Being frugal is key to being a brainy gourmet. Having said that, you know that I will be starting my tomato soup on a stock from either chicken, turkey, beef or pork... prepared earlier in the week or day.
And, yes, even pork can make a good stock. I like to use the pork butt 'shoulder' or picnic cut. It always has tender meat and though it has tasty fat, it is really leaner than you imagine.
So, if you have your stock, then just add one tube or small can of tomato paste. Stir and toss in some fresh dried herbs, cover, simmer on med heat for 30-40 min. As it bubbles away, prepare rice or any pasta that you prefer.
As for the grilled cheese, using sourdough bread is a favorite. I make em the brainy way or like grandma used to make. Which means that even though its literally a sandwich to hand, it should be buttered on both sides of the bread.
Put one slice in the skillet, butter side down. On top of that slice of bread, lay on two slices of Sharp or Medium Cheddar cheese or Gouda. Cover the cheese with another slice, butter side up. Cover and let them sizzle.
Make a stack of sandwiches, put the soup on the table and call everybody around.
~ Tutti a Tavola!