Quick Tomato Soup With Grilled Cheese

Image Source: Armando Rafael for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews. Prop Stylist: Paige Hicks.

Tomato soup served with grilled cheese is many things–comfort food, brunch, lunch, light dinner, chilly weather warm-up, and perfect rainy day meal. Though it’s one of my favorite combos, I rarely make tomato soup and didn’t have a go-to recipe. Until now. I tried the Quick Tomato Soup With Grilled Cheese recipe by Eric Kim for The New York Times Cooking section and got the thumbs up (or spoons up–lol) from Hubby. Two alterations to Kim’s recipe: I added garlic to the ingredients and sauteed the onion and garlic before adding the canned tomatoes and remaining ingredients. This recipe is easy, healthy and tasty!

Happy cooking, hon!

Tomato Soup With Grilled Cheese


  • 1(28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
  • ¾ cup chicken or vegetable broth, plus more as needed
  • 1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1½ teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • salt and black pepper
  • mayonnaise (mustard is my condiment of choice on grilled cheeses)
  • 8 slices brioche or milk bread, crusts removed
  • 1 cup shredded low-moisture mozzarella (4 ounces)
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter


  1. Make the soup. In a dutch oven or large soup pot, saute onion and minced garlic for a few minutes or until onion is softened.
  2. Dump the canned tomatoes and their juices into a medium pot and, using your hands, tear into coarse chunks. Swish the broth in the empty tomato can and add to the pot.
  3. Stir in the butter, oregano and sugar, and season generously with salt and pepper. Turn the heat to high and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and continue simmering, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender and the tomatoes have broken down, 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, make the sandwiches: Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise on one side of each of the 4 bread slices and evenly sprinkle the cheese and a little oregano on top of the mayonnaise. Top with the cheeseless slices, mayonnaise-side down.
  5. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium. Add the sandwiches and cook until golden brown on the bottoms, 2 to 3 minutes. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in the pan, then flip the sandwiches with a spatula, move them around to coat with the butter and cook until the other side is golden brown and the cheese is melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Turn heat to lowest setting to keep sandwiches warm.
  6. Carefully purée the tomato soup using a blender until smooth and creamy, adding more broth if needed to loosen to your desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the grilled cheeses to a cutting board and cut each in half diagonally. Serve alongside the soup.

Yield: 4 servings


Lemony White Bean Soup With Turkey and Greens

Image source: The New York Times

I love it when a new recipe is a keeper! This Lemony White Bean Soup With Turkey and Greens is hearty, healthy and tasty. It’s great cold-weather warm-up, and it’s a whole meal unto itself. Add bread on the side and dinner (or lunch) is served. According to Melissa Clark for The New York Times, this recipe is also adaptable.

Like chili, this soup is supremely adaptable. You can use whatever ground meat, beans and greens you have. You can even mix and match, adding a can of white beans and a can of chickpeas if that’s what’s on the shelf. You can use ground chicken, pork, beef or vegan meat instead of turkey. And any greens, from tender spinach to sturdy collards, will find a happy place in the pot.

Cooking, The New York Times

Happy cooking, hon.


  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 bunch sturdy greens, such as kale, broccoli rabe, mustard greens or collard greens
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin, plus more to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 lb ground turkey
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup chopped fresh, soft herbs, such as parsley, mint, dill, basil, tarragon, chives or a combination
  • Fresh lemon juice, to taste


  1. Heat a large pot over medium-high for a minute or so to warm it up. Add the oil and heat until it thins out, about 30 seconds. Add onion and carrot, and sauté until very soft and brown at the edges, 7 to 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, rinse the greens and pull the leaves off the stems. Tear or chop into bite-size pieces and set aside.
  3. When the onion is golden, add tomato paste, ¾ teaspoon cumin and ⅛ teaspoon red-pepper flakes to the pot, and sauté until paste darkens, about 1 minute. Add turkey, garlic, ginger and 1 teaspoon salt, and sauté, breaking up the meat with your spoon, until turkey is browned in spots, 4 to 7 minutes.
  4. Add stock and beans, and bring to a simmer. Let simmer until the soup is thick and flavorful, adding more salt if needed, 15 to 25 minutes. If you like a thicker broth, you can smash some of the beans with the back of the spoon to release their starch. Or leave the beans whole for a brothier soup.
  5. Add the greens to the pot and simmer until they are very soft. This will take 5 to 10 minutes for most greens, but tough collard greens might take 15 minutes. (Add a little water if the broth gets too reduced.)
  6. Stir herbs and lemon juice into the pot, taste and add more salt, cumin and lemon until the broth is lively and bright-tasting. Serve topped with a drizzle of olive oil and more red-pepper flakes, if desired.

Yield: 4 servings

Healthy & Hearty Minestrone Soup

Image source: Love & Lemons.

Rainy Days Mean Soup!

On a cold, rainy day last week, I was in the mood for soup. When I found this easy, healthy, hearty, vegetarian recipe for Minestrone Soup on Love & Lemons and realized I had most of the ingredients on hand, I had to try it. This is the kind of recipe that’s easy to alter. I didn’t have white beans or kidney beans, so I used black beans instead. I didn’t have diced tomatoes, but I had can of tomato soup to add to the veggie broth. And I wanted to use the zucchini sitting in my vegetable crisper.

One of the best things about this Minestrone Soup recipe is that the onions, carrots, and celery are sautéed in the same pot in which the soup simmers. Less pots to clean. Hubby and I agreed it was so delicious, I have to make it again.

This recipe is best right after it’s made, as the pasta absorbs the broth as it sits in the leftover soup. If you want to make it ahead of time, I recommend cooking the pasta separately and stirring it into the soup as you’re ready to eat. Alternatively, you can skip the pasta and add an extra cup of beans to the soup. Prepared this way, the soup will keep well for up to four days in the fridge.

When you’re ready to eat, top each bowl with a sprinkle of parsley, red pepper flakes, and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. If you’re vegan, feel free to skip the cheese, or garnish your bowl with a scoop of vegan pesto instead. (Non-vegans take note: regular pesto is also a great topping for minestrone soup!).

Serve the soup with good crusty bread and call it a day, or round out the meal with a side salad. Enjoy!

Love & Lemons

Happy cooking, hon!

Minestrone Soup


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups white beans or kidney beans, cooked, drained, and rinsed
  • 1 cup chopped green beans
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3/4 cup small pasta, elbows, shells, orecchiette
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Pinches of red pepper flakes
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, optional, for serving


  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, salt, and several grinds of black pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften.
  2. Add the garlic, tomatoes, beans, green beans, broth, bay leaves, oregano, and thyme. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Stir in the pasta and cook, uncovered, for 10 more minutes, until the pasta is cooked through.
  4. Season to taste and serve with parsley, red pepper flakes, and parmesan, if desired.

Servings: 4-6

Ginger & Turmeric Carrot Soup c/o Simply Quinoa

Image source: simplyquinoa.com

Autumn puts me in the mood for soup!

Preferably vegetable, creamy and hearty.Velvety Vegetable Soup has been my go-to, but I wanted to try something different this year. I found this recipe for Ginger & Turmeric Carrot Soup that also calls for butternut squash on Simply Quinoa, where Alyssa says, “This creamy ginger & turmeric carrot soup is anti-inflammatory and perfect for a chilly night. It’s packed with nutrients, has a velvety smooth texture and tastes delicious!” Thanks, Alyssa–all credit for top photo and recipe to you!

To make enough for Thanksgiving and extra to give away and to freeze, I multiplied the recipe by 6! (Would that be called “sextupling?”) With two huge soup pots simmering on the stove, the house smelled delicious. I taste-tested this new recipe, and it may be the first time, but won’t be the last, I make this healthy, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, kosher, parve Ginger & Turmeric Carrot Soup.

Happy cooking, hon!

Single Serving Tip: Did I share my single-serving tip? Pour soup into either a disposable coffee-to-go-cup or a small container, leaving room at the top for liquid to expand as it solidifies, and freeze. Freezing soup in ice trays is another tip. Pop out as many cubes as needed to make whatever size bowl is desired.

Ginger & Turmeric Carrot Soup


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 leek , cleaned and sliced
  • 1 cup chopped fennel (1 small head)
  • 3 cups chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped butternut squash (or more carrots)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger (about 2″ piece)
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can lite coconut milk


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven or saucepan. Add the fennel, leeks, carrots, and squash. Saute for 3 – 5 minutes until the veggies start to soften. Add the garlic, ginger, turmeric, salt, and pepper, and saute for a few more minutes.
  2. Add the broth and coconut milk. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Once the soup is cooked, add it to a blender and blend until creamy. You could also use an immersion blender. Taste and adjust seasonings to your taste.
  4. Serve immediately with a dollop of coconut yogurt and enjoy!

Servings: 4

Thanksgiving Menu–Velvety Vegetable Soup

Liquid Gold

“Liquid Gold is what I call this hearty, healthy soup. I tripled the recipe in order to have enough for fifteen people plus leftovers. (You gotta have leftovers!) Since it’s packed with veggies, I forgo serving salad at Thanksgiving dinner. We have the soup course and then it’s straight to the main event.

Happy cooking, hon!



2 onions, sliced

2 stalks celery, cut up

2 Tablespoons margarine

4 cups chicken or vegetable stock

2 medium potatoes, sliced

2 carrots, sliced

1 zucchini, sliced

salt and pepper to taste

4 sprigs parsley or dried parsley

sugar to taste (optional)


Saute the onions and celery in melted margarine.  In a soup pot combine sauteed vegetables with remaining ingredients except sugar, if using.  Cook gently on low heat until vegetables are soft.  Either pour soup into a blender * (in two or three batches) and blend until smooth–OR–use a hand blender to blend veggies right in soup pot.  (I prefer using the hand blender because it’s not as messy.) Taste to correct seasonings.  This is when I sprinkle a little sugar in and mix.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

*Blender tips:  Let soup cool a little first before pouring into blender and don’t fill blender the whole way.  When done blending, pour soup back into soup pot.

Freezing Tip:  Freeze, defrost, and re-blended with hand blender. Heat and serve.


Roasted Tomato Soup

Roasted Tomato Soup

Sometimes I run out of things to serve for dinner (believe it!) and I resort to breakfast-for-dinner (scrambled eggs or French toast) or soup-and-sandwiches. Nothing wrong with either!

Here’s an recipe I found on allrecipes.com Roasted Tomato Soup. It was easy, healthy, yummy and, when I had extra, no problem to freeze. I just defrosted the soup and re-blended it with a hand blender.

Happy cooking, hon.

Roasted Tomato Soup

–3 pounds roma (plum) tomatoes, quartered

–I yellow onion, halved and quartered

–1/2 red bell pepper, chopped

–3 Tablespoons olive oil

–1 Tablespoon sea salt

–1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

–3 cloves garlic, halved

–4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (original recipe calls for 5 cups, but I used 4)

–2 teaspoons dried basil

–1 teaspoon dried parsley

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Spread tomatoes, onion, and red bell pepper in 1 layer on prepared baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil over tomato mixture and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Roast in preheated oven for 30 minutes; add garlic and continue roasting until tomato mixture is tender, about 15 more minutes.
  4. Bring chicken broth, basil, and parsley to a boil in a large stockpot; reduce heat and simmer.
  5. Put half the tomato mixture into a blender. Cover and hold lid down; pulse a few times before leaving on to blend until smooth, adding a small amount of the warm chicken broth if liquid is needed. Pour pureed tomato mixture into stockpot with chicken broth. Puree remaining half of tomato mixture and add to chicken stock mixture, mixing well. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Tip: When all of the soup is in the stockpot, use a hand blender to get the consistency you want.

Tip: Make this recipe vegetarian/vegan by using veggie broth.

Italian Stew with Winter Squash and Chickpeas

Italian Stew with Winter Squash and Chickpeas
Italian Stew with Winter Squash and Chickpeas

Winter puts me in the mood for hearty soups, and this one is practically a meal. Serve it as a soup or over quinoa, brown rice or polenta. Yum.

Happy cooking and stay warm, hon!


3 cups chopped onions

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 Tablespoons olive oil

6 garlic cloves, minced or pressed

1/2 teaspoon ground Coriander

1/2 teaspoon dried Thyme

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 cups water

2 cups diced peeled butternut squash (I substituted yellow squash)

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained

1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes

1 cup diced carrots

1/2 cup diced bell peppers (optional)

5 cups chopped kale (see note)

1 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar


  1. In a soup pot on medium-high heat, cook the onions and salt in the oil, stirring often, until very soft and beginning to caramelize, 12 to 15 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, coriander, thyme, and black pepper and stir for a minute. Stir in the water, squash, chickpeas, tomatoes, carrots, and bell peppers. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. Stir in the kale, cover, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, until the greens are tender but still bright green. Stir in the basil and vinegar.

Note: About 1 pound of kale will yield 5 cups sorted (discard yellow or wilted leaves and large center stems), stemmed, and chopped kale.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings or about 8 cups

Hearty Tomato Soup

Hearty Tomato Soup
Hearty Tomato Soup.

Gather ingredients.
Gather ingredients.

Puree in blender.
Puree in blender.









Hearty Tomato Soup

I love a hearty, healthy soup and this delicious recipe is both. A food processor will make easy work of the chopping and grating, although you can certainly prep by hand. At first I used a hand-held blender but, when I didn’t get the right consistency, pureed it in a blender. This soup has body and texture, which is what makes it hearty.

Happy cooking, hon!


1 small onion. finely chopped

1 small carrot, grated or chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes with juice

1 teaspoons chicken soup powder (I used chicken-flavored, parve soup powder.)

1 bay leaf

4 leaves fresh basil

2 Tablespoons lemon juice

Dried Thyme and Oregano, Salt and Pepper


  1. In a soup pot, saute onion, carrot, garlic and celery in olive oil until translucent.
  2. Add tomatoes with juice, soup powder, bay leaf, basil, thyme and oregano. Bring to a boil and simmer 30-45 minutes.
  3. Puree in blender until smooth and season with salt and pepper and lemon juice.

Yield:  8-10 servings

Source: Kosher Chic, www.kosherchiccookbook.com


Italian Stew with Winter Squash and Chickpeas

Italian Stew w/Winter Squash and Chickpeas
Italian Stew w/Winter Squash and Chickpeas


Italian Stew with Winter Squash and Chickpeas

Whether you are digging your way out of a blizzard like we are, or are just in the mood for warm soup, this recipe is delicious, hearty and healthy! Shout out to my niece and her hubby who served this at a family gathering. I took one spoonful and said, “Send me the recipe!”

If you have a food processor, it’ll make quick work of the chopping and dicing. One of my daughters and I made this together. We made some for now and some for later so I’m hoping it freezes well.

Happy cooking, hon!


3 cups chopped onions

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoons olive oil

6 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 cups water

1/2 teaspoon thyme

1 15-ounce can chick peas, drained

1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes

1 cup diced carrots

2 cups diced, peeled butternut squash

1/2 cup diced bell peppers (optional)

5 cups chopped kale (about 1 pound kale=5 cups sorted, stemmed, chopped kale)

1 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil (I used about 1/2 Tbl dried basil)

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar


  1. In a soup pot on medium-high heat, cook onions and salt in oil, stirring often, until very soft and beginning to carmelize, about 12 to 15 minutes.
  2. Add garlic, coriander, thyme, and black pepper, and stir for a minute. Stir in water, squash, chickpeas, tomatoes, carrots, and bell peppers. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. Stir in kale, cover and simmer 5 to 10 minutes until greens are tender but still bright green. Stir in basil and vinegar.

Prep Time:  1 hour, Serves:  4-6 cups, Yield:  8 cups


Red Wine Minestrone with Swiss Chard and Pearl Onions


It’s that time of year again. Thanksgiving and the winter holidays turn me into a cooking/rearranging/cleaning whirling dervish! I was looking for a new soup recipe when I came across this one in Hadassah Magazine. It accompanied an article about kosher food trucks, specifically The Cinnamon Snail which travels all over the Eastern seaboard. I like the The Cinnamon Snail’s tagline, “Food to Inspire Peace and Bliss.”

If you have a food processor, the chopping and dicing in this recipe will go quickly. The preparation is worth it because this minestrone is tasty.  Happy cooking, hon!

Red Wine Minestrone with Swiss Chard and Pearl Onions

Gather ingredients.
Gather ingredients.

Almost done.
Combine ingredients in a soup pot.







2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

16 small pearl onions, peeled

1 small yellow onion, diced

2 celery stalks, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 medium carrot, finely chopped

3 cups vegetable broth

2 cups red wine

1, 28-ounce can diced tomatoes (juice included)

1 cup ditalini, elbow or small-shell pasta

1 cup drained, rinsed canned pinto beans

1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (the original recipe calls for 1 teaspoon but I wanted to cut the spiciness. season to your spiciness-taste level)

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves (I used about a Tablespoon dried basil leaves)

1 bunch Swiss chard, stems removed, chopped (I used about half the bunch)

Salt to taste


  1. Heat oil in large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add pearl onions and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, 5 minutes. Add onions, celery, garlic and carrot and continue to sauté until vegetables soften slightly, 5 minutes.
  2. Add broth, wine and tomatoes, bring to a boil, add pasta and boil until pasta is only partially cooked, 4 minutes.
  3. Stir in beans, red pepper flakes, thyme, oregano, basil and Swiss chard and cook until pasta is al dente, 2-3 minutes. Season to taste.

Makes about 3 quarts.

Source: Street Vegan:  Recipes and Dispatches from the Cinnamon Snail Food Truck by Adam Sobel