How I lived for those words when I was in elementary school. Once the teacher called lunch, everybody rushed to line up! The walk to the cafeteria alone was filled with anticipation and eagerness to see what the lunch ladies had prepared for us that day. As I marched single filed through the school, tracing my hands along the big white painted bricks in the wall, I tried to guess what we were eating according to the smells drifting through the halls.
To be honest, it all quite smelled the same. I mean, it is cafeteria food. But to an enthusiastic 6 year old foodie, I would let me imagination run.
Grilled Cheese. Tomato Soup = My ish.
What!?!! Whenever my school would serve this for lunch, I was one happy mama!
The gooey, buttery crunch of the grilled cheese and the earthy robustness of the tomato soup was all I needed to get me through Kindergarten lol. Little did I know that the processed kraft singles, white bread smothered in margarine and salty canned tomato soup was not healthy. Not only is it not healthy, my grown taste buds don’t even find it delicious anymore.
Some things have changed. I’m now committed to eating foods that love me back .
But some things haven’t changed. I still love Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup.
So I got into the kitchen to figure out how to make this old time favorite healthier and as memorable and epic as it seemed to be when I was six.
The grilled cheese got an upgrade. I used sandwich thins from Trader Joe’s to reduce the amount of processed carbs. If you have issues processing dairy like I do, then you can fill it with goat cheese instead. I added turkey bacon for my meat eaters, however this isn’t necessary. I then topped it with sliced heirloom tomatoes and arugula. And then I brushed the outsides of the bread with olive oil and pressed it all together in a panini grill instead of frying it in a butterred pan.
I upgraded the soup as well. I added roasted red bell peppers for a smokier flavor and blended it with sweet potato and chick peas for a creamy texture. Often times, I would add milk or cream to my tomato soup to make it creamy. However, blending it with vegetables produces the same texture and gives it added nutrition without the extra calories and fat of milk. LUNCH TIME!Print
Roasted Red Pepper and Chickpea Soup
A creamy soup spiced with cumin and smoked paprika
- Prep Time: 5
- Cook Time: 30
- Total Time: 35
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
- 2 – 15 oz can garbanzo beans
- 28 oz unsalted plum tomatoes, peeled and whole
- 1 –12 oz jar of roasted bell peppers
- 1 small sweet potato, cubed
- 16 oz chicken or veggie broth (more if you want thinner soup)
- 3 TB garlic paste or 4 garlic cloves diced
- 3 TB smoked paprika
- 2 TB cumin
- 2 packets sazon
- salt to taste
- Bring all ingredients to a boil EXCEPT roasted bell peppers and turn down to med-high heat.
- Once sweet potato is cooked through and soft enough to mash, turn down heat to a simmer. and add roasted bell peppers.
- Let simmer for approx. 5 minutes
- Using a stick blender, blend ingredients until smooth or desired texture
- Adjust seasonings to taste
- Serve with a dollop of sour cream, greek yogurt or feta cheese