Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup – With a Twist

My daughter and I debated going out for lunch.  We’d both rather stay home, we decided.  “Is there anyway we could throw together some sort of vegetable soup?” Lauren asked. 

Checking the pantry, I found tomatoes, white and red kidney beans – Score!

Fresh Mozzerella cheese left from a few days ago made fantastic grilled cheese sandwiches on crusty Italian bread.  Lunch was ready in 30 minutes, with no digging in the wallet. 

Tuscan Tomato and Bean Soup

Tuscan Tomato and Bean Soup

Tuscan Tomato Soup with White and Red Kidney Beans

2 Tbls olive oil

1 cup diced onion

2 large cloves garlic, minced or pressed

1/2 tsp dried oregano

2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 28 oz can whole or diced tomatoes (chopped, if whole)
1 can each white (cannelini) and red kidney beans, drained and lightly rinsed

salt and pepper to taste

pinch cayenne or crushed red pepper flakes

several leaves fresh basil, torn or cut into ribbons

shredded or grated parmesan, romano or asiago cheese

In a 3 quart pan, heat the olive oil until hot and add the onion.  Cook gently until the onion is translucent.  Adding a pinch of salt will help speed the process.  Once the onion is cooked, add the garlic and stir for another minute or two until fragrant. 

Add the tomatoes, broth, oregano and cayenne.  Heat to a simmer, then add the beans.  Cook another 5-10 minutes until the beans are heated through. 

Ladle into bowls and garnish with cheese and basil.  Enough for 4-6.

The ultimate companion to any tomato soup is a grilled cheese.  Spread a bit of butter on two slices of Italian bread.  Heat a saute pan or griddle until hot.  Lay one slice of bread on the pan, top with fresh mozzerella, then the other slice of bread, butter side up.  Grill until lightly browned, flip and brown the second side.

Enjoy!

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