Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese – The Perfect Comfort Meal


If you are looking for a tasty, simple and comforting meal then look no further. This is a great adaptation to the classic tomato soup. This meal screams sophistication and comfort that it would  even pair nicely with a glass of white wine.  Making everything from scratch will impress any guests you decide to have over.  I attribute the inspiration for the soup to Ree Drummund of Food Network Channel.  The recipe that she has was similar to others, but I made a few additions and deletions to come up with my own version.  Six of us ate and there was soup left over for about 3 additional meals.

Products Used Worth Buying
“>Dutch Oven 



The Best Black Beans

Al's Black Beans.JPGNot sure what everyone makes for Noche Buena, but since we are a Cuban family, we make your typical Lechon asado, black beans and rice, yucca, etc. This recipe is tried and true and is actually in my up and coming cookbook as a side dish. I usually try to make dishes from scratch and I wouldn’t consider myself a lazy person, but making beans from scratch is a very lengthy process and that time is better spent doing something else in my eyes; especially if canned beans are good.

Another great thing about these beans is if you make them in advance it gives all the flavors more time to marry and they taste even better! I serve it with a garlic rice that I also make but that recipe is for another blog and is also in my cookbook. If any of you decide to make it for Noche Buena (Christmas Eve) please send me a photo and/or a comment on how you liked them.

*Red pepper – 1 whole, small dice
*Green pepper – 1 whole, small dice
*Vidalia onion – 1 whole, small dice
*Garlic – 3 cloves, miced
*Black Beans – 2 cans (15.5 oz), don’t drain
*Olive oil – 3 tablespoons
*Red wine vinegar – 1 teaspoon
*Cumin – 1/4 teaspoon
*Kosher salt – 1/2 teaspoon
*Pepper – 1/4 teaspoon
*Turmeric – 1/4 teaspoon
*Onion powder – 1/4 teaspoon
*Garlic powder – 1/4 teaspoon
*Bay leaves – 2
* Cilantro – 1 1/2 tablespoon, chopped

  • In a medium sauce pan, on medium heat, add the oil, onion and red and green peppers and cook until the onion is translucent (about 5-6 minutes)
  • Add the garlic and cook for a few more minutes (about 1-2 minutes)
  • Add the black beans and stir well mix all the ingredients
  • Add the cumin, salt, pepper, turmeric, smoked paprika, onion powder and garlic powder and mix everything well
  • Add the bay leaves, cover the pan and lower the heat to simmer
  • Simmer for at least 30 minutes
  • Add the red wine vinegar and cilantro and stir well
  • Keep covered until ready to eat and remove bay leaves before serving

Tips: You can also turn this recipe into a soup. You can blend it in a blender or use a hand held to liquefy it. If you actually drain some or most of the liquid from the can of beans, you can also add everything to the food processor once cooled and pulse to become a dip that you can serve with chips or veggies or use in a 7-layer dip. I have a lot of other recipes that you can use these beans, but those will come in a seperate post.