Leisure Recipes

Comfort Food on Meatless Monday

We (by which I mean mainly I) have been observing Meatless Monday for years.  It seems like all the recipes I come up with on Mondays involve a lot of carbs. Maybe some cheese and then, bam!  Instant comfort food on a Meatless Monday.

With those kinds of ingredients, I guess it cannot be considered a health initiative, but I do appreciate any attempt to cut down on meat.

I love tomato soup and it’s certainly one of my top go-to comfort foods.  But canned tomato soup really doesn’t taste good to me.  It tastes very sweet.  And with 16 grams of sugar in a can, it’s no wonder it tastes sweet.

From an old Cooking Light recipe I found years ago, I adapted a delish tomato basil soup.  It does use canned tomatoes, but it’s a fraction of the sugar found in processed soup. 

And it’s so dang easy!

Some of the other Meatless Monday creations are Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes, Farmer’s Dinner, Vegetable Soup and Spaghetti with Marinara.  I love the Trader Joe’s marinara and it has about 4 grams of sugar.  The Italian imported pasta is the BEST, but I will also use zoodles and that is certainly a healthy option.

This Monday’s menu was tomato basil soup, grilled Swiss on sourdough with Hatch chiles and a few chips on the side. 

Does anyone else eat their entire portion of chips while they are waiting on their sandwich to grill?  Is it just me?  I cannot resist it.  By the time I sit down to eat I have about four chips left.  And then I might have to dip my hand back into the bag.

Hatch chiles are still in season so I’m still roasting them up and adding them to everything.  They are similar to Anaheim, but apparently because of being grown at a high-elevation, they are much more flavorful and less of just the HOT. 


I think John bought me a batch of Anaheims in error last week and phewy!  I had to remove some of them from my sandwich because my mouth was on fire.

For the soup I made, I had the opportunity to use up all my basil and use my herb scissors. Sometimes the scissors are a hassle to use because they need a special tool for cleaning, but when prepping so much basil, they really saved a lot of time.

Herb Scissors Making Fast Work of the Basil

I love this soup because it has very few ingredients, whips up in a flash and has a creamy consistency because it is blended.  Here’s what I did:

Ingredients for Tomato Basil Soup

Tomato Basil Soup

  • 3-14.5 oz cans petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • Olive oil spray
  • 3-14.5 oz cans of water
  • 1 ½ Tbs vegetable Better than Bouillon
  • 1 cup (or less) snipped basil

Spray a large sauce pan with olive oil spray and saute garlic for a few minutes until fragrant.  Add tomatoes, water and bouillon.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.  Turn off the heat and add the basil.

Blending Basil into Soup

Very carefully add a bowlful to a blender at a time and blend or use an immersion blender until soup is smooth. 

Sunday Brunch

I’ve mentioned before that I have dear friends who have spent lockdown weekends with us.  We have enjoyed a lot of time this summer at the pool and on the pickleball courts with them.  This weekend they really upped the pleasure quotient with mimosas, fresh fruit and warm cinnamon coffee cake.

Poolside Sunday Brunch

Everyone in my life is such a blessing to me, but these friends!

As often as possible, I take a few minutes after morning exercise to pray in my special place of blessing. 

If you need a prayer, I have an opening and am happy to add you to my conversation with God so please let me know.  I’m just kidding about the opening; I always welcome prayer requests and consider it my privilege.

My Special Place

I am especially praying for the people, animals and professionals affected by the fires we are having.