You know the kind of night I’m talking about. It’s pouring rain, the sky is gray and you don’t really feel like cooking, but you don’t feel like takeout either. In Vancouver we have these a lot, so I’ve perfected the solution. Grilled cheese and tomato soup, with pickles on the side!
I’m a purist when it comes to lots of things, and grilled cheese sandwiches are no exception. You have to use white bread (sourdough is ok) and real butter. And you absolutely have to use good quality cheese. It can be cheddar, Jarlsberg, pepper jack or even brie, just pick what makes you happy. I’m also not opposed to add-ins, like caramelized onions, cranberry sauce (try it if you’re using brie), tomatoes, or pickles. I don’t often add things to mine because I just really like cheese, but I get that everyone is different. Just don’t try to be all healthy and use whole wheat bread, it’s never a good choice.
And the other piece of the puzzle is tomato soup. I never make my own, because I can’t get enough quality tomatoes for under $30, so I buy the creamy tomato from Pacific Organic. It’s simple and delicious and makes a great dip for your sandwich. Wolfgang Puck‘s isn’t bad, but it’s expensive for what you get. If you don’t have time to think about soup, you could just bring out the ketchup, a very suitable alternative.
And last but not least, the piece de resistance, the pickle! I absolutely love pickles. I’ll take pickles over chocolate any day of the week, and the one very unfortunate thing about living in Canada is the absence of my favourite, Claussen pickles (seriously, if anyone knows where to get these in Vancouver let me know!). If you’ve had them you know, and if you’ve never had the pleasure don’t worry about it; it’s best not to know what you’re missing. They’re nice and crunchy and not too salty. The juice from the jar makes a great addition to a dirty martini as well.
So the next time you come home on a crappy night and think about wandering to your nearest burger joint, do the grilled cheese and tomato soup combo instead. It’s just as satisfying, way more healthy, and it will feed your soul.