Tomato soup and grilled cheese: a love story

Come close, children. I’m about to tell you a story. The story of a love that will endure throughout the ages.

Tomato soup and grilled cheese.

Tomato soup and grilled cheese

Tomato soup and grilled cheese: Goes together like peas and carrots.

When I feel chilled to the core by the arctic blast of winter, some tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich are what I need to warm the cockles of my heart. Even though I’m eager to crunch into the toasted bread and taste the warm, melted cheese as soon as possible, I have learned the key to the perfect grilled cheese sandwich is patience.

Diana and The Supremes said it best: You can’t hurry love.

A grilled cheese sandwich, like any great romance, cannot be rushed. Turn up the heat too high and too fast your sandwich will burn, leaving a bad taste in your mouth. Have the heat just right, but don’t put in the time needed to see how things develop, you’ll have a sandwich that looks good on the outside, but is cold on the inside. But give that sandwich time to mature, and you’ll have a perfect sandwich; a sandwich that leaves you feeling all gooey inside and feeds your spirit.

While you’re giving your sandwich its “space,” you can cultivate your other interests—namely preparing your tomato soup. Open the can of condensed soup, empty the contents into the pan, gently stir in the water (or milk if you prefer) and turn up the heat. Now, check on your sandwich; it’s probably time to turn it.

Now wait a just a little bit longer.

Once the bread is toasted, the cheese has melted to the perfect consistency and the soup is at the perfect soul-warming temperature, you are ready to experience the most heavenly union: dipping your sandwich into the soup and eating it. The crispy, salty bread and melted cheese is the perfect mate to the acidic tang of the tomato soup. Delicious!

And they lived happily ever after (at least I did, until I ran out of sandwich).

Tomorrow, April 12, is National Grilled Cheese Sandwich day. I can’t think of a more perfect time to toast this union. If you don’t know how to make one, here are few resources to get you started:

  • For the beginner, Kraft’s basic sandwich recipe (it even has video if you’re kitchen challenged) is found here.
  • Want to get a little more creative? The Food Network offers 50 Grilled Cheese variations to inspire you!
  • Do you have mad kitchen skillz and a refined palate? Check out Martha Stewart’s Grilled Cheese for Grown-ups.

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