This dynamic food duo really needs no introduction, but I’ll humor you. Today’s recipes are simple yet cravable, slightly indulgent, but with definite healthy qualities, cozy to share or enjoy solo. I give you a vegan spin on, Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese.
Creamy, bright, opaque red tomato soup (topped with some nutritional yeast for extra cheezy flavor) pairs perfectly with a sizzling hot grilled cheese sandwich with golden toasty edges, all buttery and bronzed. Melty cheese oozing out the sides, the edges becoming browned, crispy and caramelized from the hot skillet. This spin on tomato soup is fast and infused with some fiber and protein from a secret ingredient.
There are certain food duos that just make sense. Veggie burger and fries. Chips and guacamole. Steamy hot latte and a muffin. Veggie sticks and ranch dip. Ice Cream and cake. Espresso and whipped cream. Spaghetti and ‘meat’balls. PB&J or PB&B and chilled non-dairy milk. Chocolate pudding and raspberries. Tofu scramble and hash browns. Hummus and bagels. Pancakes and maple syrup. Belgian Waffles and whipped (soy) cream. Hot cereal and fresh berries. Mashed avocado and toast .. and on and on.
Today’s example: the simple pairing of Tomato Soup and a Grilled Cheese Sandwich.
Round Two. I have made this dynamic duo before: roasted tomato soup. If you want a from-scratch, fresh tomato recipe – try that one. But for a quickie, cozy tomato soup, I found today’s recipe using canned, fire-roasted tomatoes to be quite yummy. And super (soup-er?) fast to make.
I used beans as a secret ingredient to thicken the soup without the need for heavy creams and such. The beans also add some rustic flavor and healthy nutrients like fiber and protein. The soup is pureed together so everything gets nice a creamy.
And if you want your grilled cheese a tad fancier, try my Basil Pepperjack Panini..
This simple cheddar melty vegan cheese sandwich really will make you swoon when it hits your plate, sizzling hot from your saute pan. That crispy sound as you slice through the buttery toast .. sandwich heaven.
The cheezy grilled sandwich is the indulgent part of this feast, but the tomato soup brings this meal back to a ‘healthy’ range, I think. And if you want to use less cheese and less vegan butter, go for it. (But really, why would you want to do that?)
“Two-Minute” Tomato Soup + Grilled Vegan Cheese
soup makes 4 servings, sandwich serves 1-2
28 ounces fire-roasted tomatoes, canned (organic and BPA-free can if possible)
⅓ cup nutritional yeast (or more for nooch-heads like me)
1 ½ cups vegetable broth
2 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (optional)
1 cup garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed (white beans will work too)
*add more beans if desired
salt + pepper to taste
..that’s it! If you want to get fancy, you can add some roasted garlic, fresh parsley or anything else you’d like to experiment with. You can even add in a splash of non-dairy milk if you are craving super creamy soup with a thicker, mellower flavor. Another creamy-without-the-cream ingredient to try is boiled or roasted cauliflower. I used that trick in my No-Cream of Mushroom Soup.
2 large slices sourdough bread (or other)
2 teaspoon Earth Balance vegan butter
¼ cup vegan cheese shreds (I used Daiya because they melt quite well)
+ additional vegan butter for saute pan.
1. First start on your two-minute soup! Add all the ingredients to a food processor or Vitamix blender. Blend from low to high until creamy and smooth. Blending on super high speed in a Vitamix will actually warm the soup a bit for taste-testing. Do a taste test and salt and pepper to taste. That’s it, done! To serve the soup, I simply pour my serving into a microwavable bowl and cook on high until warm. Add additional nutritional yeast and a drizzle of oil if desired. Fresh parsley or basil on top is a nice garnish. You could also simmer on the stove-top to warm until ready to serve.
2. For the sandwich, slather vegan butter on the bread – generously on the outer sides that will hit the saute pan. Melt a bit of vegan butter in a saute pan over high heat. When the pan is hot, add your bread and top with cheese. Add the other slice on top. Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side. I like to cover the saute pan with a lid for the first minute of cooking to help melt the cheese. Lower heat if the bread begins to brown to quickly. Slice and serve alongside your soup!
Happy comfort food eating!
PS – Thank you for the continued support for my book pre-order! I am so proud of this book and cannot wait to share it with you guys this spring! Pre-order info and links: 365 Vegan Smoothies.
..now back to cheese pics..