Thursday, November 30, 2017

Quick & Tasty Dinner

Vegan Creamy Tomato Soup & Grilled Vegan Cheese Sandwich
I've been on a soup kick this week.  Yesterday, I made Southwestern Black Bean & Corn Chowder from Vegan on the Cheap by Robin Robertson. It's one of my most favorite soups.  It comes together quickly, simmers for a half hour and is ready to eat.  It's forgiving when I don't have all of the right ingredients (like only 1 can of black beans, so I subbed 1 can of great northern beans and no fire roasted tomatoes, so I used organic tomato sauce).  I've used many different combinations of almost the right ingredients (no chopped mild green chilies? use dried jalapeno instead) and it's delicious every time!
Southwestern Black Bean & Corn Chowder
Today, I picked up a small container of Creamy Tomato Bisque soup and put it in the fridge at work.  I'm thinking you can guess what happened tonight when I was in the car driving home.  Yep! I left the soup at work.  My son still wanted Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese, so I went online searching for soup recipe.  And, I found a good one ... Panera Creamy Tomato Soup Copycat Recipe by The Novice Chef. 

It was an easy fix to veganize this recipe.  I switched out the half and half for SO Delicious Coconut Milk Creamer.  I also added a few things based on the suggestions in the comments of her blog.  The result was a creamy soup that mimics the taste of Panera Bread's Tomato Soup. Here is the slightly altered recipe below. 

Vegan Creamy Tomato Soup
Serves 4


2-3 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves (run through a garlic press0
1 large onion, sliced (I used 2 small)
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes (add more for a spicy soup)
1 tablespoon Earth Balance
2 (28 oz.) cans San Marzano peeled whole tomatoes with juice
1 to 1½ cups water 
1 vegan chicken bouillon cube
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup SO Delicious Coconut Milk Creamer
1 small package of organic basil leaves (in the produce section) sliced in ribbons
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt & pepper to taste

Heat pan, add olive oil and then add garlic & sliced onions at the same time.  Cook over medium to medium low heat stirring frequently for 4 minutes.  Add smoked paprika, red pepper flakes and Earth Balance.  Continue cooking another 4 minutes or so until onions are translucent.

Add the tomatoes with juice, water, bouillon cube and sugar.  Turn the heat to medium until soup starts to bubble.  Simmer for 12 -15 minutes.  Add the vegan creamer, basil, oregano and salt & pepper to taste.  

Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until it's smooth with no large chunks of veggies or spices.  Serve with crusty bread or grilled vegan cheese sandwiches. Can be frozen for up to 3 months.

This is definitely enough to feed 4 people.  My son and I both had a generous helping and I'm freezing the rest to eat another week when I need "fast food" at home.