Monday, June 30, 2014

Tomato Rice Soup and Grilled Cheese à la Melanie

What makes the grilled cheese special? Well, first it's on the best kind of bread - thick, caraway-laced rye. It also uses Daiya cheese and dill pickles. Yes, pickles! I don't know why I started doing this, but I started adding pickles to my grilled cheeses when I was a picky child who considered grilled cheese to be a food group. Add them when you add the cheese  - it's good, I promise! Do not use bread and butter pickles or any other sweet pickle; I have tried it and it's not something I would repeat.

Hey look, it's another recipe with tomatoes! 

This tomato rice soup is very good - it was rated a 5/5!


2 TBS olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 stalk of celery, diced
5 cloves of garlic, minced
4 large tomatoes (about 2 lbs) peeled*, cored, and chopped
1 tsp Parisien Bonnes Herbes
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
6 cups of broth (I used 6 cups of water,  1 cube of mushroom bouillon and 1.5 cubes of not-beef bouillon, but pretty much anything should work)
1/2 cup uncooked jasmine rice

*Peeling tomatoes is easy! Boil enough water to cover them, make a little X on the bottom, put them in the water for 90 seconds, then drop them into an ice water bath. The skins peel off very easily!

Heat the oil and add the onion, carrots, and celery. Cook on medium for about 10 minutes, until the vegetables are softened.  Add the garlic, spices, and tomatoes and cook for 10 more minutes, stirring regularly. Add the broth, stir well, and cook for 20 minutes on low, stirring occasionally. Add the rice and cook for another 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Take an immersion blender and blend the soup briefly (you can also add about 2 cups to a blender if you don't have an immersion blender). You want to leave most of the texture, but blending it a little makes it thick. I served with black pepper and a sprinkle of dill weed.

Makes 6 1-cup servings

Nutrition (per cup):

Calories 131
Calories from Fat 46
Total Fat 5.1 g
Potassium 395 mg
Carbohydrates 20 g
Dietary Fiber 4.8 g
Sugars 4.9 g
Protein 6.2 g
Vitamin A 77%  
Vitamin C 36%
Calcium 1%
Iron 12%

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