Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup
First thing first: the bread. Sourdough is a must. I prefer the long loaf that comes with circular slices for making the perfect size sandwiches. Butter your bread for maximum flavor or use a non-stick cooking spray to cut back on calories.
Next comes the cheese. I always have Tillamook medium cheddar on hand because it is the best. If I have swiss, gruyere, or monterey jack in the fridge then I use some of that too. Use what you like, but a good trick is to grate it rather than slice it. You can easily cover all of the bread without making a weird sort of mosaic and it melts more evenly.
Then customize with whatever toppings you like. My kids usually want theirs plain, but Nate always wants ham. Tonight I had tuna on mine (a taste of my childhood) but I usually go for ham with dijon mustard spread on the bread. You can get creative here and really make it more like a panini. I've done leftover chicken, veggies, spinach, thinly sliced apples, pepperoni, the sky's the limit!
Finally, cook over medium heat. You don't want the pan too hot or your bread will melt before your cheese is melted. After the first side is golden brown, carefully flip the sandwich then cover the pan to trap in heat and help the cheese melt faster.
Serve with hot tomato soup for dipping. We usually stick to Campbell's, but I really love the Roasted Red Pepper and tomato soup that comes in a box. Comfort food at it's finest!