April 12th is National Grilled Cheese Day!
There are few things more mouth-watering than melted cheese between two slices of bread paired with a cup of tomato soup. One of life's simplest pleasures is easy to make. With just a few simple ingredients like cheese, bread, onions and tomatoes, you can have the comforting meal of a grilled cheese with tomato soup.
Watch the video above to learn how to make a grilled cheese sandwich and creamy tomato soup.
3-4 cloves of garlic
2 cans of whole peeled tomatoes
1 Tbsp oil
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1 Tbsp cream
pesto or basil (optional)
Want to lighten up that grilled cheese? We can help.
1. Pick the right cheese:
When it comes to grilled cheese, not all cheese is created equal. Some people love American cheese. It has superior melting qualities, but it falls short on flavor (not to mention that it’s not even really cheese to begin with). So skip mild-flavored cheeses and opt for ones with a stronger flavor—like sharp, or even extra-sharp, Cheddar. You’ll get more bang for your buck and because it’s big on flavor you won’t have to use as much, which helps cut fat and calories.
2. Think beyond cheese for flavor:
OK, so cheese is a necessary ingredient. But you don’t have to have mounds of it to make the perfect grilled cheese sandwich. You can get that hit of soft melted loveliness that cheese contributes by using just a little—and mixing it with other ingredients like mashed beans or even salsa and hot chiles. They not only contribute their own unique flavor, but they help carry the benefits of the cheese, the salty ooey-gooey factor, without lots of fat and calories.
3. Choose better bread:
Conjure an iconic image of grilled cheese in your mind and it more than likely is made with white bread. But whole-grain breads are great for grilled cheese too. If you upgrade to a slightly fancier, country-style loaf (not typical sandwich bread wrapped in plastic) you’ll get better flavor, more bite and a crisper crust—not to mention added fiber.
4. Master a crispy crust:
Grilled cheese is actually a misnomer. It should be called "fried cheese sandwich" since it’s slathered in fat and not actually grilled. The butter does play a role in creating that nice golden outer crust, but you can get that without adding fat. How? Use a panini maker. The hot surface compresses the bread, helping it crisp up naturally. Don’t have a panini maker? No problem. You can mimic a panini press at home.
5. Know that everything isn’t better with butter:
The butter on the outside of a grilled cheese sandwich not only crisps up the crust, but gives it richness as well. But since grilled cheese is already rich (Hello! The cheese!), you really don’t need butter for the flavor either. Instead, experiment with creamy spreads you put inside that are lower in fat, such as reduced-fat mayonnaise with a squeeze of lemon or reduced-fat sour cream mixed with chopped fresh herbs.
From integrating hot chiles to adding strawberry jam, check out some of our favorite grilled cheese recipe ideas.
Part of HuffPost Food Group