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Spicy Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

February 2, 2016

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Spicy Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

The Lent season has arrived.  It’s one of my favorite seasons of the year because it’s a time to reflect spiritually awaiting the arrival of Easter.  I like to reminisce and think back of the times I spent in the kitchen with my mother during Lent.  I learned so much from her.  She taught me how to make the season’s essentials:  potato and tuna patties, lentils, shrimp cocktail and tomato soup accompanied by crunchy croutons.
Spicy Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

Times haven’t changed and we still get together and revisit those traditional recipes we enjoyed making a long time ago.

Now that I’m an avid cook, I still like to recreate those tasty Lent recipes for my family. One of my favorites to make year-round is this simple tomato soup recipe.  I’ve given it my own spicy twist in my 40 Days of Flavor by incorporating Clamato Picante and a jalapeño round garnish when serving it as a party appetizer. For a kid-friendly version, use regular Clamato and omit the jalapeño.

Because a warm tomato soup just isn’t the same without a gooey grilled cheese sandwich, I added small crouton-like, bite-size grilled cheese sandwich pieces.  If you’re serving this delicious dish as a main meal, keep the sandwiches whole and enjoy this soup in a bowl or cup.  You will love how the creamy cheddar cheese in the sandwich tames the spicy kick of this savory soup. It’s a perfectly flavor-balanced meal that your entire family will love year-round.

Spicy Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Sandwich Croutons

Spicy Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

Yield: Makes 3 1/2 cups


  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • ½ cup yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole plum peeled tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • ¼ teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon dried crushed basil
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • ½ cup Clamato Picante
  • ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced
  • 4 slices white bread
  • 1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ? cup cheddar cheese, grated


  1. Heat grapeseed oil in a 5-quart stockpot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and saute for 7 minutes or until onion is translucent.
  2. Add tomatoes with liquid, vegetable stock, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, COVER and let simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Transfer soup to a blender container, add Clamato and blend until smooth. Return blended soup to stock pot and stir in sugar. Heat for 5 minutes stirring frequently.
  4. Preheat skillet over medium heat. butter one side of bread slice. Place bread butter-side-down onto skillet and sprinkle with half the cheese. Butter a second bread slice on one side and place butter-side-up on top of sprinkled cheese. Grill until browned and flip over; continue grilling until cheese is melted. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Slice sandwiches in small bite-size pieces.
  5. Pour soup in serving bowls or shot glasses if serving as an appetizer. Garnish with jalapeño slices. Serve with grilled cheese sandwich croutons.