Dinner Menu And Shopping List: Hearty Tomato Soup And Grilled Cheese

My plan going forward is to reach back into the archives and pull out some of the favorite full dinner menus and shopping lists. I’ll update them with any changes and add links to variations on the recipes.  Here’s the first in that series:

As winter drones on, I thought a good soup would be nice.  This is not your mom’s canned soup or grilled cheese.  These are tasty, hearty and easy to whip up.  And the flax cookies are addictive. If you’re using an Instant Pot, I have instructions for that at the bottom of the soup recipe. 

Tonight’s menu:

  1. Hearty Tomato Soup
  2. Totally Awesome Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
  3. Flax Cookies

JeffreyW’s tasty tomato soup and grilled cheese

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 smooth. 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.

Instant Pot instructions In a blender, mix tomatoes, garlic, carrots, celery & onions. Blend until smooth. In the instant pot, combine tomato mixture with spices. Cover and cook on soup setting for 10 minutes. Add flour to cold milk, blend until smooth, add to soup.  Use the quick depressurize method, soup should still be bubbling,  add milk mixture and stir until thickened.  If you need to bring it back up to temperature, I use the saute feature, stirring constantly until thickened (about a minute). Turn heat off and cover until ready to serve.

*you can use fire roasted tomatoes for added flavor

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
  • Butter
  • Spray Oil

Spread mayonnaise 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 the 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. We don’t know why, but this makes them taste better.    🙂

For some variations on grilled cheese sandwiches, click here, including Inside-Out Grilled Cheese.

Flax Cookies

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1 tsp soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup ground flax
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup chopped almonds

Bowl & cookie sheet

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Cream butter and sugar, add egg, vanilla and beat well. Combine dry ingredients together and then fold into egg mixture until well blended. Mix in almonds and drop by the spoonful onto the cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden, don’t let them brown.

Shopping List:

  • 28 oz canned tomatoes or fresh tomatoes (4-6 large)
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 8 oz carrots
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 3 green onions
  • 8 slices whole wheat bread (or favorite firm bread)
  • 8 – 10 oz favorite cheese (Velveeta, cheddar, Monterey Jack, etc)
  • 1- 2 Jalapenos or 2 oz pickled Jalapenos
  • 1 large tomato for slicing
  • Mayonnaise
  • 2 sticks + butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup flax

Also: crushed garlic, basil, oregano, pepper, whole wheat flour, unbleached flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla, oil spray

File under: What’s 4 Dinner Solutions Dinner Menus

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