I hope you all enjoyed Valentine’s Day yesterday. I’ve always been a little indifferent about the holiday, personally. Some years I would go all out and others it was just another day. In recent years, with the lack of time that my husband and I have for ourselves, I think it’s nice to have a day that reminds you to tell the one you love just how much you love and appreciate them. And now that I have kids it has a whole new meaning. It’s so true what they say about not being able to describe what it’s like to be a parent. Words just can’t describe my love for these two little beings that call me mommy. Every day is the most exhausting, most amazing, most frustrating, most delightful day of my life.
Yesterday was pretty typical of our Tuesday routine with a few special Valentine’s Day activities sprinkled in. We had scrambled eggs for breakfast so Camille could get in on the action and she loved every bite that she managed to get into her mouth and the dogs loved every bite that she managed to drop on the floor. That was followed by story time at the library. Then the girls opened their Valentines that I made while I prepared lunch. Next was nap time for them and dinner prep time for me. I made the most delicious tomato soup for dinner. After they woke up from their naps we drove to see the grandparents and aunts and uncles, so that Grace could hand out her Valentine’s cards. It was just the best to hear her yell out “Happy Balentime’s Day” as each door opened. The whole time Camille giggled and grinned from ear to ear. These sweet girls are the best. I just can’t get enough.
Since my husband is out of town this week I wanted to make a simple dinner that I knew Grace and I would love. So I thought tomato soup and grilled cheese would be perfect. The soup is comfort in a bowl and healthy too since this one is thickened with bread and not cream. And then there’s the grilled cheese. It’s really all about the grilled cheese, isn’t it? Grace’s was, of course, in the shape of a heart and mine had a little extra love because I made it with a rustic loaf of rosemary Parmesan bread that I had made. Yum! So gooey and delicious. It was the perfect thing to dunk into our soup which made dinner a little messy which is always more fun, right!?!
Hearty Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 28oz cans crushed tomatoes
- 4 slices bread, cubed
- 1/3 c chopped fresh basil
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 3 c chicken broth
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Heat oil in a heavy stockpot over medium heat; cook and stir onion until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook about a minute more.
- Add tomatoes to onion mixture and stir to combine with onions. Stir bread, basil, and brown sugar into tomato mixture and simmer until bread is completely saturated and starts to break down, about 10 minutes.
- Add butter and purée tomato mixture with an immersion blender or transfer into a blender in batches no more than half full. Add broth and simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes. Season soup with salt and pepper.
- Serve with grilled cheese. I used a combination of cheddar for a little zing and mozzarella for just the right amount of gooey goodness.