Food52's Managing Editor Brette Warshaw is throwing no-stress weeknight parties for anyone, anytime, and (almost) every kitchen. You're invited.
Today: Grilled cheese and tomato soup, all done up for dinner.
There are a lot of things to say about grilled cheese and tomato soup.
I could tell you what a great combination it is, how timeless, how classic. I could tell you how simple it is to make. I could tell you that eating it is fun and thrilling and gleefully childlike. I could throw around terms like tried and true and comfort food and just like a kid again. I could tell you all of these things, but I know -- I know! -- that you already know them.
So what I'm going to tell you, instead, is that you can make a party out of grilled cheese and tomato soup: a party that doesn't feel lazily thrown-together, or meager, or cheap. You can fancy it up without adding much work: you can make pesto to slather onto it, you can serve it with white wine. You can cap the whole thing off with peanut butter cookies drenched in milk. You call the shots; you're the host. And I bet that this is exactly what your guests want to eat on a Monday.
Two nights before your party: Make the dough for the Peanut Butter Cookies.
Before guests arrive: Make the caesar dressing, and store it in the fridge.
Dinner time! Give your guests two slices of bread, and lay out the pesto, applesauce, and cheese. Have them build their own grilled cheeses, then head into the kitchen and grill 'em up. While those are sizzling in their pans, reheat your soup. Slice your avocado, toss your salad, and bring it all out to the table.
When it's time for dessert: Bring out the cookies. Provide cups, bowls, and a cold pitcher of good whole milk. Encourage dippage or cookie-cereal-ing: break up your cookies, pour milk over them, and eat it all with a spoon. Yes. Do it.