Gluten-Free Comfort Food and Tomato Cannellini Bean Soup

This guest post is from Heather at Gluten-Free Cat.

When diagnosed with gluten intolerance, one of the first things that we mourn is our comfort foods.  It may be a stack of steaming pancakes, gooey cinnamon rolls, a sticky peanut butter sandwich, or a chicken pot pie that parts the grey clouds on a dreary February day, letting the sun shine in.  Whatever our happy-making foods happen to be, when we can no longer eat gluten, we mourn these mood-altering dishes.  Thankfully, we don’t have to lose these foods forever.  We can still create gluten-free versions of our comfort foods, and we can even make healthier versions that we can feel good about eating.

Growing up, my comfort food was a simple grilled cheese sandwich and a bowl of Campbell’s Cream of Tomato Soup.  Oh the simple joy of cleaning my dish with the crust of my sandwich!  Apparently our cat had a need for comfort food too, because he would lick up any remaining soup that my gluteny crust left behind.

Today, while I take comfort in more wholesome foods, sometimes it’s just time for grilled cheese and tomato soup.  Gluten-free, of course.

My favorite grilled cheese sandwich is made with Rudi’s Multigrain Gluten-Free Bread and Colby Jack Cheese.  Lightly browned in a skillet until the cheese oozes out the sides, this simple sandwich is perfection, especially paired with tomato soup.

Here are a few gluten-free tomato soups that you can take from the pantry to the dinner table in mere minutes:

Pacific Organic Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup
Amy’s Organic Cream of Tomato Soup

But you may want to try my Tomato Cannellini Bean Soup, as it takes comfort to a whole new level.  Not only is it thick and delicious, but it’s easy to make, dairy-free, and high in protein.

Tomato Cannellini Bean Soup
from Heather at Gluten-Free Cat

Serves 4 bowls of comfort

1 ½ teaspoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
½ yellow onion, chopped
10 Roma tomatoes, 9 quartered, reserve 1 diced
2 roasted red peppers
1 (15-ounce) can of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (reserve ¼ cup beans)
1 teaspoon – 1 tablespoon Cholula sauce (to taste)
1 cup So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning (or 1 tsp. oregano, 1 tsp. marjoram, 1 tsp. basil, ½ tsp. sage)
1  teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1.  Heat olive oil over medium heat and add garlic and chopped onion.  Sautee until the onions are soft.

2.  Place 9 tomatoes, roasted red peppers, cannellini beans, Cholula sauce, and onion mixture in Vitamix or blender and puree.

3.  Pour the contents of the Vitamix into a medium saucepan and stir in coconut milk, Italian seasoning, the diced tomato, and the reserved cannellini beans.  Season with sea salt and pepper.

4.  Bring the soup to a light boil.

5.  Reduce heat to low and simmer while you grill up those cheese sandwiches.

What is your favorite comfort food? Have you found or created a gluten-free version?

Heather is the gluten-free blogger behind Gluten-Free Cat by night and a Kindergarten teacher and fitness instructor by day.   She writes about healthy, gluten-free living and shares gluten-free recipes, product reviews, and restaurant reviews on her blog.

Contact Heather at heather (at) glutenfreecat (dot) com. Follow her on Twitter and ‘Like’ her on Facebook for more healthy gluten-free recipes.

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