Saturday, March 13, 2010

Creamy Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

So, here I am with a weekend ahead of me, and no specific plans.  This is a luxury.  There is no place to rush out to, no big chore looming.  It's raining but it's not a real problem (except for the water-logged driveway that sucks my car into the bowels of the earth.  My car is parked down by the road until things dry out.  So continue the driveway wars).  Thinking optimistically, I realize this rain will wash away the remnants of snow patchworked throughout the woods outside my windows.  It will dissolve the crusts of snowbanks still lurking along these country roads.  It will soak through the ground and dissolve the frost layer, bringing nourishment to the thirsty roots feeding the thickness of trees surrounding our home.  I know there are those who mourn the end of winter (you know who you are) but I am not one of them!

Other than a little bit of baking today, this blank canvas of weekend has me thinking, "OK, now what?"   I have two books from the library waiting to be read, a couple of DVDs to watch before I send them back to Netflix, and blogs to plan.  And of course, there's Henry to play hide-n-seek with.  I'll never get used to having "nothing to do" because there's always something that can be done.  My masters diploma  arrived in the mail last week, yet I'm having trouble shaking the oppressive feeling that there's research to be done, a paper to write.  A friend told me that hangs on for months, long after the degree is received.  Having been a student for so many years, I guess it might take me longer than usual to shake that feeling!  I'll just transfer that energy to blogging, and I can be good for years!

Thinking of my long school career propels me back to my high school lunch room.  I'm suddenly craving  tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches, but something elevated a bit from the fare doled out by the lunch ladies.  I'd like a crafted soup, a creamy version with bits of tomato and spiced with basil.  What's better on a rainy Saturday than an easy lunch of soup and sandwiches?  You can take care of the grilled cheese sandwich, using your favorite cheese and bread (I like real deli-sliced American and rye with a little mustard spread on the bread -- not the processed 'cheesefood' stuff in the cellophane sleeves).    Here's a great recipe for your sandwich's better half!

Enjoy your Saturday, and have a great lunch!

CREAMY TOMATO SOUP adapted from Rachael Ray

2 15-oz. containers or 30 ounces chicken or vegetable broth/stock
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes with juice, pureed in blender if you like it smoother
1 cup heavy cream
Fresh ground pepper, and salt, to taste
Basil leaves, chiffonade (rolled like little tobacco leaves and sliced horizontally into 1/4 inch ribbons)

Bring broth/stock and tomatoes to a boil.  Add cream and reduce heat to low.  Simmer for 15 minutes.  Ladle into bowls and garnish with basil ribbons and croutons.

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