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  • karistabennett

Tomato Bisque with Grilled Cheese and Pesto Croutons

Updated: Jun 9

Warm, creamy, flavorful and comforting. And, made just a bit more special with grilled cheese and pesto croutons!

A cup of tomato bisque with grilled cheese and pesto croutons

Soup is especially delicious and welcoming during the cold months, but I must admit that I love soup during every season. Especially when it's a creamy, flavorful tomato bisque with grilled cheese and pesto croutons.

The bisque is thickened by adding a few tablespoons of white rice. When the rice is soft and the soup is done, it's pureed to a creamy goodness. I have added a little cream here, just for extra decadence.

Tomato Bisque with Grilled Cheese and Pesto Croutons


Serves 4-6

  • 2 tablespoons ghee or extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 red onion, diced

  • 2 ribs celery, diced

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • ¾ teaspoon smoked paprika

  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano

  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

  • 4 cups vegetable broth

  • 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes

  • 2 tablespoons white rice (jasmine or basmati)

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

  • ½ cup heavy cream

Grilled Cheese and Pesto Croutons

  • 2-3 tablespoons butter

  • 8 slices thick white or sourdough bread

  • ¼-1/3 cup basil pesto

  • 4-8 slices provolone or smoked provolone


  1. Heat the ghee or olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. When the ghee/oil is hot, add the diced onions and celery and saute until the vegetables are soft, about five minutes. Then stir in the garlic, smoked paprika, dried oregano and pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. Sauté for one minute longer.

  2. Then stir in the vegetable broth and crushed tomatoes. Bring the soup to a simmer and then stir in the rice. Cover and simmer the soup on low for about 20-25 minutes or until the rice is soft.

  3. Once the rice is soft, puree the soup with an immersion blender or place the soup in a blender and puree. If using a blender, let the soup cool just a bit before adding it to the blender. 

  4. Once the soup has been pureed, place the soup pot back over low heat and stir in the teaspoon of sugar and red wine vinegar. Then season to taste with salt and pepper.

  5. Last, take the soup off the heat and stir in the heavy cream. If you feel the soup is too thick it can be thinned with a little vegetable broth.

Grilled Cheese and Pesto Croutons


  1. Spread butter on the outside of each slice of bread.

  2. Spread pesto on the inside of each slice of bread.

  3. lace a slice or two of provolone on four slices of bread.

  4. Top with the pesto smeared bread and then place the sandwiches in the skillet and brown on both sides.

  5. Let the sandwiches cool for about 5 minutes before cutting them into small squares like croutons. I like to skewer two or three croutons and then serve them with my soup.


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