Comfort Foods: Make Mine Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese

Ah, comfort foods. We all have them. When it suddenly turns cold. When it’s raining. When we’re sick or stressed, comfort foods can bring immense relief. For some of us all it takes is some good chocolate. For others it’s ice cream. I do have my moments when the supreme comfort food is sweet, generally in the form of rice pudding or tapioca pudding. But most of the time my ultimate comfort food is savory. And for me, nothing quite says comfort like tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich.

And what’s not to love about the combination (well, aside from the calories). They’re creamy and warm, particularly nice for the suddenly cold weather. And they harken back to my childhood when my mother would make me tomato soup (Campbell’s, of course, made with milk) and a grilled cheese sandwich (white bread with Velveeta cheese).

I’ve definitely moved beyond my childhood grilled cheese sandwiches, preferring them now on whole wheat or bakery bread of some kind. I also like to experiment with various combinations of cheeses, and usually add something to the mix, be it sliced green olives, or diced sun dried tomatoes, or even some slices of fruit (apples and pears are particularly nice). But I haven’t strayed very far from the Campbell’s cream of tomato soup. Once in awhile I’ll buy some fancy tomato soup in the deli, but that’s about it. Until today.

After dealing with a lot of stress the past few weeks I decided I really wanted some comfort food this weekend. But instead of Campbell’s, I’m going to try a recipe my friend posted on her blog for making your own tomato soup. With ingredients like Worcestershire sauce (huge fan), white wine, basil, and a variety of tomato products, it sounds like a hit. So this afternoon I’m going to give the recipe a try. Along with it I’ll be making a grilled cheese sandwich (on some whole wheat flat-type bread) made with a mix of cheddar and mozzarella, with sliced green olives and a bit of whole grain mustard. Sounds like the perfect thing for a chilly afternoon.

What about you? Do you have any go-to comfort foods? Do you ever experiment with them, or do you stick with the tried-and-true?

–LinnieGayl

9 thoughts on “Comfort Foods: Make Mine Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese

  1. maggie b.

    My go to comfort food is spaghetti. It does have to either meat sauce or meat balls but other than that it needs nothing fancy. Any kind of Italian style pasta will work in a pinch – lasagna, manicoti – but the best is spaghetti.

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  2. Missie

    Good luck, Linnie! Hope the recipe turns out well for you.

    If you wanted to make it more of a cream of tomato soup (as your mother would make for you), you could stir a bit of milk or cream (skim evaporated milk would be the kindest choice calorically), into each individual serving. (You could stir some into the entire soup batch, of course, but it would be easier to get the creaminess to the level you want with each serving — easier to add a bit more soup or a bit more milk/cream.)

    And now you’ve got me craving your yummy-sounding grilled cheese!! :-)

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  3. LinnieGayl AAR Post author

    Maggie B, spaghetti, or any kind of pasta, is a major comfort food for me as well. My go-to pasta tends to be penne, but I couldn’t begin to tell you why.

    Thanks, Missie. I never even thought about adding some cream to it. I may pick up a can of evaporated skim milk when I get the rest of the ingredients in a couple hours.

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  4. VictoriaS

    This is surely serendipity! I have my 9yr old grandson and nephew over for a sleep-over tonight. This morning we went to the nephew’s soccer game, made a quick run to the store, and now they are in the room playing. I was just thinking to myself…”What am I gonna make for dinner, that does not involve REAL cooking.” And darned if I didn’t come up with Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Soup??!!! Tomato for me and probably chicken noodle for the guys. Today is perfect fall weather for such a comfort meal.

    Spaghetti is also a great comfort dish, but my all time fave is Shepherd’s Pie.

    I think I’m going to that site and get that tomato soup recipe. I’ve never made tomato soup before and am looking forward to trying my hand that!

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  5. LinnieGayl AAR Post author

    VictoriaS, that is serendipity. And what’s really funny is your mention of Shepherd’s Pie. I’ve never made it before but have had it at friends’ homes and in pubs in the UK. It’s on my list of new things to make this winter!

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