It got down to 40 degrees last night, so suddenly I’m in the mood for soup. I had to actually cover my tomatoes. There is a wicked wildfire burning not far from my office and the smoke is thick all over the area. Many of our clients are affected and we’re all worried about them. It sounds like they’ll get a good handle on it today, but not before a few dozen houses burned to the ground. These things always make me remember what is important.
Since I was in the mood for soup, I pulled this recipe out. It is a repeat from last fall, but it is one of my all time favorite menus I created. I’d never made homemade tomato soup before I made this recipe. And the grilled cheese is an adaptation of a recipe I watched a morning anchor make years ago. The combination is great. I have canned tomatoes listed, but of course, this time of year, fresh tomatoes are better. Just blend them until you have about 4 cups of juice. I use the whole tomato, don’t bother with peeling or seeding. You can use them in whatever way makes you happy.
Hearty Tomato Soup
- 28 oz canned tomatoes*
- 1 tsp crushed garlic
- 8 oz carrots
- 2 stalks celery
- 3 green onions, including greens
- 1 tsp basil
- ¼ tsp oregano
- salt & pepper to taste
- 2 cups milk
- 2 tbsp whole wheat flour
2 quart saucepan
In a blender, mix tomatoes, garlic, carrots, celery & onions. Blend until liquid. In saucepan, combine tomato mixture with spices, heat over medium heat, stirring constantly. Let bubble (don’t let boil or use high heat, it will scorch) for 5 minutes. Add flour to cold milk, blend until smooth, add to soup. Let bubble again, reduce to low heat and let simmer for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Totally Awesome Grilled Cheese
For each sandwich:
- 2 slices whole wheat bread (or favorite firm bread)
- Enough favorite cheese (Velveeta, cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack, etc. to cover bread (about 3 slices)
- Sliced Jalapeños (if you want some heat)
- 1 large slice of tomato w/dash of salt
- 1-2 tsp Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
- Spray Oil
Spread salad dressing on both slices of bread and add ½ of the cheese to one slice of bread, place tomato & jalapenos on the cheese and top with remaining cheese and the other slice of bread, this keeps bread from getting soggy from the tomato. Lightly butter outside of both sides of the sandwich and grill in skillet sprayed with cooking spray or lightly oiled on medium heat until cheese is melted and bread is toasted. While it is grilling, press down hard with a spatula, “squishing” the sandwich. I don’t know why, but this makes them taste better. 🙂