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Fight the Cold with Better-for-You Comfort Foods

(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. For other seasonal recipes, coupons, tips and nutritional information, visit

Creamy Tomato and Roasted Pepper Soup with Cheddar Cracker Melts

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Servings: 6

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.

About Baltimore's Child

When Adranisha Stephens isn’t chasing down a story, she is traveling, blogging, photographing or spending time with family and friends. She has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Frostburg State University and a master’s degree in journalism/digital storytelling from American University.

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