tomato basil soup

I’ve always loved tomato basil soup. It started when I got my first waitressing job at Vine Park Brewery in St. Paul, MN. The head chef Anthony made amazing dishes that we all loved to try. It was there that I realized there was more to meals then meat and potatoes or mac n’ cheese. Food was another art form and it was delicious. Anthony made a mean tomato basil soup, which unforetunely I can’t get anymore but have been trying ever since to make it the way he did.

This recipe I found at everyday occasions, though it’s not Anthony’s (I’ll keep looking and reinventing recipes) is a pretty good substitute. Enjoy!



  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 – 14 oz. cans of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 – 14 oz. can of whole tomatoes
  • 2 cups of stock (chicken or vegetable)
  • 1 tsp of sea salt
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup of heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons of fresh basil, julienned
  • parmesan cheese

In a saucepan, saute garlic in olive oil on medium heat for 1 minute – being careful not to burn the garlic.

Add the crushed tomatoes. Add the whole tomatoes one at a time, squeezing them into the pan to break them up. Add the juice from the whole tomatoes, as well. Add chicken stock, salt, pepper and sugar. Cook the soup on medium at a simmer for 10 minutes.

To finish, reduce the heat to low and stir in heavy cream and basil.

Serve topped with parmesan cheese and enjoy!

I elected to make grilled cheese panini’s as our side. I used a whole grain bread and palmetto original cheddar cheese spread. This stuff is good!

Butter the outside slices of bread and place onto “griddler” until golden brown. Serve while warm!!


cheeseburger soup

A recipe card used this much… I have to tell you about! It’s one of my favorite recipes for winter; I received it about five years ago, and I’ve been loving it ever since. My husband’s family threw me a bridal shower,where they invited each guest to bring a recipe they enjoyed! (I loved this idea and suggest it for all!) Lucky for me, we have some great ladies and even better cooks on both sides of my family tree.  Thank Sara Turner-White for this recipe.


  • 1 lb gound beef (I use venison)
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup chopped carrots
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 5 tbsp butter (divided)
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups diced raw potatoes
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 8 oz Velveeta
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup sour cream


Cook 1 lb ground beef until brown, and drain.

In a sauce pan, sauté onions, carrots, and celery in 1 tbsp butter until tender. (about 10 minutes)

Put veggies and meat in a big pot and add 3 cups chicken broth and 4 cups diced raw potatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes or so.

In the meantime, prepare white sauce. Melt 4 tbsp butter. Add 1/4 cup flour.

Mix for about 1 minute or until smooth and pasty. If lumpy, remove from heat and add more butter. <- I love that line. Remove sauce from heat when it gets smooth and bubbly.

Mix into the soup. Bring soup to a boil for a couple of minutes.

Reduce heat to low and add last ingredients: 8oz Velveeta, cubed, 3/4 tsp salt, 1 1/2 cup milk, and 1/2 tsp pepper. I know Velveeta isn’t even considered real cheese, but trust me, this is good!  

Cook and stir until cheese is melted. 1/2 hour before serving, add 1/4 cup sour cream.

This recipe makes 13 cups! So, for the husband and I, that’s 6+ meals! We had it all week at work. It’s so easy to heat up again and again. And for all you weight watcher fanatics, it’s 4 WWPP, per cup! (I used light sour cream and skim milk.) Enjoy!