On one of the few rainy days that LA experiences each year, it can be nice to have some good ol’ fashioned comfort food. A recent winter rainfall stirred me to whip out a classic: grilled cheese and tomato soup. Both were fairly easy to make and made for a very scrumptious lunch. What follows are the simple steps to tasty comfort.
Simple Spicy Tomato Soup
- 1/4 cup vegetable broth (to saute)
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup chopped carrot
- 1/4 cup chopped celery
- 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes (best if you can find tomatoes in a glass jar! A BPA-free guarantee)
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2-1 teaspoon salt (salt to taste)
- Fresh ground black pepper
- 6 drops of hot sauce
Start by sauteing the onion and the garlic in 1/8 cup vegetable broth in a medium-sized saucepan on medium-high heat. Saute until the onions are translucent and fragrant. Add another 1/8 cup veggie broth and the carrots and celery. Let it cook for about 7-10 minutes, stirring frequently. Next, stir in the tomatoes, veggie broth, thyme, salt, pepper (to taste) and the hot sauce. You can add less or more hot sauce depending on how spicy you like food (I like a nice, bold kick). Let the soup simmer for about 15 minutes on a low-medium heat. And it’s finished! This soup serves about 4 nice full bowls.
As the soup simmers and develops it’s delightful flavor, go ahead and make that grilled cheese!
Vegan Sourdough Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- Fresh, sourdough bread of your choice. I bought a fermented sourdough basil bread from the farmer’s market.
- Vegan cheddar cheese of your choice – this time I used the brand “teese” which was recommended by the store cheese lady. It was good and got the job done, but I’d still suggest that you use Daiya brand vegan cheese – it’s a guarantee good bet and sure to please.
- Vegan margarine. I used Earth Balance.
Slice your bread, if it isn’t already sliced. Spread a thin layer of margarine on one side of each slice of bread. Next, add the cheese to the un-margarined (um…word?) side and then add the other slice of bread on top. The sides of bread with the margarine should be on the outside. Turn your frying pan on to a medium heat. Go ahead and place your sandwich on the pan, and let it “grill” on one side for about 4-6 minutes before flipping. Each side of the sandwich should be golden-brown and the cheese should get nice and melty on the inside. Serve with a bowl of the soup – and there you have it! A quick, tasty, comforting classic lunch, friendly for vegans and delicious for all.
Give it a go and let me know what you think!