Childhood Comfort Food:
Once a month my roommates mom drops off pounds of vegetables that she receives from her local church and every month we scramble to figure out what to make before it all goes bad.
This current month in particular we were provided with a plethora of tomatoes.
With it being the coldest time of the year (yes even in Arizona it is chilly) my roommates and I have been craving every kind of warm comfort food under the sun. When I saw the tomatoes the first thing that came to mind was homemade tomato soup. Just like the children’s novel “When you give a mouse a cookie”, my next thought was, “then I will ask for a grilled cheese sandwich to pair.”
Since I had never made homemade tomato soup I found a Fresh Tomato-Basil Soup recipe in our Weight Watchers Cookbook. It looked delicious, sounded delicious, and in the end tasted delicious! The best part was that it was a healthy recipe, which stuck with starting the New Year off right! (Minus the grilled cheese sandwich of course.)
Soup Recipe: Serves 6 and 3 points
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped shallots
4 large tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 cup reduced-sodium vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups fat free milk
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 cup fat-free half-and-half
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
I also added:
A pinch of onion powder, garlic powder, and 3 bay leaves.
Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and cook for about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, broth, oregano, salt, and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until tomatoes are soft. About 6 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes. (Puree if needed and then return to soup pot.)
Whisk together 1 cup of milk and tomato paste in a small bowl until smooth. Stir into soup along with remaining 1 cup milk, half-and-half, and basil. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. About 5 minutes.
For garnish I added some fresh mozzarella, and a dollop of low fat sour cream. (not the healthiest ending, but I am a dairy lover!)
Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwich:
I decided to do a fun spin on a general grilled cheese sandwich by adding bacon, munster cheese, and tomatoes on italian bread. This was a simple yet perfect addition for dipping in the tomato-basil soup.