It’s officially fall and for me that represents the start of comfort food season! The salad preparation and grilling have slowed down and the transition to warm savory dishes has begun. One of my favorite things to enjoy, once the fall chill begins to set in is soup. It’s the perfect dish to ease the transition of seasons and can easily be paired with a sandwich, salad, or crusty piece of bread to complete the meal.
I’d been craving one of my favorites, tomato soup, so I set out to find a good recipe. I have been lucky enough to pair up with Nielsen-Massey to use their pure vanilla products; like their Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract. Believe it or not, this sweetener can be incorporated into some of your favorite comfort soups, as well as so many other main course dishes, desserts and even beverages. For their full recipe collection you can look here for inspiration: http://www.nielsenmassey.com/consumer/recipes .
So with my Nielsen-Massey Fresh Tomato Basil Soup recipe and a new fun food product in hand- I was ready to go. The prep work for the recipe was fairly simple and quick. It was just dicing of vegetables. After browning them in my pot with butter, I added all the liquid ingredients and spices and voila! It now needed 45 minutes to simmer, until serving time.
I had some extra cooking motivation to spare so, I used the inspiration of a Cooking Light Magazine recipe, and whipped up a kale and caramelized onion panini.
In case you find yourself with the same craving, here is my version of the sandwich (Remember this was made for only 1 person-just multiply ingredients if making for more):
- 2 large Kale leaves (washed and dried)
- ½ Red onion sliced
- 1 tablespoon of canola oil
- 1 ½ tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
- ¼ cup Mozzarella cheese
- ¼ cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
- Cooking Spray
- 2 pieces of Multigrain Sandwich bread (I bought thick cut Panini bread for this)
Heat up oil in a medium sized pan over medium heat and place sliced onions in the heated pan to begin caramelizing. Let this cook for 10-12 minutes. Meanwhile, bring a small pot of water to boil. Place the kale in boiling water for 2 minutes until bright green, then drain and dry. Once the onions have cooked for 10-12 minutes add Red Wine Vinegar to the pan, remove from heat and put onions aside. Wipe out the pan and re-coat with cooking spray and set to medium heat. Also, spray each piece of bread on the side that will be touching the pan. Place the cheese mixture, kale, and onions between the 2 slices of bread and set in the coated skillet. If you have a panini press-use this to press down to flatten out your panini while it cooks. I did not have a panini press, so I placed a heavy pan on top of the sandwich instead (this works just fine!). Heat for 3 minutes on each side and you’re ready to enjoy!
My soup was hearty and flavorful. The hint of sweetness from the vanilla extract really came through in the soup’s aroma yet, it did not overpower the taste at all. This was a quick and easy dinner that was perfect for autumn!
Learn more about Nielsen-Massey vanilla products here: http://www.nielsenmassey.com
You can pick up their products at retailers such as Sur La Table and William-Sonoma, a full list can be found on their website.
You can also follow them on twitter: @NielsenMassey
Also, check out Cooking Light here: http://www.cookinglight.com/
*Disclaimer: The PR team sent me this product. I was not required to write about these experiences and my opinions are my own and unbiased.*