pesto grilled cheese + tomato soup

By Lindsey Johnson for Design Mom.

Sometimes you just feel like having a hot lunch, right? I know my kids feel like that sometimes too. For Menu #9 in our Lunch Box Series, we have a classic favorite: tomato soup with grilled cheese. At our house, grilled cheese is acceptable hot or room temperature, so I have no complaints about sending one in a packed lunch. The thing that makes this sandwich special is a layer of basil pesto inside. Yum! Of course, it’s optional, but I think once you try it that way, you’ll never go back to plain cheese. : )

LUNCH MENU #9
– tomato soup
– grilled cheese (with optional smear of pesto)
– grapes
– sugar snap peas
– bunny cookies

TIPS
– To keep the sandwich from getting too soggy (a little sogginess is inevitable) I layer the inside of the sandwich box with a paper towel. It also absorbs any of the excess butter and helps curb greasy fingers, though I suppose those are always inevitable too.
– Before putting the soup into the insulated container, make sure it’s piping hot. You can also pour boiling water into the container and pour it out before adding the soup. Sort of a preheating kind of method.
– Our favorite way to make quick homemade tomato soup is to puree a large can of tomatoes, add a little water or broth to thin it out, add a little Italian seasoning, pinch of sugar, salt and pepper. You can also add a bouillon cube instead of salt.

SOURCES
Thermos water bottle
Thermos funtainer
-Lunch bag from IKEA (available in-store only in US)
Lunch blox