tomato soup for the soul

This weekend our cupboards were bare, again, and I was desperate for a quick and nutritious dinner for L'il E to eat before heading out to a friend's for dinner. I thought to myself, if only I had a can of tomato soup to heat and serve with a yummy grilled cheese sandwich (the ultimate feel-good combo). Then I noticed a few cans of diced tomatoes and thought there must be a simple way to make tomato soup with that. So off I went to the internet and among the thousands of recipes I found this one courtesy of Heidi at Food Doodles.

I liked it because even in my bare kitchen I had every ingredient the recipe called for and it only took about 15 minutes total to make. The result was also delicious, so delicious that I'm not sure why anyone would even bother to buy canned tomato soup ever again. I certainly won't.

So here goes, because I know you want to try it.

[print_this]Super simple Tomato Soup

You'll need:

  • a couple glug sof olive oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 32 oz can of tomatoes, pureed, diced or whole
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda (this help neutralize the acidity of the tomatoes and it totally works)
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley (I only had dried basil)
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • black pepper to taste (go easy on the pepper if you're not into spicy tomato soup)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp honey (I didn't use a full tbsp because I don't like overly sweetened things)
  • whole milk to serve if desired (a tbsp or two and totally worth it!)

Then you:

  1. In a medium sized pot, heat the olive oil over medium to low heat.
  2. Add the onion and saute until clear, then add the garlic and sautee for another couple of minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes, baking soda, parsley, bay leaf and salt and pepper (the baking soda will fizz).
  4. Bring  to a boil, then turn down to a simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove the bay leaf and puree.
  6. Once blended, stir in the honey and fresh basil.
  7. Serve  hot with a splash of milk.

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This soup goes best with a grilled cheese sandwich (gluten free of course) and a glass of milk. Enjoy!

say no to the dinner rut

We're in a rut, a cooking rut, and it's not a good place to be.

For the last several weeks I feel like we've been eating the exact same items. We are weeks away from falling victim to chicken Monday, fish Tuesday and son on. It's been a rotation of chicken and salad, fish and kale, stir fry of some kind, beef/chicken fajitas, homemade gluten free pizza, and the odd time gluten free spaghetti bolognese.

Needless to say I'm bored and so are my taste buds.

In an effort to pull ourselves out of the depths of food boredom I've started scouring cookbooks and blogs again looking for inspiration. We've also decided to feed L'il E leftovers so that we can go back to the days of taking our time at dinner. You see, since L'il E came into our lives meal time has become crazy-time. It's moved along a continuum of eating dinner cold every night, to sometimes me breastfeeding at the table while the Hubs continued, to one of us leaving half-way through dinner to tend to a dirty diaper or get bath started, to eating as fast as we can to move on to the next stage of the nightly routine.  If you have kids I'm sure you are all too familiar with these scenarios. If you don't have kids you still get into dinner ruts so keep reading.

Last Friday night I was fed up, we had leftover sausages from the night before in the fridge and sadly (but not unusually) not much else so I literally Googled "sausage soup recipe" and this hearty recipe came up. Thank you Canadian Living.

Fortunately I had many of the ingredients and it ended up being the perfect dinner for a cozy night in after a long week. It was also quick and easy (bonus).  I was able to throw it all together before L'il E's bath and let simmer while we read bedtime stories and tucked him in.

I have included the recipe below and as usual I made a few modifications. Give it a go!

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Sausage Tomato Chickpea Stew

You'll need:

  • A couple glugs of olive oil
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 carrot diced
  • 1 celery stalk diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 Italian sausages cases removed (the sausages I used were already cooked so it made this recipe even easier)
  • 2 28 oz. cans of whole tomatoes
  • 1 can chickpeas (recipe calls for navy beans, but I only had chickpeas in the cupboard)
  • 1 cup chicken or veg stock (I used two cups and omitted the 1 cup of water from the original recipe)

Then you:

  1. In a large pot heat olive oil on medium heat.
  2. Cook onion, carrot, celery, garlic until softened.
  3. Increase heat to medium-high and add sausages and sautee for five minutes or so until they're cooked.
  4. Stir in tomatoes, breaking up with spoon. Add chickpeas and chicken stock.
  5. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for 15-20 minutes until thickened.

That's it! It's delicious and makes about 8-10 servings. We served it with baby spinach on top as a garnish.

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Do you ever get into a dinner rut? Do you have any yummy recipe to share? I'm all ears!