Tornado Watch and Tomato Soup

The view that greeted me from my patio Sunday morning was miserable.  Still, it turned out to be the meteorological high point as the day progressed and the sky simply grew darker and continued to dump endless buckets of water from Tropical Storm Debby.

We weren't going anywhere, including to the grocery store, which gave me just the excuse I needed to make bread.  I usually like overnight starter recipes that make chewy loaves with a sourdough tang, but this day I needed something quicker.  The recipe from King Arthur Flour for English Muffin Toasting Bread worked out perfectly.

I only had to make a single substitution for The Kid's food allergies:  plain soy milk for the full on dairy.  Although the recipe called for instant yeast, I used a packet of active dry, simply because that's all I had on hand.  Proofing did require a full 90 minutes instead of the 30 to 60 called for, but I was expecting a longer rise after switching up the yeast.  The only other change was to give it a quick spritz with water right as I put the loaf in the oven, both to give the oven spring a little boost and to help the crust brown.  (Since I can't do an egg wash, I almost always use my spray bottle on yeasted baked goods so they develop a nice golden brown color.)

This quickie bread recipe definitely gets high marks.  If you try it, though, be sure to apply the cornmeal generously, since my loaf wanted to stick to the pan in a few places where it was thinner.

The bread was a perfect match for the new daiya "chedder style wedge", that I finally found at the health food store, so my son is now able to experience a grilled cheese sandwich with his tomato soup.  (He hasn't been suffering, though, because he loves his grilled Sunbutter and banana sammies.)  I'll admit to being a bit disappointed when I first opened the package, since the shreds had given me such high expectations.  It looked like Velveeta, and not in a good way.  Then I tried it.  It actually tasted like cheddar, though the texture was also reminiscent of cheese product.  Velveeta needs to visit daiya's test kitchen and take notes!

The verdict on the wedge?  Great taste, fantastic for melting, but I wouldn't put it on a cracker.

By the way, did I mention the tomato soup?

Thick and Rich Tomato Basil Soup
(Click here for printable recipe.)

2 Tbs olive oil
1 large onion roughly chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp kosher salt
half dozen twists fresh ground pepper
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes with liquid
6 oz can tomato paste
4 C water
1/4 C fresh basil leaves, chopped

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pot.  Add onion, celery and seasonings.  Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft.  Mix in garlic, then add tomatoes, paste, water and basil to the pot.  Squish tomatoes against the side, stir paste until mixed with water, then bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium low and allow to simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.

Remove from heat.  Carefully use an immersion blender to puree soup to desired smoothness.  Or desired chunkiness, if you prefer.  Adjust salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Leftovers freeze extremely well, but may stain plastic containers.

I'm sharing my rainy day meal with:


Kathryn @ Mamacado said...

Wow, two great ideas that I'm going to make for my son! I'm going to search for the Daiya wedge in my area. I do make grilled cheese for my son with the shreds, but it looks like this would make a more traditional sandwich. Also, the tomato soup looks divine. Can't wait to make it for the whole family. Thanks!

Katie said...

I feel ya on the horrible weather. We were driving through the storm all day sunday. Love that you were able to find your son "cheddar cheese"! :)

Healthy Recipes said...

After reading your post, i am getting hungry !

Deanna said...

Just printed out the bread recipe for tonight! Thanks!

Sian said...

Hi, just found your blog - your food looks lovely (especially liked the Butterfly biscuits : ) I have a son with numerous allergies, some severe others not so bad - also asthma and ezcema. I started my own blog a few months ago with a view to printing it off for him in the future as a pressie!
Will check in again : )

jokesfb said...

I love these dishes and I fell hunger to see this , All of these are really very Nice

Discount LASIK surgery in New Jersey said...

Thanks for the recipe! My son always hated tomato soup until you came along! :)

Jeanine The Crafting Fiend said...

is there any cheese that is vegan you would recommend for on a cracker? I became MEGA dairy allergic with my 1st pregnancy and now even after having my second I still am :( but I MISS cheese soooo much!

Libby said...

Hi Jen, I really feel for you on the cheese. I think it's so much easier for the kids who've never tasted it to go without!

'Fraid I don't have a suggestion for a straight up eating cheese sub, but you might be able to get your fix with a super gooey mac & cheese, likethis one. (Sorry for the shameless self-promotion, but it's really the best idea I've got!)

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Deanna said...

I made the soup this evening - what a hit with my 5 year old!! He ate the whole bowl! Woohoo for veggies! Thanks for such a great recipe.