Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Comforting Combo for Hearth Side Dining

It's winter and, when it's cold outside, nothing warms you like a squishy chair close to the fire and the comforting combo of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich.

I spend my one day off a week cooking and cleaning, but I often have The Food Network on for background noise. Several weeks ago, Giada De Laurentiis did this recipe for Hearty Tomato Soup with Lemon and Rosemary.

The soup recipe was SO good, I started emailing it to friends immediately. It is only fitting that this recipe is the first featured dining experience; paired with grilled cheese sandwiches made from the artisan bread by Panera Bread, Miche Whole Grain, you have a hearth side dining experience made in heaven.

The soup is super simple. Here are the ingredients:
I substituted chicken stock for broth. I just think that adds to the rich wonderfulness of this hearty soup. [Note: This recipe can easily be Veganized or made a kosher combination meal by using vegetable stock and/or cheese substitutes.]

Also, my regular grocery store doesn't stock cannellini beans, so I used Bush's Great Northern Beans instead. The most important thing to remember is to read the labels. Most beans and canned tomato products have a lot of additives, especially high fructose corn syrup...hence my love of Hunt's and Bush's, they don't.

The onion, carrots and garlic saute for just a few minutes, until soft:

After that, you just dump in the other ingredients (note: mine is a double recipe, so it won't be nearly as big of a pot if you use the recipe quantities.):

Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes. Then, remove the bay leaf and rosemary sprig and process in batches in a blender or with an immersion blender:
The texture of this soup is just incredible. The beans, while initially sounding like a funky thing to have in tomato soup, provide a creamy thickness as well as a shot of protein. Giada garnished her soup with creme fraiche and lemon zest. You could just as easily use sour cream or nothing.

In addition to that lovely grainy bread, I used a combination of cheddar and skim mozzarella for the grilled cheese.

Now, light the fire or pull up your most mushy chair, set a tray and you are ready!

It doesn't have to be doesn't even have to be doesn't take much effort...join me as I dine...


I noticed my copper pot was in need of polishing...don't expect that to change any time soon! =)


Femcure said...

Looks yummy! Gonna try it this weekend.. I think it's simple enough for even me.....

Thanks for the tip~

Seitan Said Dance said...


That soup looks fabulous. And the sandwich makes me miss cheese that actually melts :P If you're digging the white bean/tomato soup combo, there's a great recipe in Veganomicon as well.

Yay! Congratulations on your first post!

Anonymous said...

You are far too talented for your own good young lady...

Looks yummy but it's Summer here and soup just aint the order of the day... yet :(

Maybe in June...



Anonymous said...

Ooo, looks great! I may have to try that soup... sans oignons, of course!

Anonymous said...

OMG!!!!!!!!!!And a three cheers to you too.....:)

Congratulations on a fabulous first post and for doing something you absolutely love. The photo`s look great too.....Yay!!

Have fun cooking :)


Anonymous said...

This beautiful blog deserves a comment! congratulations on the soup - and the presentation and pics! It is both so beautiful and clear-cut, and has that intimate and comfy look!

Paula Dines said...

Thanks so much everyone! I haven't figured out how to respond to individual comments, so this is a global thanks! =)

The anonymous unsigned is from my sister, Sarah. Thanks, honey.

I am working on the next post already. It should be up in a day or two.


Anonymous said...

After reading the recipe the only thing left to do is print it and make it...Yahoo!!!

John A said...

Have to try that soup, with some homemade bread of course.

John Andrews in Farragut

Seams Unlikely said...

Yay! I love new soups! I can't wait to try this one out!

(And I think the camera was well worth the wait...great pictures. The food looks beautiful.)