The weather's cold, your schedule's packed, and you have no idea what's for dinner. If this sounds like you, here's a thought: whip up a pot of hot soup! Making soup is pretty easy and usually only requires a few ingredients, making it easy on the budget too.
The other day, I stopped in at my local Grocery Outlet store and found these canned Hunt's tomatoes for just $0.79 each. I decided to roll with it and make tomato bisque! I drew inspiration from this recipe from AllRecipes.com
for today's post, eliminating several ingredients and adding roasted red peppers and cheese toast floats for a twist.
- 4 cans 14.9 oz diced tomatoes
- 1 red pepper
- 2 cups half & half
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 cup diced onion
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- plenty of salt & pepper, to taste
- French bread, toasted and buttered, 1 or 2 cubes per bowl (optional)
- Shredded cheese, about 2 or 3 tbsp per bowl (optional - I used sharp cheddar)
Set your oven to 450°. Cut your red pepper into slices, put on a baking sheet, drizzle with the olive oil and top with salt. Roast until they are fork tender and the skins are just starting to char - about 10-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large stockpot and add in the onions. Sautee until softened. Then add all four cans of tomatoes (undrained), salt, and pepper.
About this time, I found my red peppers were roasted, so I added them into the soup mixture. Bring it all to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for about 30 minutes. Next, add in your 2 cups of half and half and stir until heated through.
At this point, you can use an immersion blender to puree the soup. I don't have an immersion blender, so I just pureed it in batches using my Vitamix. Works just as well!
Now you could eat your soup up at this point and it would be delicious. But I felt it needed something extra... So I took a couple small pieces of French bread, toasted them in the oven with butter, then placed them on top of a bowl of soup. To that, I added a bit of shredded sharp cheddar that I found at Grocery Outlet and finished it all under the broiler for about a minute.
If you go this route, make sure to use a broiler-safe bowl and set it on a baking sheet to easily move it in and out of the oven.
This soup was very good, and I do think the toast on top made it perfect comfort food! Best of all, this recipe will yield you lots of soup - easily enough to feed 6 or 8 people or leave leftovers for a smaller family.
Like this post? You might want to read the others in this series:
Angela Russell blogs at The Coupon Project, a site that encourages families to live well for less. She lives in Tacoma, Washington with her firefighter husband and two small kids. In her spare time, she likes to read, garden, and has recently taken up canning.