Tomato and Rice Soup with Grilled Cheese Dippers

Tomato and rice soup with grilled cheese dippers – a savory, sweet tomato and rice soup that’s filling and hearty. Grilled cheese dippers help scoop up every last bit of this delicious soup.

Tomato and Rice Soup | Green Valley Kitchen

Los Angeles has been hit with a cold snap – it was 35 degrees when I woke up this morning which is very unusual for LA.  So I’ve decided to make tomato and rice soup with grilled cheese dippers.  This tomato and rice soup is a hearty, filling soup using crushed tomatoes and basmati rice.   And the grilled cheese dippers, well, they are just a delicious way to scoop up every last bit of soup.

This is a rich tomatoey soup using crushed tomatoes and a touch of tomato paste.  First, onions and garlic are sautéed.  Next, a little tomato paste and dried thyme are added to the pot and sautéed with the onions and garlic.  Then crushed tomatoes, vegetable stock and basmati rice are added to the pot.  The soup simmers for 30 minutes and finally a generous dose of cheddar cheese is added.   The cheese completely blends into the soup and helps to mellow the tomatoes’ acidic taste into a savory, slightly sweet, filling soup.

Usually cream is added to this type of soup – but I went with cheddar cheese instead.  I figured who has cream in the fridge all the time.  I wanted this to be the kind of soup that you don’t need to buy anything special for – all the ingredients should be in either the pantry or fridge – basically an easy, tasty soup that you can whip up whenever the mood strikes.

This soup is so thick it could almost be called a stew.  If you want a thinner soup then puree half or add a bit more stock until you reach the desired consistency.  But I like this soup thick – and I think you will too.

Grilled cheese dippers are grilled cheese sandwich that you cut up into dipping size.  Because the soup has a savory sweetness to it, the grilled cheese should have a bit of bite – so I went with a colby pepper jack cheese.  The spiciness of the pepper jack works really well with this soup.

Tomato and Rice Soup | Green Valley Kitchen

On a personal note – I just want to thank everyone who has taken the time to read my blog this year.  Whether you’re visiting via email delivery, RSS feed or if you’re just stopping by from time to time to see what’s up, I really appreciate your support.  This is my first year of blogging and it’s been an extremely fun and rewarding hobby.  So thank you again and wishing you all a wonderful 2015!

A couple of notes:

Cut the grilled cheese sandwiches up into about 8 to 10 “dipper” sized pieces.

I used vegetable stock but if you don’t have that handy, then add 3 cups of water and one veggie bouillon cube.

No need to have any cooked rice on hand when making this, just add the uncooked basmati rice to the soup and it will cook as the pot simmers for 30 minutes.

If you refrigerate the soup over night – it will be really thick the next day.  It should thin out a bit when you heat it up but you can always add a little water or stock to thin it if you want.

When making grilled cheese, I used to always put butter in the pan and then add the bread.  I don’t know if I’m just late to the party, but I read somewhere that you are supposed to butter the bread and add it to the pan instead.  I did that this time and it worked much better – so give it a try.


Tomato and Rice Soup with Grilled Cheese Dippers

A savory, sweet tomato and rice soup that’s filling and hearty. Grilled cheese dippers help scoop up every last bit of this delicious soup.

  • Author: Geraldine
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 2 to 4 1x
  • Category: Soup


  • 1 large onion – finely diced
  • 2 garlic cubes – minced
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp of dried thyme
  • 8 twists of black pepper
  • 128 oz can of crushed tomatoes – I used the Contadina brand.
  • 3 cups of vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup of uncooked basmati rice
  • 3/4 cup of white cheddar cheese
  • 4 slices of sour dough bread
  • 4 slices of colby pepper jack cheese
  • Softened butter to butter bread


  1. In a soup pot, sauté the onion in the olive oil over low heat for 10 minutes.
  2. Add garlic to onion mixture and saute for 1 minute.
  3. Add tomato paste, dried thyme and black pepper to the onion mixture and sauté for 2 minutes over low heat.
  4. Add crushed tomatoes, stock and basmati rice. Bring soup to a boil and turn down to low to simmer for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally so rice does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
  5. Add cheddar cheese and stir for a minute or so so that it has completely blended into the soup.
  6. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat.
  7. Butter one side of each piece of sour dough bread. Add cheese to bread – butter side of bread should be on the outside of the bread – cheese on the inside.
  8. Grill sandwiches on both sides over medium heat until golden and the cheese has melted.
  9. Cut each sandwich into 8 to 10 pieces and serve with the soup.
  10. Serves 2 large bowls or 4 small bowls of soup.

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22 comments on “Tomato and Rice Soup with Grilled Cheese Dippers

  1. Erica

    Would like to make this soup dairy free. Is there anything that you would recommend in substitution for the cheese? Or just leave it out?

    1. Geraldine Post author

      Hi Erica – I haven’t made the soup without cheese and the cheese really plays a big part in making this soup so good. You could try adding a bit more rice (maybe one additional Tbs) and then pureeing a cup of the soup at the end and adding it back into the soup pot – that may work to take the place of the cheese – but I haven’t tried it so let me know if you do and how it worked out. Also, if you want a vegan soup there are a couple on my site – the lentil and quinoa soup is really good.

  2. Rebecca

    This soup looks so yummy, Geraldine! And so healthy too! You can’t beat a nice tomato soup when the cold weather hits – perfect warming, winter food. Just pinned!

  3. Isadora @ she likes food

    the girl sitting next to me at lunch today was eating a huge grilled cheese that looked amazing and I have been craving one ever since! There is not better way to eat grilled cheese than with tomato soup and this looks perfect! I love the addition of the rice too. Now my craving is in full gear 🙂

    1. Geraldine Post author

      Thanks, Isadora! Don’t you just hate food envy – when you see what someone else has ordered and you wish you had ordered that. Hope you get your grilled cheese fix soon!

  4. Julia | Orchard Street Kitchen

    Ooh, this soup looks so comforting and delicious. I think we all need hearty soups like these to keep us warm in the winter! And I love the look of those grilled cheese dippers – what a fun idea, Geraldine! I hope your year is off to a wonderful start 🙂

    1. Geraldine Post author

      Thanks so much, Julia! Definitely soup weather here – it’s hard to complain though when the rest of the country is experience really low temperatures – but for LA it’s really chilly. Wishing you a wonderful 2015!

  5. Traci | Vanilla And Bean

    It has been bitter cold up here in Settle too! Far colder than normal… however, the rain has returned so that should warm things up a bit!

    Lovely soup, Geraldine! I like your take on grilled cheese dippers too… finger foods. I’d get in trouble with them I think because I’d lose track of how many I eat, eating way more than allowed! hehe

    I’m so glad to have found your blog! Your photography is inspiring and your recipes are fabulous! Thank you for your support and always your blogging tips! Hoping 2015 is fantastic for you!

  6. Jess @ whatjessicabakednext

    This soup sounds and looks super duper comforting and delicious! LA is probably a whole lot warmer than it is here! Definitely need that soup to deal with the frosty and cold days! 😀 Bookmarking to try, thanks for sharing! And happy new year Geraldine!


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