I appreciate it when journalists, writers and other well-to-do people decide to blog about growing (apparent, nagging, etc.) problems in the U.S. Their efforts are supposed to bring attention and amongst all things, call others to action.

I read this article last week and it piqued my interest in more than one way.

Personally, I've had to cut my food costs by about 60% due to the economic meltdown the country is experiencing right now. 60 percent is a lot. More than half. Since it's just me, it's hard to just cook for one. Any single person can tell you that little tidbit of information. I can barely imagine families of three or more people squeaking by on what I have to use as a solo entity.

On that note, I've been making tons of soup and sandwiches for my meals.

This is my super-stuffed grilled cheese sandwich. Laced with tomatoes, cheddar, bacon, and white onions, the only thing missing on this sandwich are potato chips and a Tastykake.

This tomato soup, garnished with shredded mozzarella, really hits the spot after a long day at work. I was afraid it would taste like watery spaghetti sauce, but somehow I pulled it off. Roasting the vegetables beforehand will eliminate that worry (if it is one you are wont to have). It took no more than 30 minutes from start to finish and I had plenty leftover (for myself LOL)

Homemade Tomato Soup

1 (14-ounce) can or 1 1/2 lbs diced tomatoes, fresh
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 stalk celery, diced
1 small carrot, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
4 cloves roasted garlic, minced
1 cup water
2 bay leaves, ripped
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

In a saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the celery, carrot, onion and garlic, cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and any tomato juices, water, and bay leaf. Simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add basil. Puree with a hand held immersion blender until smooth, if desired.

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About the author

Nikki Miller-Ka

Nikki Miller-Ka

Ms. Miller-Ka is a classically trained chef with a BA in English from East Carolina University and a Culinary Arts Associate Degree from Le Cordon Bleu-Miami.

Formerly, she’s worked as a researcher, an editorial assistant, reporter and guest blogger for various publications and outlets in the Southeast. She has also worked as a catering chef, a pastry chef, a butcher, a baker, and a biscuit-maker. Presently, she is a food editor, freelance food writer, and a tour guide for Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours.

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  1. To me one of the hardest parts of cooking for one was the waste. When you size down a recipe you are left with some may parts of things. Does that make any sense?

  2. That makes perfect sense. Cooking for two is too much for me, most times. I don't mind leftovers, because they can be turned into frugal eatings later in the week, but I just want to crack open a whole egg! I don't want to use Eggbeaters for the rest of my life LOL

  3. Luckily soups of pureed veggies are so delicious. One of my favs is butternut squash soup.

  4. That sammich made my stomach do flipflops in a good way.

    Where you been, girl?

  5. I love a great tomato soup!!! LOVE - LOVE - LOVE!

  6. That soup and sandwich look DELICIOUS!

  7. Nice to see you back - and with such delicious looking things!


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