(Family Features) Few things go together quite like cold weather and comfort foods. However, those hearty dishes that are typically craved on blustery days are usually not classified as “healthy.”
With the right approach, though, you can put a better-for-you twist on some of your favorite dishes that can keep you cozy and satiated during the winter season. For example, you can put a grown-up twist on grilled cheese and tomato soup with this recipe for Creamy Tomato and Roasted Pepper Soup with Cheddar Cracker Melts.
Pairing flavorful seasonal dishes like soups and stews with a wholesome snack cracker like gluten-free, non-GMO Crunchmaster Tuscan Peasant Crackers can help satisfy those comfort food cravings while also contributing to a healthy lifestyle. With 20 grams of whole grains per serving, these crunchy, robust baked crackers are also cholesterol-free, allowing you to take a back-to-basics approach to your diet using simple ingredients and no artificial flavors or colors.
For other seasonal recipes, coupons, tips and nutritional information, visit crunchmaster.com.
Creamy Tomato and Roasted Pepper Soup with Cheddar Cracker Melts
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Creamy Tomato and Roasted Pepper Soup:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 pinch chili flakes
- 4 cups organic no-salt-added vegetable broth
- 1 can (28 ounces) no-salt-added diced tomatoes
- 1 cup chopped prepared roasted red peppers
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/3 cup 35 percent heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives, divided
- 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
Cheddar Cracker Melts:
- 24 Crunchmaster Tuscan Peasant Fire Roasted Tomato Basil Crackers
- 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- In Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat, heat oil. Cook onion, carrot, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, paprika and chili flakes about 5 minutes, or until vegetables are slightly softened.
- Stir in broth, tomatoes, roasted red peppers and bay leaves; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 15-20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Discard bay leaves. Let cool slightly. Transfer to blender; puree in batches until smooth. Stir in cream, remaining salt, 1 tablespoon chives and vinegar.
- To make Cheddar Cracker Melts: Heat broiler to high and position rack in center of oven. Arrange crackers on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with cheese. Broil 1-2 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
- Divide soup among six bowls. Sprinkle with remaining chives and serve with Cheddar Cracker Melts.
Tip: Use mild, medium or aged cheddar cheese. Smoked mozzarella can be substituted, if desired.
Nutrition information per serving: 250 calories; 15 g fat; 7 g saturated fat; 30 mg cholesterol; 730 mg sodium; 22 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 11 g sugar; 6 g protein.
- 4 medium red, green or yellow bell peppers
- 1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, divided
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/2 cup cooked white or brown rice, cooled
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Chopped fresh parsley (optional)
- Heat oven to 400°F. Cut tops off bell peppers; remove seeds and membranes. Place peppers upright in 8-inch square baking dish, cutting thin slice off bottoms of peppers to stabilize, if necessary.
- Combine tomatoes, tomato sauce and 1 tablespoon parsley in large bowl. Remove and reserve 1 cup tomato mixture. Combine ground beef, onion, rice, remaining 2 tablespoons parsley, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, salt and black pepper with remaining tomato mixture in bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly.
- Spoon beef mixture evenly into peppers. Top with reserved tomato mixture. Cover baking dish with aluminum foil.
- Bake at 400°F for 30 minutes. Uncover baking dish; continue baking 35 to 40 minutes to medium (160°F) doneness, until beef is not pink in center and juices show no pink color. Garnish with parsley, if desired.
Preparation and Cooking Time
Calories: 328 | Total Fat: 15g
Cholesterol: 77mg | Protein: 25g
Carbohydrates: 25g | Sodium: 824mg
Notes, Tips & Suggestions:
Cook's Tip: Due to the natural nitrate content of certain ingredients such as onions, celery and bell peppers, ground beef may remain pink even when a 160°F internal temperature has been reached. Always verify the internal temperature with a meat thermometer or instant-read thermometer to be certain it reaches 160°F.