The Downtown Farmer: Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Croutons

A Delicious Farm-to-Food Truck Recipe from Chef Loreal Gavin

Follow Chef Loreal Gavin as she serves up delicious farm-to-food truck recipes using locally sourced foods from America’s top urban farms. New recipes will be uploaded weekly through April on CMT’s YouTube channel.

Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Croutons

Total: 30 min

Prep: 10 min

Cook: 20 min

Yield: 4 large bowls of tomato soup with 1 grilled cheese worth of croutons


Tomato Soup:

4 tablespoons butter or olive oil

4 pounds fresh tomatoes (should be a mix of farm-raised cherry or heirloom varieties)

4 cups of water

2 tablespoons salt

1 tablespoon pepper (optional)

2 cups balsamic vinegar

2 cups heavy whipping cream or milk substitute such as coconut milk or unsweetened almond milk

2 lemons fresh squeezed

Grilled Cheese crouton:

8 slices of bread

3/4 a pound of sliced cheese

2 tablespoons butter


For the Tomato Soup:

Set a deep saucepan or 6-8 quart Dutch oven to medium heat.

Add the butter or olive oil to the hot pan.

Add in the tomatoes a hand full at a time.

With the back of a wooden spoon, muddle and crush the tomatoes as they blister and cook.

Allow the tomatoes to cook until the outside skin starts to fall away and reveal the delicious flesh within.

Now add the water, salt, pepper (optional), cream of choice, lemon juice and balsamic vinegar.

Cook this mixture down on medium-low heat with the lid on for 20 minutes.

For the Grilled Cheese Croutons:

Add a few pieces of sliced cheese to each piece of your sliced bread.

Put the other separate piece of bread on the tops to make a complete sandwich.

Bring a non-stick sauce pan to medium heat.

Add a fleck of butter to the pan.

Lay the untoasted sandwich into the pan and brown for 2-3 minutes on each side until toasted brown in the hot pan.

Toast both sides and set on a cutting board.

Pour your hot tomato soup into a bowl.

Cut your grilled cheese sandwiches into 1-inch pieces and garnish them atop your hot soup.

Serve immediately.

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