Snowed In Meal #2: Moroccan-Spiced Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese

tomato soup 8
Another day, another snow storm. Currently in central New Jersey we have over a foot (more than 30 centimeters) with more on the way. Again no work for me- my husband, a degreed meteorologist, is out in the elements being filmed for a TV segment. So it’s just me making lunch, which he’ll be able to enjoy once he’s back! Here’s our back deck:
  
snow 2-13-14
 

I knew the storm was coming, so I figured I’d head to the store on my way home yesterday (along with everyone else in the entire state!) Once I got there, it was clear- I would be relying on my own pantry and fridge again to make food- the shelves were EMPTY. And I mean EMPTY. There was barely any fresh produce. Here are some pictures of the onion bins and parsley baskets (notice the ONE bag of carrots left under the parsley)

onion bins parsley bins
 
And the bottled water section, always a favorite to show during a storm:
  
water shelves
 
No problem- I knew I could make something tasty out of ingredients already in my home. Once home, I looked through everything and saw half a carton of organic tomato soup staring at me- what is more perfect for being snowed in than tomato soup and grilled cheese?! I’d used the tomato soup as part of another recipe and it had been in the freezer ever since. Plain ol’ tomato soup wasn’t going to get it done if I’m dipping my grilled cheese in it so I knew I’d be using other ingredients around the house to jazz it up.
  
Moroccan-Spiced Tomato Soup
 
  • 15 ounces (an ounce more or less wont matter) of low-sodium organic tomato soup- one can or half a 32 ounce box will work just fine!
  • half an organic onion
  • 1 can organic diced tomatoes
  • 1 can organic beans, any kind will do (I had dark red kidney beans, so that’s what I used!)
  • 1 tablespoon salt-free organic seasoning blend
  • 1/2 teaspoon organic turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon organic coriander
  • pinch of organic cinnamon
  • pinch of organic red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
Grilled Cheese (I made mine with cheese and turkey bacon, you can simply make garlic bread- just as delicious!)
  
  • 8 pieces Ezekiel bread, thawed (I use Ezekiel because it is sprouted and really healthy- you can use whatever bread you have on hand)
  • organic cheddar cheese (however much you like- I prefer less cheese, many prefer it oozing out of their bread!)
  • 3 pieces of organic turkey bacon (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons organic vegan buttery spread (you can use butter if you have it instead). You may want to use more, I chose to use as little fat as possible
  • 2 tablespoons organic olive oil (again, you may want more!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon organic basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon organic oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon organic parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon organic garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon organic onion powder
Heat olive oil in a large pot. Dice organic onion and add to the pot when the oil is hot. Cook until onions start to become translucent.
  
tomato soup 1
 
Add the can of diced tomatoes, cook with the onions. My diced tomatoes happened to be larger than I’d like, so I used a potato masher to break them up in the pot- this is totally your call.
  
tomato soup 2
Add the organic seasoning blend- mine is salt free so I can add a large a mount. If yours is NOT salt free, use much less and taste- you don’t want it to be too salty!
  
tomato soup 3
 
Rinse and drain the can of beans, add to the pot. Once they’ve cooked for a few minutes, use a potato masher to break up the beans- they should still be chunky, you just want to release some of their starchiness to thicken the soup.
  
tomato soup 4
 
Add the spices, stir, and cook for a few minutes.
 
Add the tomato soup- mine was frozen, so I added the frozen brick right to the pot and turned up the heat. If yours is not frozen, just go head and add it and stir.
   
This is the brand I used:
  
tomato soup carton
  
Salt and pepper to taste (this will depend on how much salt your canned/boxed soup already has in it- I use low sodium so I needed to add a pinch of salt.) Reduce the heat and let the soup simmer as you prepare the grilled cheese.
  
I used Ezekiel bread, which comes frozen.
  
ezekiel bread
I thawed 8 pieces- as they were thawing, I melted the vegan buttery spread in a small bowl. I use Earth Balance Organic Natural Buttery Spread- great stuff!!! (it’s the only “butter” I bake with, too!)
  
 
vegan buttery spread
Add the olive oil and spices, stir, and put in the fridge to harden/thicken a bit.
  
If using bacon or turkey bacon, cook the three slices until slightly crispy- it will crisp up even more once removed from the pan.
 
tomato soup 5
 
Once cool enough to handle, break into small pieces.
  
Preheat your oven or toaster oven to 375 degrees F. Warm the thawed bread for just a few minutes and remove from the oven. Take the chilled spread from the fridge and spread evenly on 4 slices of bread. Take the broken up bacon if using, and arrange the pieces on the slices.
  
tomato soup 6
Put the cheese on these four coated slices- use however much you want. I used relatively little- my store just started carrying organic shredded cheese, so I picked up the organic white cheddar (they didn’t have yellow). I compared the price of a block or organic cheddar and the bag of shredded- the unit price was only a few cents different so I bought the shredded. Often shredded is much more expensive than a block, but not with this brand! I bought the cheese for a different recipe, so this was a perfect way to use up more of it.
  
Heat a little olive oil or vegan buttery spread/butter in a pan, add the four cheesey pieces cheese/bacon side up, and top them with the other four slices of bread. Lightly cook the four sandwiches on each side until bread is slightly toasty or golden brown.
  
Because I used so little fat in the ban, the bread wasn’t golden brown, but just nicely toasted- that’s how I prefer it- you can make a traditional style grilled cheese with more spread or oil if you’d like!
  
tomato soup 7
 
Once the outsides looked how I wanted them to look, I wrapped the sandwiches in aluminum foil and put them in the toaster oven to finish melting the cheese.
  
Once the cheese is fully melted, remove the sandwiches and slice in half. Serve with the tomato soup and enjoy!
  
tomato soup 9

 

This meal cost around $5.00 to make- even if you have to purchase items to make it, you will not use all of each item- meaning, you will not use the full package of cheese, you will not use the whole loaf of bread, the whole tub of buttery spread, etc. It costs out to about $5.00 to make using the amounts stated above AND I even have enough soup leftover to have for lunch tomorrow! Eating organically doesn’t have to cost as much as you think!

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29 thoughts on “Snowed In Meal #2: Moroccan-Spiced Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese

    • Amazing, right?! Whenever we are supposed to get a storm, people flock to the stores for bread, milk, and eggs. I’ve never been snowed in for more than a day so it’s always so funny to me that people freak out and wipe the shelves clean- and I’ve seen some serious, serious snow. Based on the above picture you’d be surprised to hear the roads are fine now (however, more snow is expected in the next few hours- it just never ends this winter!) People are…fascinating/interesting.

    • I have enjoyed them, even though I know I’ll have to make them up- I’m a teacher. Already got the call that there’s a delayed opening for now and could be made a cancellation depending on how much snow falls over night- it’s never ending this winter!

  1. We are also in day two of being snowed/iced in here in South Carolina. No school again tomorrow and they already have next Monday and Tuesday off! Going insane here… Anyway this looks great. We just had grilled cheese and ham on homemade bread and leftover bean and ham soup. Yesterday was tomato soup day. I hope to get out tomorrow for my sanity, that and we are on our last gallon of milk!

    • I cannot imagine being snowed in with kids for multiple days. Sounds like you guys have a good plan going on, food wise! Hopefully your store HAS milk- mine had only 2% left the night before the storm!!

      • We will go to the store today, though I don’t expect to find much since they really haven’t gotten deliveries. There may be powdered milk if I get desperate!

      • If you’re in a pinch, check out organic almond milk! It comes in cartons and is either in the non-refrigerated section or with the regular milk in the refrigerators. If you’re stuck with powdered, check to see if they have Organic Valley powdered milk. I’ve seen it in the cartoned milk section and the baking aisle. No chemicals in that brand! Good luck!!!

  2. So glad you found me, so that I can now find you! So many great posts and I’ve been on the search for a yummy and interesting tomato soup recipe for ages! Thanks for stopping by my blog and I’ll be sure to visit you again! 🙂

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