January 20


Cream of Tomato Soup with Cheese Tartines

Diane Boyd


by Diane Boyd

A hot bowl of cream of tomato soup with a grilled cheese sandwich for dipping takes me back to the  warm happy memories of my childhood …of days home from school because of snow. Who doesn’t love warming up with a cozy meal after  a fun filled day of sledding?!  This was the first meal I EVER made by myself.  The way I remember it, I used whole milk, added to a can of Campbell’s cream of tomato soup .  Grilling the sandwich was almost as simple, with margarine first spread on two slices of white Wonder bread and a slice of American cheese in between.

 mmm…mmmm ….good

Today my grilled cheese and tomato soup is just as comforting as it was back then, but has evolved into a lighter meal.  Fresh carrots and onions, canned tomatoes, chicken stock and basil are the start of this nutrient rich soup that’s good with or without the addition of low fat cream cheese.  And current research makes me especially happy about using canned tomatoes.  Because I’m a sucker for thick, crusty breads, my cheese sandwich is now made with a whole wheat baguette cut into triangles (my preference for cutting a grilled cheese sandwich) topped with cheddar cheese. Popping a tray of these darlings under the broiler eliminates the need for any additional fat. Final touches? More basil, please.  Now, don’t let the fact I am calling my cheese sandwich a tartine throw you. That’s a fancy word for open faced sandwich. But pleassse.. feel free to eat with your fingers!

Time has allowed me to improve the nutritional profile of this quintessential comfort meal, but my memories  will always remain the same.

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Cream of Tomato Soup with Cheese Tartines

Ingredients for the tomato soup (serves 6-8)

  • 1 Tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 – 28 ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil +2 Tablespoons
  • 3 cups chicken stock or reduced sodium chicken broth
  • fresh black pepper to taste
  • 6 Tablespoons of 1/3 less fat cream cheese

for the cheese tartines

  • 1 baguette
  • 8 ounces cheddar cheese


1. Heat canola oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and carrots and saute for about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for one additional minute.

2. Add tomatoes, sugar, tomato paste, 1/4 cup basil, chicken broth and pepper and stir well. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30-40 minutes.

3.  Allow to cool and puree in a blender. Return to pot and heat over low heat. Stir in reduced fat cream cheese. Serve immediately or refrigerate for later

for the cheese tartines (makes 16)

  1. Slice baguette into 4- 2 inch pieces. Half each piece, as if to create a top and bottom. Cut each square in half along the diagonal to create a triangle. (Each 2 inch piece will create 4 triangle pieces.)
  2. Top each piece with sliced cheddar cheese.
  3. Place under the broiler and cook until cheese is melted, watching carefully so as not to burn. Top with remaining thinly sliced basil.

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Diane Boyd, M.B.A., R.D., L.D.N. Wilmington, NC nutrition counselor specializing in sports nutrition, weight management, and wellness; dianeboydrd@gmail.com; (910) 508-5037, 6019 Oleander Dr., Wilmington, NC