I just found out that it’s National Grilled Cheese Day today and to say that I am overreacting over here about the serendipitous timing of it all is might be a slight understatement. And completely predictable for all who know me well. Could it be that I’ve got just a smidgen of psychic ability? Perhaps. You know, I’ve always felt that I just–
Ah, I’m getting away from the point here.
The point is that I have been planning to make these Grilled Cheese Tomato Soup Sticks for… ugh, what feels like eons now, and I just so happened to give them a go this week. I’ve got to admit, I wasn’t so sure how the whole “freezing tomato soup & putting it inside of the sandwich” thing was going to turn out, but I just had this gut feeling that it would work out. Shall we call it a… psychic feeling? Okay, we shan’t.
The way the Grilled Cheese Tomato Soup Sticks do work without getting soggy is that the frozen tomato soup is wrapped up in the cheese slices, which forms a barrier preventing the soup from melting directly into the bread. When the soup melts from the heat of the grilled cheese sticks frying up, it combines a bit with the cheddar surrounding it, but mainly stays in the center of the stick, exactly where we want it.
You get the perfect amount of tomato soup in every bite. No dunking required.
And again, no dunk of course means no soggy bread! I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite things about a great grilled cheese is the crispiness of the buttery-fried exterior. But the main reason to make these isn’t sogginess prevention. It’s that they’re simply a ton of fun. Fun to make, fun to eat; childhood comfort food in a new form that you get as much of a kick out of now as you would have when you were 12.
Not to mention, the Grilled Cheese Tomato Soup Sticks make surprisingly great party food. You can make them in advance and keep them warm in a 200 degree oven until you’re ready to serve. They’re almost like mozzarella sticks and marinara dip except tastier, which is saying a lot! In other words, people devour these things.
And by people, I truly do mean a bunch of people, not just me. Though I did eat like eight billion of them this week. You can’t blame me.
- 1 (10 ounce) can condensed tomato soup
- 10 slices square sandwich bread
- 1 egg, beaten
- 10 slices sharp cheddar cheese or American cheese
- 6 tablespoons butter, divided
- Chopped chives, to serve, optional
- Pour the condensed tomato soup into a gallon-sized sealable plastic bag. Squeeze the air out, seal, and place on a small baking sheet or other small, flat surface. Make sure the soup is evenly distributed in the bag and transfer to the freezer. Freeze until solid, about 30-45 minutes.
- After about 25 minutes (or when the tomato soup just starts to feel like it is firming up), start to roll the bread out. Using a rolling pin (or even the empty soup can), gently flatten the sandwich bread slices, crust and all. Brush the edges of the bread with beaten egg to help seal. Place a slice of cheese in the center of each slice of bread. Set aside.
- Take the frozen tomato soup out and cut open the plastic bag to remove. Use a sharp knife to cut the frozen tomato soup into sticks that will fit on top of the cheese– roughly the size of a julienne cut. See the recipe video in the blog post for a visual example.
- Working quickly, place a tomato soup stick on top of the cheese, at the edge closest to you. Roll the bread tightly over, and continue to roll so that the tomato soup is in the center. Gently pinch the sides to seal. Repeat until all of the Grilled Cheese Tomato Soup Sticks have been formed, popping the tomato soup back in the freezer in between if it starts to soften too much to handle.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Place the Grilled Cheese Tomato Soup Sticks in the skillet, seam-side down, in batches of 3-4. Allow them to lightly brown on the bottom and then turn occasionally until browned all over as desired. Add additional butter as needed to the skillet and repeat until all of the sticks have been fried.
- Allow the sticks to cool for 5 minutes and sprinkle with chopped chives. Serve warm.
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