Diva of a Grilled Cheese for IHCC

Welcome to this week’s I Heart Cooking Clubs theme:  Retro!  Ruth has many retro recipes, whether it’s a recipe from a vintage issue of Gourmet, or a retro favorite from back in the day. We’re going back in time.

Instead of digging through my old Gourmet copies, I decided to go with two retro flavors:  grilled cheese and tomato soup.   (Let me be honest, I originally had this post scheduled for the Cabin Fever week but I never got it posted.)   What could be more vintage than ooey-gooey cheesy sandwiches dunked in a creamy tomato soup?  I couldn’t think of anything more fitting for Retro Week.


Ruth’s tomato soup is robust and red and roasted.   It’s a simple recipe using a base of roasted tomatoes.   Instead of adding water to thin the tomato base, I added a bit of white wine.  I also used tomatoes, onions, garlic, rosemary and basil that I roasted and froze this summer.   All I needed to do was defrost, blend and heat.  Click here for Ruth’s recipe.   Here’s mine (done in true Ruth fashion).

Diva of a Tomato Soup

Debra (with nods to Ruth)

My tomatoes, onions and garlic were already roasted and frozen. All I needed to do was blend.


  • 1 quart roasted tomatoes, onions and garlic (with herbs)
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1 – 1 1/2 c. white wine
  • 1/2 c. cream
  • Salt and pepper to tasted


  1. Blend tomato mixture into a smooth puree. Add water and wine to the blender and blend until you have the consistency you desire.
  2. Pour into a large sauce pan. Heat to bubbling.
  3. Stir in cream before serving. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.

Yield: 4

While soup is heating up, make the grilled cheese.   The directions make about 2 1/2 sandwiches.


Diva of a Grilled Cheese

Ruth Reichle  (The original recipe can be found in My Kitchen Year or another adaption can be found here.)

Seriously. What a sandwich. If you think you’ve had the best grilled cheese ever, think again.


  • 8 oz. grated sharp cheddar
  • 1-2 green onions, chopped fine
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-2 T. butter
  • 1-2 T. mayonnaise
  • 6 slices sourdough bread


  1. Place about 3/4 of the grated cheese in a small mixing bowl. Set aside.
  2. Chop green onions and mince garlic. Mix the onions and garlic in with the cheese.
  3. utter one side of thickly sliced bread and heap as much of the mixture as possible between the slices (butter facing in). Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise on the outside of the bread (this will keep it from scorching on the griddle). Press the reserved grated cheese to the outside of the bread, where it will create a wonderfully crisp and shaggy crust, giving your sandwich an entirely new dimension. (For less mess, it helps to apply the mayonnaise and cheese first on one side only, lay that side on the griddle, then quickly do the remaining top side while the bottom is sizzling.)
  4. Fry on a heated nonstick griddle or in a nonstick skillet about 4 minutes a side, until the cheese is softly melted.

Yield: 2-3 sandwiches

What a delicious and retro meal.  It reminded me of those quick suppers we had before ballgames in JH and HS.  (Only then it was canned cream of tomato soup and sandwiches made with wonder bread and waxy cheese.)

There’s a few more weeks for Ruth as the featured chef at I Heart Cooking Clubs.  Who will be next?  That is the question.

I’m linking up with Souper Sundays as well at Deb’s Kahakai Kitchen.  

13 comments to Diva of a Grilled Cheese for IHCC