A hot bowl of cream of tomato soup served with a grilled cheese sandwich for dipping was the first meal I ever made, and it’s one of my fondest food memories. November marks the Thanksgiving holiday and calls us to give thanks. Commensurate with the holiday, the Recipe Redux is challenging us to share a food memory along with a healthier ‘redo’.
I was in my preteen years, and I felt pretty acomplished when I sat down to this comforting meal I had mastered. The way I remember it, I used whole milk, added to a can of Campbell’s cream of tomato soup. Grilling the sandwich in a small fry pan was almost as simple, with margarine first spread on two slices of white Wonder bread and a slice of American cheese in between.
Today my grilled cheese and tomato soup is just as comforting as it was back then, but it has evolved into a lighter, less processed meal. Fresh vegetables, canned tomatoes, chicken stock and basil are the start of this nutrient rich soup. It’s good with or without the addition of low fat cream cheese. Because I’m a sucker for thick crusty breads, my cheese sandwich is now made with a whole wheat baguette cut in triangles ( my preference for cutting a grilled cheese sandwich) topped with Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar (via the Cabot Cheese Board). Popping a tray of these darlings under the broiler eliminates the need for any extra fat. Final touches? More basil please! Now, don’t let the fact I am calling my cheese sandwich a tartine throw you. That’s a fancy word for open faced sandwich. But pleassse.. feel free to eat with your fingers! And don’t forget to check to see what food memories my colleagues are sharing in the links below. Happy Thanksgiving!
Cream of Tomato Soup with Cheese Tartines
for the tomato soup
- 1 Tablespoon canola oil
- 1 sweet onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 28 ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes
- 1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil +2 Tablespoons
- 3 cups chicken stock or reduced sodium chicken broth
- fresh black pepper to taste
- 6 Tablespoons of 1/3 less fat cream cheese
for the cheese tartines
- 1 baguettee
- 8 ounces cheddar cheese
1.Heat canola oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and carrots and saute for about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for one additional minute.
2. Add tomatoes, sugar, tomato paste, 1/4 cup basil, chicken broth and pepper and stir well. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30-40 minutes.
2. Allow to cool and puree in a blended or process through a food mill,discarding any dry pulp. Return to pot over low heat. Stir in reduced fat cream cheese. Serve immediately or refrigerate for later. Makes 8 appetizer servings or 6 meal servings.
for the cheese tartines (makes 16)
1. Slice baguette into 4- 2 inch pieces. Half each piece, as if to create a top and bottom. Cut each squre in half along the diagonal to create a triangle. (Each 2 inch piece will create 4 triangle pieces.)
2. Top each piece with sliced cheddar cheese.
3. Place under the broiler and cook until cheese is melted, watching carefully so as not to burn. Top with remaining thinnly sliced basil.