Kiddie Dinner

Despite the five years I spent living in Europe and trying exotic dishes, despite the unusual and challenging cookbooks I received for wedding presents that I couldn't wait to plow through, and despite my love of gourmet food, there are times when all I want to do is snuggle on the couch with Will and Murphy, watch a movie, and eat comfort food from my childhood. Take yesterday, for example. After Will and I returned home from mass and running errands, I absolutely had to have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch. Nothing else would suffice. (I would also like to point out that this is incredibly rare for me, and Will attributed my craving to my ninth month of pregnancy). I have to say, I was happier eating that PB&J than I would have been dining at my favorite sushi restaurant. Again, you will rarely hear me say such a thing! I decided that I should make a day out of my childhood cravings, and serve creamy tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner.

These past couple of months, I've been going through my favorite books from my childhood in my head, trying to remember the ones that I have to read to our baby. One of the classics in our house was the story of Gus the Ghost, who, at the end of the book, threw a party at the house he haunted and served toasted cheese sandwiches. Every time my mom read this book to me, she would make me a grilled cheese sandwich. (My love of tomato soup came much, much later). I don't think that good tomato soup recipes are particularly easy to find, but this one was perfect. Low fat, just the right amount of cream, and perfect for dunking your grilled cheese sandwiches in! So anytime you're craving a hot bowl of tomato soup on a chilly, rainy day or you just want to re-create special childhood memories, look no further.
Source: All You, February 2009


  • 2  tablespoons  olive oil
  • 1  onion, chopped
  • 1  clove garlic, chopped
  • 2  tablespoons  all-purpose flour
  • 1  28-oz. can crushed tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 1/2  cups  low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2  cup  heavy cream, warmed
  • Salt and pepper

1. Warm oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes.
2. Add garlic and cook until slightly softened and fragrant, about 1 minute.
3. Stir in flour to blend, about 1 minute.
4. Add tomatoes with juice and broth to saucepan, increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Stir or whisk constantly until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.

5. Working in batches, carefully transfer soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Pour into a bowl until all soup is pureed. (For the love of everything holy, don't make the same mistake I did. I thought I had MORE than enough room in my blender to add the entire batch of soup in at once. While technically that was true, the top exploded off my blender as soon as I hit the "puree" button. Hot tomato soup exploded all over the counter top, my cabinet, and myself. Not a pleasant experience).
6. Return soup to saucepan, stir in cream and cook over low heat for 3 to 5 minutes, until heated through. Do not boil.
7. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot in warmed cups.


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