Grown-Up Grilled Cheese with Tomato Soup for #SundaySupper

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Grown-Up Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

Grilled Cheese: The Classic Retro Food

I grew up in the 70s.

Yes, I wore bell bottoms. Yes, I listened to the Bee Gees. Yes, I had a bowl haircut.

I was cool. 😉

Several things come to mind when I think of the food of my childhood. Here are just a few:  Spam, Deviled Ham, Deviled Eggs, Vienna Sausages, Pimento Cheese Sandwiches on white bread, Charlie’s Chips, Orange Julius… and, of course, the capo di tutti capi of all 70s foods for me: the grilled cheese sandwich. White bread, butter, and American cheese. Wow.

The Grilled Cheese Sandwich: quick, easy, buttery, warm, filling. And coupled with a hot bowl of Campbell’s Tomato Soup sprinkled with black pepper… Oh my goodness! I loved that!

Just thinking about it, I’m in 70s heaven! Wait! Is that the Bee Gees I hear? 😉

Grown-Up Grilled Cheese

I have to be honest. I’m not much for American cheese anymore. As a matter of fact, I’m really not much into processed foods anymore. Unfortunately, it seems like most of the foods I ate growing were processed. Must have been a trend in the 70s.

For this week’s #SundaySupper, I decided to go retro, but in a more natural (and less processed) way.

For the grilled cheese sandwich, I am using artisan bread, mozzarella, and a spinach pesto. The tomato soup is made will all natural ingredients. I am “cheating” a little bit, though. I am using Pomi chopped tomatoes, instead of crushing the tomatoes myself. But, Pomi tomatoes are all natural, so I’m cool with that.

Check out these hip recipes and get into the retro groove!

For the Spinach Pesto


  • 1 1/2 cups baby spinach (packed)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons pecans (toasted)
  • 4 oz feta cheeese
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste


Combine everything in a food processor and blend.

For the Grilled Cheese Sandwich


  • 1 tablespoon butter (we prefer KerryGold!)
  • 2 slices bread (we used an artisan Italian loaf)
  • 1/2 cup fresh Mozzerella, grated
  • 3 tablespoons of the spinach pesto


  1. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat.
  2. Butter the outside of each slice of bread, sprinkle half of the cheeses on the inside of one slice of bread, top with the spinach pesto, the remaining cheese and finally the other slice of bread… You’re trying to keep the pesto “sandwiched” in the middle.
  3. Place the sandwich in the skillet and cook until golden brown and the cheese has melted… about 3 minutes on each side.

And We Can’t Forget the Tomato Soup…

What’s a grilled cheese sandwich without tomato soup?


So I made this tomato soup to go with the grilled cheese:


  • 2 boxes (26 oz each) of Pomi chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, grated
  • 3 to 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter (we prefer Kerrygold!)
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup of Half & Half (or 1/2 cup of heavy cream)
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste


  1. Heat olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion, carrots, and garlic. Saute until softened (about 10 minutes).
  3. Add the tomatoes, the chicken stock, bay leaves and butter.
  4. Simmer until the veggies are tender, about 30 minutes.
  5. Remove the bay leaves, and add the basil and the cream or Half & Half.
  6. Puree with a handheld immersion blender until smooth.

Grown-Up Tomato Soup

It’s a #Retro Food Party for #SundaySupper This Week!

Here’s what Isabel at has to say about this Retro food party:

Does Sunday Supper bring you back to your childhood? Does it bring back memories of a favorite dish?  Time Around the Family Table has a way of creating the most memorable moments. It is amazing how we can smell or just think of a favorite food and immediately be transported back to the moment we enjoyed it.

This Week’s Sunday Supper is all about “Retro Recipes.” Those food memories that immediately take us back in time. Some of us enjoyed them so much that we will never change the mom or grandma’s recipe. Other’s were ready to reinvent and update their favorite Retro Recipe.

Join us Around the Family Table this Sunday at 7pm Eastern Time and share your favorite Retro Food Memory with us!

Sunday Supper Retro Appetizers:

Sunday Supper Retro Salads:

Sunday Supper Retro Breads and Sandwiches:

SundaySupper Main Dishes:

Sunday Supper Retro Sides and Veggies:

Sunday Supper Retro Desserts and Cocktails:

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter each Sunday. We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET and you do not want to miss out on the fun. Follow the#SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here → Sunday Supper Movement.

#Retro food: What’s YOUR fav?

Tell me in the comments below!

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  • Juanita’s Cocina

    That grilled cheese is calling my name!

  • Sherron Nagle Watson

    We must have been raised in the same generation–other than my hair was feathered (like Farah Fawcet’s). I love the use of better cheese and artisan bread…lip smacking good friend!

    • Jeff Young

      Thanks! And I don’t even have hair anymore. 😉 LOL!

  • Courtney @ Neighborfood

    Grilled cheese and tomato soup is my ultimate comfort food and has been since childhood. Even as a grown up, I would still rather have this than any other food on a cold, dreary night. I love that you added mint and feta to your pesto! Definitely going to have to try that next time!

    • Jeff Young

      The addition of mint makes this so good! And the feta too, of course. OPA!

  • Tammi @ Momma’s Meals

    Love this combo!! Love the pesto sauce addition. I’ve always wanted to make my own tomato soup and haven’t yet, thanks for the recipe!

    • Jeff Young

      You’re welcome! Bon appetit!

  • Webicurean

    I just made this a couple of weeks ago–boy did that take me back. I love Pomi tomatoes–I didn’t have any on hand, so I used a can of San Marzano, and the soup seemed too acidic. Think I’ll pick up some Pomi and give your version a whirl!

    • Jeff Young

      LOVE San Marzano! The only problem is the packaging… Cans just aren’t the best. They can (no pun intended!) taint the flavor of what’s inside. The paper-based boxes that Pomi uses keep the tomatoes fresh without the fear of tainting or leeching.

  • Flour On My Face

    Did we grow up together? LOL We ate grilled cheese and tomato soups all the time. Now I like to as a little fresh or dried rosemary to the butter before I put it on the bread and cook it.

    I love your updated and more healthy version!

    • Jeff Young

      Fresh rosemary… YUM! This would be a crazy-good addition!

  • Conni

    This takes me back to Saturday afternoons in my mom’s kitchen. Grilled Cheese & tomato soup – and don’t forget the oyster crackers! Thanks again for all your help!!

    • Jeff Young

      Oh snap! The crackers! I forgot the crackers! Oh well, there’s always next time, right?

  • Dinnersdishesdessert

    What a great recipe for the retro theme! My husband will not even come close to American cheese, so he would appreciate this!

    • Jeff Young

      Yeah, nothing like processed cheese, right? So what kind of cheese would y’all use? I would love to know! Thanks!

  • Hezzi-Ds Books&Cooks

    That spinach pesto sounds to die for! I have such fun making twists on traditional grilled cheese. Your version looks great.

    • Jeff Young

      Yeah, my wife commented that we need to make that spinach pesto a house staple… something that we always have on hand. You can use it in so many different ways.

  • Paula @ Vintage Kitchen

    Gorgeous take on the classics! That grilled sandwich is perfect for today´s way of eating.

  • Chris Baccus

    Classic. Tomato soup is a must with grilled cheese as I can see you are fully aware.

  • Renee Dobbs

    Classic soup and sandwich combination. I also love Pomi tomatoes and sauce and use it often.

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  • Susan P.

    70’s or 80’s I think we all had the white bread/american cheese combo! Love the addition of feta in this!

  • Nancy

    lol – to prove that trends are always making comebacks, I’m a child of the 80s and I also wore bell bottoms (during high school), had a bowl cut most of my life (so tragic), and I still listen to the Beegees to this day. I am in love with your grilled cheese sammich – it looks so gloriously golden, crunchy, and cheesy. I could eat one everyday if I could!

  • Carla

    Funny – I don’t eat as much processed stuff as I did when I was kid, yet waxy American cheese is the only cheese I’ll eat on my grilled cheese. Especially when you add bacon and jalapeno slices! I do like your grown up version with the spinach pesto and of course homemade tomato soup!

  • beate weiss-krull

    Oh yes, tomato soup & grilled cheese sandwich. Your grown up version sounds fantastic. By the way, I also hear Bee Gees in my house 😉

  • Faye Leong

    What a fun post! I am also from the 70’s! The grilled cheese sandwich looks great and is perfectly match with the tomatoes soup….yummy!

  • cupcakekalechip

    I’m a bit late getting around to all of last week’s recipes, but this sounds wonderful. I do love a “fancy pants” grilled cheese, as I like to call them.

  • Amanda

    Your tomato soup sounds 100 times better than that can of Campbell’s!

  • JohnK

    Being second of seven kids we never had grilled cheese sandwiches — we had toasted cheese sandwiches (ended up using a whole loaf of bread). In oven place top rack up near the broiler element; fill rack with bread, toasting on one side, remove when browned. Butter (the toasted side) of half the slices, cover the other half of the slices with grated cheese. Place buttered slices on top of the cheesed slices of bread. Put back into the oven toasting the untoasted (outsides) of the bread. Just as good without greasy fingers and you can make many at a time — a must for a large family.

    • Jeff Young

      Great suggestion, John! As a matter of fact, a variation on that is one of my kids’ favorite snack / light lunch: open-faced cheese toast… melted in the oven. Thanks for the idea!

  • Jennie @themessybakerblog

    You had me at tomato soup. Your version of this meal looks amazing. I love the pesto on the grilled cheese.

  • www.sensationcaviar

    My mouth is watering…this looks absolutely delicious and I like your presentations. I agree it looks so elegant.