Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Tomato soup brings back memories from way back for me. I attended the first five years of elementary school in an East Texas town where there was a square. That meant that the courthouse was in the center of the square, and there were businesses across the streets from the courthouse. The school allowed children to walk to the square for lunch if their parents signed a permission slip. My parents gave the okay for me to walk the block to the square for lunch. It was the highlight of any school day for me.
There was a drugstore on the square that had a fountain, the old-fashioned kind where you sit on the stools at the counter and order a vanilla malt, coke, and a hamburger – or a grilled cheese sandwich. Every time, I ordered a grilled cheese sandwich and a coke and sat in one of the two booths they had. On my way back to school, I stopped at an auto supply store on the square to see my big brother. The store kept a giant jar of big dill pickles, and my brother always gave me one to eat on my way back to school.
Memories. Certain foods bring back the feelings of home, family, friends, and fun times in our lives. Maybe that’s why I like grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup so much. Or maybe I like them both because they simply taste delicious together. I’ve liked tomato soup all of my life. My mother always kept a few cans of soup in the pantry. Tomato, cream of chicken, and chicken noodle soups are the ones I especially remember.
The tomato soup I like to make is Zesty Tomato Soup. Serve it with grilled cheese sandwiches, and you have a quick meal for the family.
Zesty Tomato Soup with Toppings
- 2 cans tomato soup
- 2 cans diced tomatoes and green chilies
- 2 cups Slow Cooker Stewed Tomatoes (or use 1 large can of stewed tomatoes)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- grated cheese
- green onions, if desired
- Put everything in slow cooker except the cream, cheese, and croutons.
- Cook on high 2 hours or on low for 4 hours.
- If you have a slow cooker with the "Buffet" or "simmer", you can choose either of them for cooking for a longer time.
- Add the cream at the last part of cooking.
- Top with grated cheese and croutons.
- Optional: green onions or other desired toppings
- For creamier soup, put the tomatoes in the blender on grind, grate, or to a texture of creamy that you like.
Make the soup creamier with more heavy cream or chunkier by less cream.
Starting off the new year with low inventory in the kitchen pantry? Recipe creations and different menus can be great fun when you’re trying to make ends meet or waiting until payday.
One of the menus I’ve come up with since January 1st is potato soup and Charro beans. You could eat either without the other, but I tried something different this time. Put the beans in a bowl first, then the potato soup over the beans, and top it all with grated cheddar cheese. I’ve added it to my comfort food list. SOOO good. Cornbread would make a great side for this new potato-bean soup, but I didn’t think of it in time.
Taco soup has been a favorite of mine for years. This past weekend I made it different than my previous recipes. That’s because I used my on-hand style of creating recipes. Whatever is on hand in the pantry determines how I make the recipe. For this taco soup on-hand version, I used the ingredients in the recipe below. It’s a first and worth skipping out-to-eat-after-Sunday-church lunch.
Pantry-Style Taco Soup
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 box or can beef broth
- 1 can corn (not drained)
- 1 can Kidney beans
- 1 large can Charro beans
- 2 cans diced chiles and tomatoes
- 1 bunch green onions, chopped
- 1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning
- 1 packet any brand of taco seasoning mix\
- sour cream
- green onions
- grated cheddar cheese
- tortilla chips
- Brown beef and drain.
- Mix all ingredients with beef except chips, cheese, green onions, and sour cream.
- Add mixture to crockpot.
- Cook on low for 4 hours.
- Come home from Sunday church, and place chips into bowls.
- Pour soup over chips.
- Add sour cream, chopped green onions, and grated cheese on top of taco soup.
- You just saved yourself some money by crockpot cooking at home - give yourself a pat on the back and
Serve this on-hand taco soup with baked potato toppings (chopped green onions, sour cream, and grated chees), and you will want a second helping. Try it with tortilla chips or Fritos (makes it taste like Frito Pie).
There are so many options to taco soup recipes – they’re all good!
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