On a cold, wet day, I asked myself what's better than a grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup? With that thought in mind I decided to give an old favorite a new twist.

How many of you remember mom making grilled cheese sandwiches with lots of melting cheese and perfectly grilled crunchy bread served with a bowl of piping hot tomato soup to dunk it in? It's a favorite childhood memory of mine, only I wanted to update my grilled cheese sandwich by using a nice crusty sourdough bread, and rather than using American cheese I use Gruyere and added some roasted chicken to make it more of a meal.

But why stop there? I have also updated the tomato soup by adding some basil and cheese tortellini. Just add a salad and you're done!

This recipe is great for those nights when you really don't have time to cook but want something satisfying. Just stop by the market and pick up a roasted chicken from the deli, which works great for this recipe. It's already seasoned and cooked so the hard part is already done. Almost any leftover meat, or even roasted veggies you may have on hand can be used for this recipe. It's a great way to use up leftovers. Enjoy!


4 slices of sourdough bread or rustic bread of your choice
Olive oil or non-stick cooking spray
Grated Gruyere or Swiss cheese
Roasted chicken breast, skin removed, sliced or shredded
6 large basil leaves *
6 slices Roma tomatoes
Honey mustard spread (recipe below)
Salt and pepper


Preheat grill or cast iron skillet to medium high.
Brush two slices of bread with olive oil and place oil side down on a baking sheet.
Top with spread, place a good amount of cheese on top, followed by 3 slices of tomato and 3 basil leaves. Place desired amount of roasted chicken on top and season with salt and pepper.

Add more cheese on top of chicken, spread second slice of bread with spread, place on top and brush with oil. Assemble second sandwich the same way. Reduce heat to medium, put sandwiches in skillet or on grill (place close together but not touching) and grill for 8 to 10 minutes or until underside is brown. Flip sandwiches, press down firmly and grill another 7 to 8 minutes or until brown and crunchy. Remove and let rest for a few minutes before slicing. Serve hot.

Dijon Mustard Spread

Ingredients: (makes about 1 cup)

2 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp honey
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp mayonnaise or light mayo
1 packet of Good Seasons Italian dressing
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup light olive oil
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the vinegar, honey, mustard, packet of Italian dressing and sea salt. While continuing to whisk mixture, slowly pour in oil in a small stream, whisking constantly until fully incorporated.
Store any unused portion in the refrigerator.

Tomato Basil Soup with Tortellini


Bertolli rainbow cheese tortellini, cooked
1 family size can of Campbell's tomato soup
Chicken or vegetable broth
4 to 5 fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese


Cook tortellini according to package instructions.

Pour soup into a medium saucepot, fill soup can with chicken (or vegetable) broth, add to soup and stir. Season with salt and pepper and heat through. Once soup is completely heated, remove from heat and stir in basil. Ladle into soup bowls and add desired amount of cooked tortellini. Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese on top and serve.

Food Tips:

* For added nutrition use baby spinach in place of the basil.