Our south Mississippi winters may not be much to worry about, but when it’s wet and dreary, I crave a bowl of hot soup and a sandwich. I think of this oh-so Southern combination as the classic comfort food of my youth. If you are of a certain age, you might remember the Campbells TV commercial, “Soup and sandwich, soup and sandwich, goes together like a horse and carriage?” Funny what you remember, right?
In my youth, my favorite pairing was a grilled cheese sandwich with a bowl of Campbell’s bean and bacon soup or tomato soup. I still love to make a really cheesy grilled cheese sandwich, cut it in half, and dip it in hot soup. What could be better? What is better is to use a good quality, crusty, chewy bread, and a great melting cheese, like Gruyere. I am not knocking the old-school grilled cheese made with white bread and thin slices of American cheese, but any time you use better ingredients, you get better results.
Another great take on the grilled cheese sandwich is to use pimento and cheese. Again, the quality if the cheese will make all the difference in the world. Use the best you can find and afford.
Rouses does often carry Gruyere, by the way.
Another great soup and sandwich combination is your choice of soup, with a really good BLT. Use better quality bread, the best tomatoes you can find (smell them, before you buy, if they don’t smell like tomatoes, they won’t be very good). But what really makes a difference is the quality of the bacon. Hands down the best comes from Benton’s Bacon and Ham. You can’t find it in stores, but it is pretty easy to order on-line.
I know you are going to roll your eyes at this sandwich idea, but let me tell you, it sure is good! Thick slices of Span, saluted until well browned, on good bread, mayo, lettuce and tomato, or make it an open-faced sandwich, top with cheese and run under the broiler until the cheese melts. I am not kidding; this is a great sandwich.
If you want to go over the top, you can always go for the Elvis. It was Elvis Presley’s favorite and was a sandwich made with peanut butter, sliced banana, and bacon. It may sound weird, but it is delicious.
If you are just not in the mood to cook, jump in the car and find your way to the Biloxi Green House (G.E. Ohr Street). They have a daily soup special and a great grilled cheese.
I hope I have given you an idea or two to brighten up a dreary south Mississippi winter’s day!