Friday, September 5, 2014

Vegan Tomato Soup and The Ultimate Grilled Cheese Sandwich for Lunch

 I had my very first grilled cheese sandwich when I was 23. Yes, I know, I cannot believe it either! But, luckily, the mistake was corrected.  And from that point on, not only I enjoy grill cheese sandwiches, but my kids do too - I made sure of that. 

Being a very healthy food person, though, I serve this buttery, gooey, and cheesy sandwich with nutrition infused vegan tomato soup. Got to balance the calorie full sandwich somehow. 

So today, this healthy tomato soup and a very satisfying ultimate grill cheese sandwich are being served for lunch in our household... 

Tomato Soup

Shopping list for the soup may look long, but don't be discouraged - the soup is easy to make, and the ingredients can be substituted. Just raid your fridge and throw in all the veggies you have...
Shopping list for the tomato (serves 4)
1/4 onion, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
3-4 asparagus, diced
1 zucchini, peeled and diced
3 medium mushrooms, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 medium tomatos, chopped
1 tbs cilantro chopped
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt 
black pepper to taste
1/3 cup marinara sauce *if desired, make sure it is vegan
3 cup vegetable broth 
1/3 cup heavy cream *omit if you are a vegan
a few fresh basil leaves for garnish

In a saucepan, heat olive oil over medium low heat. Add onion, carrots, bell pepper, asparagus, zucchini, and mushrooms. Sauté until softened for 4-5 min. Add garlic and sauté for another 1 minute. Add tomatoes and sauté for another 2 minutes. 

Add sugar, salt, black pepper, the Marinara Sauce, vegetable broth, and heavy cream. Mix between each addition. Cover and simmer on low for 25 minutes. 

Prior to serving, puree the soup until smooth.  Garnish with basil leaves or favorite herbs.

Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Now, it is not a secret that Grilled Cheese has tons of calories and nothing can give - the butter, the bread, the cheese - and it is worth every bite... I'll just have a salad for dinner!

Shopping list for the grilled cheese sandwich (serves two)
2 tbs butter
4 slices of white Rustic Country Sourdough bread
2 slices of Aged Sharp Cheddar
2 slices of American Cheese

Preheat the skillet over medium heat until hot. Generously butter the pan or one side of each slice of bread. Place the butter bread side down on the pan and fry for one minute. Lower the heat. 

Now, this is the key - to get a yummy, cheesy, and crispy sandwich, you need to fry both sides of each bread slice!
So, turn over one slice of bread, put on it a slice of Cheddar and a slice of American cheese.

Then, top the cheese with the other slice, the buttered side on the cheese. 

Brown the sandwich for about a minute and a half, flip, and brown the other side and another minute or until bread is brown enough. I usually add bit more butter while flipping the sandwich! 

Transfer the sandwich onto a plate.
Lunch is served. Enjoy!
xo, Zuma A.
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