Pretty white mug with tomato soup & grilled cheese croutons

Tomato Vodka Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons (vegetarian & gluten free)

Large white mugs of tomato soup with grilled cheese croutons

Who doesn’t love the combo of tomato soup & grilled cheese! This fun twist on the diner classic is a hit with those who do, and is sure to change the minds of those who don’t. Using corn-made Smirnoff vodka and gluten free bread for the croutons keeps it gluten free. Having it ready in less than 30 minutes is a total bonus!

Tomato soup simmering in a pot

Using 3 different tomato products gives a well-rounded tomato taste, and a 10 minute simmer keeps it light. Tomato paste, canned whole tomatoes & tomato passata (strained tomatoes) are pantry staples, and as we all know – a well stocked pantry is essential to good cooking & good eating.


While you can leave out the vodka, the alcohol is cooked off and much like cooking with wine, leaves an interesting flavour note. Puréeing the soup makes it creamy, without the use of any dairy products. Using vegetable stock keeps it vegetarian. 

A pot of tomato vodka soup

If you’re not opposed to using dairy, you can finish the soup with a bit of cream, but it really doesn’t need it. It’ll add unnecessary calories, and dilute the soup. But of course if you’re making it – it’s your call! Probably 1/4 cup would do it.

Pretty White Mugs with Tomato Vodka Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

If gluten is not an issue, use your favourite bread for the grilled cheese croutons. I’ve found that sourdough works exceptionally well, as does using a mix of melting cheeses – including a bit of mozzarella for that gooey stretch… that everybody loves!

Pretty white mug with tomato vodka soup topped with grilled cheese croutons

Next time someone requests this classic duo from you, serve them Tomato Vodka Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons. It’s sure to make their day. Better make extra croutons!

Note: while the soup is vegetarian, you’ll need a vegan cheese/plant based option to keep the croutons so. 

Tomato Vodka Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons
Serves 4
A fun twist on the classic diner duo; made gluten free and ready in less than 30 minutes.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
for the soup
  1. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  2. 1/2 medium onion, diced
  3. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  5. 2 cups stock (vegetable to keep it vegetarian, chicken if it’s not an issue)
  6. 14 ounces canned Italian plum tomatoes, chopped, with the juices
  7. 7 ounces tomato passata (strained tomatoes)
  8. 1/8 cup vodka (use Smirnoff for gluten free)
  9. 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  10. 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  11. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
for the grilled cheese croutons
  1. 2 slices GF bread
  2. 1/2 cup approx. grated melting cheeses (cheddar, mozzarella, jack - I use a combo)
for the soup
  1. In large pot heat oil. Add onion, a pinch of salt & pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally for approx. 5 minutes.
  2. Add garlic stirring for 1 minute until fragrant.
  3. Stir in tomato paste, cooking for 2 minutes longer.
  4. Add stock, tomatoes, passata, vodka and remainder of seasonings, bring to a boil.
  5. Lower heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and let cool slightly; purée using your favourite appliance.
for the grilled cheese croutons
  1. 2 slices bread (use GF if necessary)
  2. 1/2 - 1 cup approx. grated cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, jack, etc) depending on bread size
  3. Make the grilled cheese and cut it into crouton sizes pieces. Make 2 if you really like the idea or if you’d like extra to serve on the side.
  1. *Note: omit the vodka if you prefer (serving to children, pregnant women, etc)
  2. **Note: if gluten is not an issue, use your fave bread for the croutons (I recommend sourdough)
farm girl city chef