Is there anything more comforting than grilled cheeze and tomato soup? Ever since I was a kid it’s been my go-to feel-good food whether it’s cold and rainy outside or I’ve just had a crappy day. Let’s break it down: toasty bread, gooey cheeze, and a bowl of smooth, steamy soup. It doesn’t get much better than that, my friends!
Like dairy cheese, certain cheeze flavors are better than others when it comes to crafting the perfect sandwich. I used our Smoked Gouda Cream Cheeze and I can confidently say it made the best vegan grilled cheeze I’ve ever had. It’s creamy and buttery smooth with just the right amount of smoky flavor. I’m sure it would have been great on its own, but I couldn’t help adding some vegan pesto. It really took this grilled cheeze to the next level.
Of course, you can’t really enjoy a grilled cheeze sandwich without dipping it in a bowl of tomato soup. Forget the canned stuff – it’s full of sodium and honestly doesn’t taste good at all. It’s a bit more work to make your own tomato soup from scratch but hang in there, the payoff is worth it. I didn’t have any vegetable broth on hand but luckily this soup didn’t need it. The combination of roasted tomatoes and fresh herbs provides more than enough flavor.
To recap, what we have here is creamy Smoked Gouda Cream Cheeze and fresh basil pesto smooshed between two slices of sourdough bread and crisped up into the perfect grilled cheeze sandwich. Give it a good dunk in a bowl of homemade tomato soup (that you made from scratch!) and cozy into your couch with your favorite blanket. Dip. Crunch. Yum. This is the stuff comfort food dreams are made of.
Vegan Pesto Grilled Cheeze with Tomato Soup
- 8 slices of sourdough bread (or your favorite gluten-free bread)
- ¼ cup vegan butter, softened
- 1 container Plant Perks Smoked Gouda Cream Cheeze
For the vegan pesto:
- 2 handfuls fresh basil
- 1 handful baby spinach
- ¼ cup sunflower seed kernels
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
For the tomato soup:
- 2 pounds of tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- Few twists of black pepper
- 1 cup water
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon agave or maple syrup
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- Preheat your oven to 400F and line a large baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper. Core and quarter the tomatoes and arrange them on the baking sheet cut side up. Toss with olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and a few twists of black pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until the tomatoes are lightly caramelized.
- Meanwhile, make the vegan pesto. Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Adjust flavors to taste.
- Transfer the roasted tomatoes to a medium saucepan and add the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt, water, garlic powder, agave or maple syrup, bay leaves, and rosemary. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until the tomatoes break down and the soup smells extremely good. Adjust salt to taste (I added another ¼ teaspoon).
- Carefully pour the tomato soup into a blender and blend until smooth, about a minute. Divide the soup between four small bowls (the recipe makes 4 cups or 2 bowls of soup).
- To make the grilled cheeze, spread the vegan butter on one side of each piece of bread. Spread a generous scoop of Smoked Gouda Cream Cheeze on the other side of four of the pieces. Spread a bit of the pesto over the cream cheeze and place another piece of bread (vegan butter side facing up) on top.
- Cook the grilled cheeze in a hot pan over medium heat until golden and crispy, about 3 minutes on each side. Slice in half and serve hot with a steamy bowl of tomato soup.