Tomato soup with a grilled cheese sandwich. Mmmmm! An easy all-American classic lunch that everyone loves… it’s not like potato salad or spaghetti sauce, where your Mom’s version is the best and everyone else’s tastes funny.
Well. It’s time for an update. Tomato soup from a can or box is usually laden with salt and then you add milk, it’s now full of fat and sugars too. Add a sandwich made with white bread and American cheese and you have a nearly nutrient-free, high calorie, high carbohydrate… intake. Just because it’s edible doesn’t mean it’s food.
For a real sandwich, use a lovely flavorful sprouted whole grain bread, like my newfavorite and organic Dave’s Killer “Good Seed” bread that has no added sugar and is high in fiber, Omega-3s and protein. It’ll have you feeling full long after the white bread alternative. And reduced-fat cheeses have come a long way from years past. Up the protein and keep the flavor. But I still use real butter. I opt for the unsalted version, which has a much better butter flavor. A nonstick skillet helps you use less. Olive oil is a fun alternative, too!
The soup. I created a spicy version that’s so tasty and full of vegetables and goodness. And it’s really easy to make. You’ll never look at a can again. It freezes well, so I sometimes double the recipe. It can be made completely vegan, too!
For a thick smooth soup use a blender or food processor. Just make sure it can take hot liquids and be careful that the lid fits tightly. For a chunkier style, omit this step.
If you don’t regularly use enchilada sauce, the surprise ingredient, pour the remainder of the can or jar into small glasses or measuring cups in ¼ cup quantities. Freeze the containers, then run the container under warm water until it releases. Re-wrap individually in freezer bags for future batches!
Elaine’s Zesty Tomato Soup
½ cup chopped onion
1 cup red, orange or yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
¼ cup your favorite enchilada sauce
1 14-oz. can of unsalted tomato sauce
½ cup chicken broth OR ½ teaspoon chicken-flavor vegetable broth powder plus ½ cup water
Salt to taste, start with ¼ teaspoon
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Olive oil, approx. ½ Tablespoon
1. In a medium stock pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Saute the vegetables until tender. Do not brown.
2. Add the enchilada sauce and broth. Stir to combine.
3. Pour mixture into a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.
4. Pour mixture back into stockpot. Add the tomato sauce, and extra water to desired consistency. Taste, then add salt and pepper as needed. Heat until bubbly.
5. Enjoy! Serve hot or cold! Makes four servings.
Until next time!
Soup photo and recipe by Elaine Bothe.
Bread photo courtesy of Dave's Killer Bread.