Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Stepping Up Your Grilled Cheese Game

Grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup is a staple of meatless Lents, and although they can be pretty run-of-the-mill food, it's possible to elevate them to another level.

Let's start with the tomato soup.  Until I made this version, I had never been able to get past bite #2 of a bowl of tomato soup.  Then I made this, at the request of a husband who's very fond of soup with his grilled cheese.

Creamy Tomato Soup
1 medium onion
2 Tbsp butter
2 cans diced tomatoes
2 cans tomato soup or cartons of soup (Aldi sells a Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup that's excellent here)
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 8 oz package cream cheese, cubed

Saute onions in butter. Stir in tomatoes, soup, milk, and spices. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer ten minutes. Stir in cheese until melted (or "melty").

Now let's move on to the sandwich portion of our meal.  For tips on your grilled-cheese technique, check out The Kitchn.  For a recipe that takes some special ingredients but will knock your socks off, try Ina Garten's Ultimate Grilled Cheese (omit the bacon for a meatless sandwich).  And finally, an option for your cheese-averse child (don't laugh, and don't worry - I grew out of it): a grilled peanut butter sandwich is a great alternative.

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