Grilled cheese and tomato soup are an iconic pairing, and the story behind this classic combo is more historically rooted than you may realize.
The stock market crash of 1929 kickstarted the decade-long Great Depression and made inexpensive products with long shelf lives essential.
Things like spam, canned vegetables and soups, and other processed foods allowed people to have a substantial meal without the higher cost of fresh, whole ingredients.
Grilled cheese sandwiches became a staple at this time. It was paired with tomato soup in government institutions, military mess halls, and school lunch rooms during WWII.
Tomato soup was readily available and shelf-stable and was an easy and delicious way to complement the basic sandwich, and thus the classic pairing got its roots.