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  • Karla Hernandez

Roasted Tomato Soup & Vegan Grilled Cheese


Cheese, mmmm. Most of us drool over it, even that 65% of the population that is lactose intolerant. It's no wonder when we consider that cheese has a chemical called casomorphins. These proteins bind to the same receptors in our brains that opioids attach to and have a similar, albeit much less dramatic effect. So as a society we are literally addicted to cheese. It's probably the number one reason why vegetarians don't go vegan. So it takes a lot of determination and a very strong will to stop eating cheese.


Let's say you want to cut down on eating cheese or you want to remove it from your diet. One way to make this easier is to opt for cheese alternatives. Yay for food science! In this day and age anything is possible and there are a plethora of options. There are tons of companies that specialize in making vegan cheeses and at least one can be found at your local supermarket. Want more options? Go to your local health food store or check online and get them delivered.


Besides buying your vegan cheese premade, there are many recipes online that taste great, are healthier and can be made with ingredients that don't require you to purchase any plastic. I for one, opted for the premade cheese for this recipe mostly because I wanted my grilled cheese to include a blend of vegan cheeses and because I wanted something I could just throw on the pan really quick for the sake of time (convenience is humanities downfall). Also, I want the star of this recipe to be the Roasted Tomato Soup.


Yes, this roasted tomato soup is amazing! This recipe makes about 4 quarts.


Ingredients

Grilled Cheese:

- Toast (I got sourdough)

- 2 Packs Vegan Cheese Slices

- Vegan Butter


Tomato Dip:

- 1 Grilled Onion Blended

- 1 Roasted Red Bell Pepper

- 6 Tomatoes

- 1 Cup nuts (any type)

- 1 Veggie Cube

- 3 Garlic Cloves

- 4 Teaspoons Salt

- 3-4 Cups Veggie Broth


Directions:

For the Soup

1) Start by slicing an onion and grilling it. To grill an onion add some oil to a pan and set it on medium-low heat until the onion caramelizes, making sure to move it around once in a while. Once grilled set aside.

2) Slice the Red Bell Pepper into large pieces and roast it on a pan with a tiny bit of oil. I roasted them for about 5 minutes on medium-high heat. Once done, set aside


3) Chop the tomatoes into four and roast these as well; on a pan with a bit of oil at medium-heat, for about 5 minutes. Set aside once done.

4) Add about a cup of broth to a small pot, bring to a boil and then add a cup of nuts. I added a nut mix but you can stick to any kind and with as little or many variety as you prefer. Bring it down to a simmer for 3-5 minutes. Set aside.

5) Roast three large garlic cloves with a bit of oil for 2 minutes on medium-low heat. I sliced mine. Remove from heat and set aside.

6) Add it all to the blender with the veggie broth. You may have to do 2 batches.

7) Once everything is blended, add it all to a large pot with a veggie cube, the rest of the veggie broth if you didn't already use it up to blend and 4 teaspoons of salt and allow it to come to a boil. Once boiling it is done.


For Grilled Cheese

1) Add some butter to a large pan at medium heat. Once melted place two slices of bread on it and let it brown a little, about 3 minutes (it depends on your pan).

2) Turn the bread over and add more butter to the pan if needed. Add some slices of vegan cheese to the bread and close up the bread.

3) Flip the sandwich over after about 3 minutes so both sides get grilled.

4) Once both sides are done, it is ready to serve. Place it on a plate and serve it with a bowl of soup.


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