November Days of Gratitude: The Gift of Comfort Food

Man, I’ve struggled with today’s post.  My focus is on gratitude and it’s not that I’m not thankful for much, but that I’m thankful for so much — and what is worthy of a post, now that can be a struggle. But I finally came up with the thing.

The weather has turned around here, the days are noticeably shorter, I’m nursing a cold, and, given the events of the last couple of days (pick up a newspaper if you’ve been blissfully beach bathing and unaware), I’ve decided that we needed comfort food. Ok, I needed comfort food.  So tonight I made roasted tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches.  It’s so very 60’s of us . . . and ever so comforting.

Today, on the 6th of November, I’m very thankful for soup and sandwiches — comfort food for the heart and soul.

If you, too are in the need of some comfort food, I’ve included the soup recipe below. As far as grilled cheese sandwiches, I just go for the basic cheddar cheese on bread with butter on the outside for grilling.  You can probably find much fancier versions, if you must have frills with your comfort.

Tomato Soup:
*Full disclosure — I don’t know where I picked up the original recipe for this.
It called for heavy cream, I substitute cashew cream — and I’ve made a few
other changes as well.

1 (14-ounce) can of chopped tomatoes
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 stalk celery, diced
1 small carrot, diced
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves minced garlic
1 cup of chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup cashew cream (I make my own by blending cashews and water
in a high-speed blender)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Strain the chopped canned tomatoes, reserving the juices, and spread onto
a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, drizzle with olive oil and roast until
caramelized (about 15 minutes).

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat remaining olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the celery, carrot,
onion, and garlic; cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the roasted tomatoes,
reserved tomato juices, chicken broth, and bay leaf. Simmer until vegetables are
very tender, about 15-20 minutes. Add basil and cashew cream. Puree in blender until smooth.




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