The CGC Cooks: Classic Winter Comfort

I have been looking for ways to bring more of what I like to my blog and branch out from just fashion. Among other things, I am a lover of food! I love trying new restaurants, making up recipes and trying new ones. Food is a big part of my life. About a week ago, I took to my Instagram stories with a homemade bowl of creamy tomato basil soup, garlic parmesan croutons and the world’s best-grilled cheese (made by yours truly) and asked if you all would like to see some recipes on the blog (see results below). As always there were a few haters but for the most part, my people were here for it! Y'all the real MVP's!

A few weeks ago in the south we bypassed fall and went straight to winter. It was in the 30’s y’all! So for some warmth and comfort, I decided to whip up one the upmost comfort foods, tomato soup and grill cheese sandwiches for my mom and me. Now truth be told, I have not always been a tomato soup fan and I honestly only prefer it when it’s homemade. It doesn’t take much time at all the results are deliciously amazing.

Thebest thing about soup is it’s a one pan dish so clean up is easy and it’s super simple to make, I promise. Let’s cook!

Tomato Soup:

1. Start with a 4 quart pan. In the sauce pan throw in the olive oil and the onion and turn heat to medium. Cook until onion is translucent.
2. Next throw in the cans of tomatoes, both crushed and whole along with the garlic, crushed red pepper, chicken stock, basil, oregano. Stir well and bring to boil. Boil for about 10 minutes.
TIP – Season to your liking. The measurements are just suggestions. That’s how I take all recipes. Sometimes you might need a little more here and there.
3. Now this is where a little more work comes to play. You either want to get out your blender, Ninja or hand blender (photos below) to blend up the soup. You can blend it as much or as little as you like. This will determine how smooth or chucky your soup is. I had the hand held blender so I was able to blend right in the pot.
4. After blending to desired smoothness, slowly add in the heavy cream. Mix and add at the same time.
5. Add in a pinch of sugar and salt and pepper to taste then simmer on low for 30 minutes.
6. Lastly, add in fresh grated parmesan cheese and stir.

1. Cut baguette into 1 inch or 1 ½ inch pieces
2. In a bowl mix oil olive, garlic powder, parmesan cheese and Italian seasonings if desired
3. Bake at 400 degrees until golden brown

Grill Cheese:
The options are endless make it how you see fit. I like to butter both pieces of bread (I used a herb sourdough from my local Kroger BOMB!), add about 3 deli slices of Colby jack cheese (give or take how much cheese you like) and pan fry on medium heat. I like to cook it slowly so the cheese melts and the bread doesn’t get too brown. If you are feeling fancy and like garlic take a piece of garlic and rub it on the outside of sandwich once it’s cooked. Gives it a nice light garlic flavor.

There you have it loves and lovers! A perfect winter time comfort meal. If you have any suggestions please let me know in the comments. If you try the recipe also let me know how you like it. Until next time! Remember in my kitchen, there are no rules. Food is not only nourishing to the body but also comforting to the soul!

Creamy Tomato Soup Recipe:
1 28 oz can of peeled whole tomatoes
1 28 oz can of crushed tomato
1 cup of chicken stock or vegetable stock
¾ cup of heavy cream
¼ cup of fresh grated parmesan cheese
½ of a yellow onion chopped
2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil
3 cloves of garlic
10 fresh basil leaves or 2 tablespoons of dried basil
2 teaspoons of dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper (optional but doesn’t add a lot of spice but flavor)
Pinch of sugar (Yes I did pull out the grandma term. You just need a little to bring out the flavor of the tomatoes.
Salt and pepper to taste

Crouton Recipe:
½ or whole French baguette
2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 teaspoons of garlic powder
3 teaspoons of grated parmesan cheese
Optional Italian seasoning

Grill Cheese:
2 slices of bread per sandwich
Butter on each side
3 sandwich size slices of cheese

Optional: fresh garlic 

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