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This is a tomato soup for winter. It’s better than soup in a can—of course, because otherwise you’d just open that can—and combined with a jazzed-up grilled cheese sandwich, it makes for a very satisfying dinner. Perfect comfort food.

Tomato Soup

Serves: 4
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 jar strained tomatoes (24 ounces)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (28 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon rice
  • 2 or 3 stems of parsley
  • 1 – 2 cups water

1. Heat a soup pot over low heat and add oil, butter and onion. Cook slow and low, you don’t want to brown the onions. When they’re soft, add the garlic. No need to chop the garlic, since you’re going to puree everything at the end.

2. Add both kinds of tomatoes, the rice, parsley and water. Cover and bring to a boil.

3. Cook for about 15 minutes, then take off the heat. Use an immersion blender or a food processor to puree. Taste and add salt if needed.

Cook’s note: If your children won’t eat soup with green flecks, take the parsley out before pureeing, otherwise leave it in.

Mozzarella Melties

Serves: 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes

  • 1 ball fresh mozzarella (8 ounces)
  • 8 slices bread
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon butter

1. Cut mozzarella into slices and assemble sandwiches. Heat a griddle or frying pan over medium-low heat.

2. Combine egg and milk in a shallow bowl. Put flour in another bowl. Add a few dashes of salt and pepper to the flour.

3. Melt about half butter in the pan. While it melts, carefully dip each sandwich first in the egg, then in the flour and add to the pan. You want to cook slowly, so the cheese in the middle has time to melt. If the frying pan looks dry, add the rest of the butter, then flip when brown on one side and if the cheese isn’t melted, covered the pan and reduce the heat.

Cook’s note: You can vary this sandwich endlessly. Change the cheese, add bacon, add pesto or caramelized onions. You can also cook it on a panini press if you have one.

Shopping List

Produce
1 head of garlic
1 onion
1 bunch of parsley

Dairy
Butter
Egg
Milk
1 ball fresh mozzarella (8 ounces)

Other
1 loaf great quality, sliced bread
Flour
Olive Oil
1 jar strained tomatoes (24 ounces)
1 can diced tomatoes (28 ounces)
Rice

Click here to download shopping list.