Guest Post from Catherine McCord of Weelicious
Makes 4 Cups and 24 Croutons
I am delighted to feature this guest blog post by my friend Catherine McCord, who many of you will know. Catherine’s blog Weelicious has been beloved by moms for its lovely images and videos, fun and approachable recipes, and the fact that she has photographed her children’s enviable lunches every day since she began packing them several years ago. Catherine and I actually met before either of us had kids, before either of us were food writers, and neither of us would have known that years later we would be running arm in arm through the blogoshere, rambling on about our families and what they eat. Her new book, Weelicious Lunches, just came out (Oh, wow! Just in time for back to school! Isn’t that crazy weird timing?), and here she is to sure one of her kids’ favorites with us, right here on The Mom 100.
“Two years ago, I started taking daily photos of my son’s lunch box and shared them on my social media pages. I was floored by all the comments and questions about how to pack a balanced lunch — and what to pack it in. I truly enjoy preparing lunch for my kids – especially when the box comes home empty. After seeing the daily forums of discussion that resulted from my photos, I knew this book was necessary.
This soup recipe is one of my kids’ favorites. They love the surprisingly crunchy texture of the grilled cheese croutons. It’s great for an at-home meal or pack it in a thermos for school or work (keep the croutons separate, of course!). To keep the soup piping hot until lunch time, boil water, add it to the thermos for 5 minutes, discard water and replace with warm soup.”
Silky Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Crouton Bites
Growing up, my family’s pantry could have been a standing advertisement for Campbell’s Soup. It was the only brand of soup my mother bought, and we had at least twenty cans stacked on the shelf at any given time. I would devour a big bowl of their creamy tomato soup along with a crunchy, gooey grilled cheese on the side weekly.
While those are fond memories for me, it’s fairly simple to make classic tomato soup homemade. My own personal twist for this recipe–which I’m pretty darn proud of–are mini-grilled cheese crouton bites. How delicious do those sound to dip in your bowl of warm, rich soup? Pretty good, if you ask the little girl in me!
2 teaspoons olive oil1 small onion, peeled and diced
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and diced
2 large tomatoes, diced (about 2 cups)
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
- Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for 2 minutes, or until translucent. Add the carrots and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes more.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the pot and stir to combine.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
- Carefully move the soup to a blender and blend until smooth. You can also use an immersion blender to blend the soup in the pot.
Note: If you do not have fresh tomatoes, you can use one 28-ounce can diced tomatoes and decrease the stock to 1 cup.
Grilled Cheese Croutons
Butter, for the pan4 slices bread (any type you prefer: whole wheat sandwich, French baguette . . .)
4 packaged slices Cheddar cheese
- Butter a skillet and heat it over medium heat.
- Sandwich 2 slices of cheese between 2 slices of bread and place in the hot skillet. Cook for 2 minutes on each side, or until the bread is browned and the cheese is melted. Repeat with the remaining bread and cheese.
- Cut each sandwich into 12 pieces and serve with the Tomato Soup.