Tomato And Basil Soup with Smoked Gouda Panini


With a blizzard blowing outside, nothing feels better than a soup to warm my body and soul. I could have fixed a potato soup, but I wanted something yummy and light on my stomach. Luckily I had a can left from those yummy italian tomatoes.

Though I really was looking forward eating this soup, my children were less than thrilled so I decided to fix some Panini for them.

Ingredients for a soup and Panini for 4 people;

  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion sliced and diced thinly
  • 1 can of italian tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp of basil chopped thinly
  • 2 tbsp of brown sugar
  • 2 cups of vegetable broth or more if you wish to make the soup thinner
  • pepper and salt to taste

Ingredients for 6 Panini:

  • 1 whole French bread sliced thinly
  • 1 block of aged sharp cheddar grated
  • 1 block of smoked gouda grated
  • 1/4 cup of garlic minced from a can ( or fresh).
  1. In a large pot, warm up the olive oil and when the olive oil is hot, saute the onion until it is soft and translucent.
  2. Add the basil and saute it as well.image
  3. Then add the diced tomatoes, sugar, pepper and broth and stir.
  4. Bring the mixture to boil and when it has, turn the heat down and cook for 15 minutes.image
  5. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary.
  6. While the soup is cooking, prepare the Paninis.
  7. Slice the bread very thinly.image
  8. Spread some garlic paste over every other slice of bread, then sprinkle the mixture of cheese on that same bread. Sprinkle pepper.image
  9. Place a slice of bread over the cheese and cook the panini either into a Panini press or onto a silpat for 5-8 minutes in  a warm oven of 400.
  10. Repeat until you have cooked all the paninis.
  11. Serve warm with the tomato soup. Yum!!!!image

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Kielbasa Sausage and Potato Soup

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My daughter is a senior and consequently is spending her very last year with us. BOO hoo… As a responsible adult, she has therefore been applying to various colleges over the US, some close and some not so close. In fact a bit further than we would like it to be.. but this is how life goes….

Because of a lack of time, we decided to visit a few colleges during this Christmas break. Well, I know most colleges are empty during this time but it is difficult to get some days off when you have a full time job. Any way, after offering a delicious Christmas dinner to my family on the 25th of December, we quickly cleaned everything, packed our suitcases to drive towards Florida on the 26th at 6:00 am. Though the timing was a bit hectic, we were happy to leave the Carolinas to find the sunny weather and warmth of Florida. Well, after being back I am happy to say that Lisa did not find a colleges that she fell “in love with” just yet, so may be she will not be going too too far. We can dream, right???

Well as we made our return back to the Carolinas yesterday, we also left the warmth of  Florida and found ourselves coming to an even colder state than we had left. It was 23 yesterday when we got home. BRRRR…

After a long drive, sitting more than 15 hours in the car, I was not really in the mood to cook dinner, but i was so cold that a soup really sounded appetizing. Well, after a long week of absence, I can say that little can be found in the fridge, and so i had to do with what I had: Potato and Kielbasa Sausage.

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Ingredients for a large pot of soup for 10 people:

  • 1 onion sliced thinly
  • 1 kielbasa sausage sliced thinly and cut in quarters
  • 8 medium sized potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 2 tbsp of butter
  • 4 cup of vegetable broth
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/4 tsp of pepper
  • 1-2 cup of cream
  1. Place the large pot on top of the stove and turn the heat to medium high. Add the butter and melt it.
  2. When the butter is sizzling, add the onions and saute them until they become translucent and 1
  3. Add the sausages and saute them as well.
  4. Then add the potato cubes to the onion mixture and saute them as well for a few minutes until they become a bit 2
  5. Pour in the broth and bring the mixture to boil. Lower the temperature to medium low and cook for at least 30 minutes or the potatoes are tender. Add salt, pepper and stir well. For a faster option, you may transfer the content of the pot into a large round mold, place the octogonal silpat on top to close it and cook the potatoes for 13 minutes. Then transfer the content back into the pot. Pour the broth over the potatoes, add salt, and pepper and bring it to boil. Lower the temperature and cook for 5 1
  6. Add the cream and mill the mixture until it is
  7. If  you wish to have a soup free of lumps, you may sieve the soup through a fine sieve. I did not, and still enjoy it very much. Warm and cozy. Yum!!!


Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!


Transfer the content of the pot into the large round