It’s dinnertime

11 Feb

It’s dinner time.  As much as I love to cook, and as important healthy meals are to my family, every once in a while, I am just too tired to cook.  So I cheat a little.  Not naughty cheat, just a shortcut cheat.

Tonight I was pretty much out of gas by the time 5:00 rolled around.  Time to plan and cook dinner.  I had to peek in my pantry and fridge to see what I could pull together.  Here is what I had and pulled out.

  • Canned tomatoes
  • A jar of roasted red peppers
  • Chicken stock
  • Milk
  • A few stalks of celery
  • Arugula
  • A parmesan rind from a fresh parmesan cheese wedge (yes, I save and use everything!)
  • Garlic
  • Bread
  • Cheese
  • Croutons
  • Seasonings/herbs

What could I pull together?  Soup.  Tomato soup.  And maybe a grilled cheese sandwich if needed.  But I started with the soup.  I put some olive oil into a big dutch oven on top of the stove.  I added some chopped celery and garlic.  I let that sizzle for about 5 minutes.  Then I added 2 cans (28 ounce each) of tomatoes.  I chopped up the jarred roasted red peppers and tossed those in with the tomatoes.  Added a dash of white wine.  And about a cup of chicken stock. Next basil, parsley, salt and pepper went in. I chopped up about a half cup of arugula and added it to the soup.  Then I went about my business and let that simmer on the stove.  After about 1/2 hour or so, I used my stick blender to smooth out the mixture.

I tossed the parmesan rind into the soup to simmer and add flavor.  After a bit, I tasted the soup.  It wasn’t “tomatoey” enough, so I added a small can of tomato paste, stirred it in, and let that simmer and bubble a while longer. I also added about a 1/2 cup of milk to so the soup became a little creamy.

The great thing about soup is that it is ready whenever you are.  .  When my family gathered around the dinner table, I had a couple of grilled cheese sandwiches made, cut them in half, and tossed a plate of sandwiches onto the table.  It was a healthy meal because the soup had very little sodium and lots of savory seasonings.  It was vegetable dense.  The sandwiches, well, those were cheater, just a belly filling addition.

It was delicious!  I served the soup with croutons on top, so there was a little crunch to compliment the creaminess of the soup.  It was a pretty big batch of soup, so I had leftovers!  I love leftovers!  And guess what I used my leftovers for?  Tune in to the next blog and I will clue you in! Until then, relax and make some soup.  Bon Appetite!

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