Tomato Cheddar Soup
This tomato cheddar soup with grilled cheese croutons is exactly what we crave on a cold rainy day. It's an easy-to-make recipe that uses mostly pantry ingredients, and it's ready in just 30 minutes!
If you love a comforting bowl of tomato soup, also try our simple bacon tomato soup or tomato lentil soup with olives.
Table of contents
This creamy tomato cheddar soup is what we make when all we're after is something cozy and comforting, but don't want to spend all day in the kitchen.
Since there's no better or more classic combo than tomato soup and grilled cheese, we had the genius idea to combine the two into one delicious recipe. The soup is rich and creamy and the croutons add the perfect crunchy texture.
If you grew up on canned tomato soup, you'll be shocked at how easy it is to make tomato soup from scratch. You'll be wondering where this recipe has been all your life!
We start by making a simple tomato soup with the usual base of sautéd onions and garlic. Then we add in some tomato paste and fire-roasted tomatoes for lots of bold, sweet, and smoky tomato flavor. Chicken or vegetable stock thins everything out, then we season it, and blend it until smooth.
To finish it off, we stir in some sharp cheddar cheese and cream and serve it with our easy-to-make grilled cheese croutons.
It's a fun meal to serve to kids, but it's a favorite recipe that everyone enjoys!
Tomato cheddar soup ingredients
Here's what you need to make this creamy tomato cheddar soup:
- Olive oil – olive or avocado oil are our top choices for neutral flavored oils.
- Onion + garlic – for that classic savory flavor base.
- Tomato paste – gives a more intense tomato taste to tomato-based sauces, soups, and stews. We prefer to buy the tubes over the small cans because we can reseal them, which means less waste.
- Fire-roasted tomatoes – fire roasted tomatoes have a unique smoky and sweet flavor, but you can also use diced tomatoes if that's what you have available.
- Chicken or vegetable stock – we use our homemade chicken stock but store-bought works well, too.
- Seasonings – we keep it simple with a mix of dried thyme, sea salt, and pepper.
- Sharp cheddar cheese – the sharp cheddar cheese gets blended right into the soup for a bold cheesy taste. We recommend decent-quality cheese because we've found that lower-quality ones don't melt as well. If you find that the cheese doesn't melt smoothly into the soup, just give it a quick blend to make it silky again.
- Whole milk or cream – for an extra-creamy taste and texture.
- Grilled cheese croutons and minced parsley – take this soup to the next level with our easy-to-make grilled cheese croutons! It also tastes great with our bacon croutons or mini soup croutons. Top it off with a bit of minced parsley, to serve.
How to make tomato cheddar soup
This tomato cheddar soup is cozy, comforting, and perfect for cold weather days. It's also simple to make at home in a few easy steps:
- Start by sautéing the onion and garlic in the olive oil.
- Stir in the tomato paste, fire-roasted tomatoes, stock, and seasonings. Bring it all to a boil and let it simmer.
- Make it smooth by blending it with an immersion blender or a regular blender.
- Lastly, stir the cheddar cheese into the pot with the cream. Taste and adjust the salt if you'd like, then top with grilled cheese croutons and minced parsley to serve. Yum!
Store any leftover soup in an airtight container in your fridge for 3-4 days.
Unfortunately no, soups with dairy in them don't taste great after being frozen and reheated. The texture tends to become grainy and separate.
No, pre-grated cheese doesn't work well because it doesn't melt well. Bags of grated cheddar cheese have a coating on the cheese that prevents it from sticking together but also prevents it from melting well.
What to eat with tomato cheddar soup
If you serve this soup with grilled cheese croutons, it becomes a complete meal. But it also works great as an appetizer served in small bowls. You could even get really fancy for a party and serve it as an appetizer in shot glasses topped with one crouton!
For a heartier meal, try it with our grilled cheese and apple sandwich with sriracha butter, bacon sandwich with caramelized onions, or even our bacon kale caesar salad.
Popular soup recipes
Tomato Cheddar Soup
If you love this recipe as much as we do, let us know with a 5-star rating!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- 28 ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes, or diced tomatoes
- 2 cups chicken stock, or vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon EACH: dried thyme, salt, and pepper
- 6 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- ½ cup whole milk or cream
- Grilled cheese croutons and minced parsley, to serve
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook it until it looks transparent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 medium onion, 3 cloves garlic
- Stir the tomato paste into the onions then let it cook for about 3 minutes, until it begins to smell sweet. Then add the fire-roasted tomatoes, stock, thyme, salt, and pepper to the pot and bring the pot to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let it simmer for 10 minutes.4 tablespoons tomato paste, 28 ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes, 2 cups chicken stock, 1 teaspoon EACH: dried thyme, salt, and pepper
- Blend the soup using either a blender or an immersion blender until it's smooth. See the notes if you're using a regular blender.
- Stir the cheese into the pot a few handfuls at a time. Stir in the milk or cream. Taste the soup and add more salt and pepper, if you'd like.6 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, ½ cup whole milk or cream
Super easy to make and had great flavor. Reduce to 4oz of cheese since the serving size is only for 4 – 1 oz per serv seemed like plenty and it was. Swapped homemade seasoned pumpernickel croutons for the grilled cheese version and it was still delicious. Served for lunch with a side salad. Will definitely make again!
This is the best tomato soup that I have ever had. The kiddos are already asking me to make it again.
This soup is so creamy and comforting! I love what the fire-roasted tomatoes do for it, too. Thanks for the recipe!
There truly isn’t anything better than tomato and cheddar, together. This is why a good grilled cheese sandwich is the perfect pairing! But putting the cheddar into the soup? Brilliant.
Enjoyed this for dinner last night and it was a savory success! Turned out perfectly hearty, bold and delicious; easily, a new favorite recipe!
I made this soup for lunch today and OMG was it delicious! So comforting and full of flavor!
I made this soup for lunch today and oh my goodness it was delicious! The cheddar totally sets it over the top!
You’re right, I was shocked by how easy it is to make homemade tomato soup! I love the addition of cheddar cheese.
love the grilled cheese croutons! such a fun addition. and great idea to add cheese to the soup, it makes it super creamy
I tried this soup and my family was hooked! I am making this again soon!
I LOVE that this is made with mostly pantry staples!
Loving the combination of flavors this creamy and delicious soup.