyone has their own notion of comfort food,  a term that first appeared in the 1960s when a newspaper article reported “Adults, when under severe emotional stress, turn to what could be called ‘comfort food’—food associated with the security of childhood, like mother’s poached egg or famous chicken soup.”

These days, “severe emotional stress” isn’t required to warrant comfort food, though it makes sense that what we crave when we’re down are the foods that nourished us as children.

Comfort Food Fix

My husband considers the corned beef and hash his dad fixed on Sundays to be the ultimate comfort food. For my kids, it’s the Spaghetti with Butter, Egg, and Cheese I made when the fridge was nearly bare. As for me?  Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese ranks up there as a comfort food favorite, a combination my mom had on repeat during the winter months.

The soup is a simple one:  onion, garlic, spices, and canned tomatoes cooked tender. Olive oil adds that bit of luxury you want in a creamy soup and a lone slice of stale bread serves as its thickener.

Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Recipe

Try it in a Waffle Iron

As for the grilled cheese sandwiches?  You can make them any way you like, since most everyone seems to have a favorite technique. However, consider trying them my way, done in a waffle iron. While the cheese melts on the inside, the ridges of the waffle iron make for a crispy exterior that’s got texture to spare.

What’s your comfort food fix? I’d love to hear in the comments section below.


Tomato Soup and Waffle Iron Grilled Cheese

Tomato soup and grilled cheese is a crave-worthy combination. In this version, the soup gets its richness from olive oil instead of cream and the sandwiches are done panini-style in an old-fashioned waffle iron. The duo is bound to win over kids and grown ups alike. 

Course Main Course, Soup
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 cups of soup and 4 sandwiches
Calories 450 kcal
Author Katie Morford


Tomato Soup

  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • One 28- ounce can diced unsalted tomatoes
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • One 3/4- inch thick slice crusty French or Italian bread that's about 4 inches long (stale is fine)

Grilled Cheese Sandwich

  • 8 slices whole-grain sandwich bread
  • 6 ounces grated sharp Cheddar cheese (or other favorite cheese)
  • Olive oil for brushing the waffle iron


For the soup

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, fennel, oregano, and red pepper flakes and saute until the onion is tender, about 8 minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes, 1 cup water, salt, several generous grinds of black pepper. Tear the bread into pieces and add it to the soup.Turn up the heat and bring the soup to a boil. Drop the heat until the soup simmers and cook for 9 minutes.

  3. Use an immersion blender or transfer soup to a conventional blender. Add the remaining olive oil and puree until smooth. Taste and add more red pepper flakes, salt, and/or black pepper if desired. If the soup seems too thick, add  more water and blend again.

For the sandwiches

  1. Preheat a waffle iron. 

  2. While the waffle iron is heating, assemble the sandwiches: Lay 4 slices of bread on your work surface and cover each one with cheese, dividing it evenly. Top the sandwiches with the remaining bread slices. 

  3. Use a pastry brush to lightly coat the inside of the waffle iron with olive oil. Set one sandwich into the waffle iron and bring the top down firmly (it may not close completely). Cook until the bread is browned and the cheese melted. Remove from the waffle iron and repeat with the remaining 3 sandwiches, lightly brushing the waffle iron with olive oil before each one. 

  4. Cut the sandwiches in half and serve with warm cups of soup.

photo credit: Leigh Beisch prop styling: Mikhael Romain


01.29.2019 at8:45 PM #


Yummo, I’m going to try grilled cheese in the waffle maker!

My (and my kiddo requested) go to comfort foods are tuna melt, spag bol (spaghetti bolognaise for non aussies) and our altime favourite ‘taco salad’. There is anarchy in our house if we don’t have this Friday nights. This is corn chips arranged just so on a plate then mince (almost always beef) or you’d say ground beef cooked with taco seasoning. Then piled on the meat is grated tasty cheese, then specifically in this order homegrown greens, grated carrot and then diced tomatoes for the current 5 months of the year these are home grown too. Then light sour cream. And for me oodles of Tabasco or super hot sauce. Soooooo good and easier to eat than traditional tacos!

01.30.2019 at6:31 AM #

Nancy Greiner Harrington

Love tomato soup!!! So easy since the ingredients are always in my cupboard. I like to whip mine up in my Thermomix where I grind lentils to add protein which also acts as a thickener. Just bought my first waffle iron. I know what’s for lunch on this cold and snowy day.

03.03.2019 at7:03 PM #


Soup was delicious (I didn’t make the grilled cheese yet). So easy and tasty. I only had fennel seeds, not ground fennel, and the taste was still marvelous. Excellent family dinner.

03.03.2019 at7:03 PM #

Katie Morford

Wonderful! Thank you so much for the feedback.

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