Saturday, January 14, 2012

comfort food- tomato tortellini soup & 4-cheese and bacon grilled cheese

so... i do realize that i have been out for a while, so there is MUCH to get caught up on my little blog. but i decided that i would postpone the newsy catch-up blog posts, which i will admit are rather exciting (ok, so not really), and i would go ahead and type up this post before i forget these recipes, because we thought that they were rather delicious. not that our opinions are always right, but oh my! this was a yummy lunch.

my husband has been fighting a cold for almost 3 weeks now. he was feeling so much better this week, but last night the congestion got ahead of him again. strangely enough there was a lot that i wanted to accomplish today since i have been feeling ridiculously behind in every aspect of my home life, but somehow the wifely duty to care for my sick husband took over. he requested comfort food for lunch, actually spaghetti was his first request, but that didn't sound good to me at all.
 i suggested grilled cheese and tomato soup. that menu was approved and we proceeded from there. keep in mind that i was asked to make 'the best grilled cheese that he has ever eaten'... no pressure? ;)

but i think i did ok. :)

when i was visiting my sister several years ago she made a tomato tortellini soup with smoked sausage. it was delicious, but i couldn't find my recipe. i thought about calling her for it, but i decided that i would just try to come up with something similar on my own.

here is what i came up with:

tomato tortellini soup with smoked sausage-

1 T. olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1-28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1-15 oz. can diced tomatoes (or stewed tomatoes)
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 T. sugar
2 cups half-and-half
1 1/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 pkg. smoked sausage, sliced and browned
1 pkg. refrigerated tortellini pasta

1. heat the olive oil at medium-high in soup pot or dutch oven. add the onion and cook for 3-5 mins or until onion is transluscent .
2. reduce to medium heat and add the canned tomatoes, onion and garlic powders, basil, salt, pepper, and sugar and heat until boiling. add the half-and-half and heat through.
3. puree tomato mixture in pan with an *immersion blender or if you don't have one, transfer the mixture to a blender and puree {this step is not critical, but i liked the smoother consistency of the soup without the pieces of tomato and onion in it. and the blending frothed the half-and-half and made it creamier... maybe it was just in my head though}.
4. add the chicken broth, the browned smoked sausage, and the tortellini. simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until the tortellini is done.

it should should look something like this

serve topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese

*** i never thought that i would use an immersion blender (also called a stick blender), but mine has come in handy quite often. it is especially nice not to have to transfer hot soup to another container and then transfer it back. immersion blenders are fairly inexpensive and are well worth their low price.
this is the immersion blender that i have.
they are available at walmart and target starting around $30.

4-cheese and bacon grilled cheese sandwich-

4 slices sourdough bread
1 oz, lowfat cream cheese, softened
2 oz. smoked cheddar cheese
2 oz. pepper jack cheese
2 oz. parmesan cheese
3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 T. mayonnaise
1 T. butter or margarine


spread cream cheese thinly on each slice of bread. 

 grate each of the cheeses and sprinkle evenly on 2 of the slices of bread (your sandwich 'bottoms').

sprinkle bacon over the grated cheese.

 place second bread slice, cream cheese side down on each sandwich, then thinly coat each side of sandwich with mayonnaise*.

heat skillet to medium heat. melt butter and place sandwiches in center of skillet. 
cook until lightly browned, then flip and brown the other side. if cheese isn't melted through, lower heat to low to prevent burning and flip again.

the results, AMAZING!!!!

*i know that the mayonnaise may sound disgusting, especially if you are a mayonnaise hater, but just trust me on this one, it's amazing! mayonnaise is made primarily from oil and egg. so basically when you cook your sandwich in the mayonnaise coating, it is similar to the coating that you get on french toast (minus the sweetness). just try it one time and you will be hooked. i learned it from the best chef that i know. ;) 
thanks mom. 

hope that you enjoy your comfort dinner. 

1 comment:

  1. Sounds delicious and looking forward to trying it. :)