Fancy Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup

What’s your cold weather comfort food?

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After a ridiculously hot summer down here in Georgia (over ninety days of 90°+ weather and no rain!) it cooled down here, and fast! With the chilly evenings and long work days, it was time to bust out one of our cold weather favorites and fall/winter comfort foods; grilled cheese and tomato soup.

Tomato soup usually isn’t too fancy, and there was a time I would have turned down anything other than condensed Campbell’s Tomato Soup. Hell, it’s what I grew up with! But this week, while needing a quick and easy meal, I rummaged through the pantry and dug out a can of Progresso Tomato Basil soup and a can of Progresso Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper soup. Onto the stove they went with the addition of some of the basil my wife, Stacey, grew and dried.

Digging through the pantry can reveal some treasures!

Then it was time to consider the grilled cheese sandwiches. I could have done the simple and quick thing; using regular white bread, butter, and American cheese, but I wanted to “chef it up” a little.

Once more to the pantry, and I found we had a loaf of White Mountain Bread from the Publix grocery store bakery (we love the Publix bakery!). When I hit the fridge, I found we had a lot of different cheeses. From our refrigerator, I selected sliced provolone, American cheese, and shredded Parmesan. This along with some margarine, sliced tomato, and garlic powder and we were going to have some fancy grilled cheese sandwiches!

Scraping together a quick dinner!

A grilled cheese sandwich without American cheese isn’t right. I recently read an article about American foods that people from other countries just don’t understand or like, and American cheese was the number one disliked American food product on the list. Texture and flavor were cited as why non-Americans dislike American cheese, but hell, that’s what makes it so good! American cheese melts like no other cheese! The emulsifiers in American cheese keep it from separating out into an oily mess, and this is why it’s so good on cheeseburgers and grilled cheese sandwiches! American cheese is an integral part of any grilled cheese I’m going to be making!

Just like for any other grilled cheese, I spread margarine onto one side of each slice of the White Mountain Bread, but then I sprinkled a little garlic powder onto each slice. And to really up the flavor, I sprinkled the Parmesan cheese onto the buttered side of the bread and pressed it in so it wouldn’t fall off on it’s way to the griddle. Then it was time for the grilling; slapping the bread margarine, garlic, and Parmesan side down onto a hot griddle, and then layering with provolone cheese, American cheese, and then sliced tomatoes before finishing with the other slice of bread (margarine, garlic, and Parmesan side out).

Building up the fancy grilled cheese!
Grilling away!

Once sufficiently toasted on each side; plate, slice, and serve with the hot soup and enjoy on a cold evening!

Gooey, melty, fancy grilled cheese!
Gotta love comfort food!

The take aways:

  • Anyone can “chef up” a simple meal by looking at what they’ve got on hand!
  • Grilled cheese sandwiches don’t have to be plain or boring!
  • Comment below with what you like on your grilled cheese sandwiches.
  • Comment below with your cold weather comfort food.