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Canadian Tire Kitchen Crew Mission 1: Easy back to school tomato soup

Rustic tomato soup topped with creme fraiche and red pesto recipeHappy Labour Day! For many of us, today signals the end of the carefree summer lifestyle as we head back into our regular routines.  Having been away most of the summer, in Europe and in Mexico, I am kind of pleased to be getting back into my day-to-day routine. I need the structure!  For me, meal planning (or at least planning ahead a few days!) is a huge part of feeling like I am in control  and I am so looking forward to getting back to the kitchen again. For the first few weeks of school, however, I need recipes and techniques that save me some time, which is why I am thrilled to be taking part in Canadian Tire‘s Kitchen Crew Missions this Fall.

Our first mission, to be accomplished with the aid of the Cuisinart Blend and Cook Soup and Beverage Blender, was to create easy back to school meals with a prep time of 20 minutes or less. Quite the challenge, n’est-ce pas?  Something I always go back to in the early days of Fall is soup.  For me, there’s nothing more comforting than a bowl of homemade soup when the weather starts to turn chilly at night and one of my favourites is my mum’s tomato soup recipe. Perfect on its own, with a grilled cheese or as a starter for a larger meal, this soup is the perfect way to use up those end of summer tomatoes still lingering on the vines…

The only thing is, this soup takes up to 2 hours from start to finish, made the traditional way on a stove top. Great when you have the time but what about when you come home from work later and don’t have the time.  Luckily the Blend and Cook is able to do just that – cook the ingredients but also blend them all in one recipient.  At 900W, it’s a powerful multifunction blender with an integrated easy clean heating plate that lets you sauté, boil, heat and simmer all your pre-cut ingredients right there in the blender.  Boasting 3 heat settings, 4 blending speeds and a stir function, the Blend and Cook lets you blend ingredients to the perfect consistency.
I love that you can whip up a soup with just a few minutes prep and about 30 minutes cooking in this. Of course, the flavours won’t be as deep or pronounced as a soup made and simmered for hours but on a busy weeknight, it’s a whole lot healthier than reaching for a package or a can.  The blender did a great job of cooking the ingredients and blending them to a “rustic” consistency, just like this soup is supposed to. The seal-tight lid with a built-in cup made it easy to add ingredients (like extra stock) while cooking the soup and I loved that there was a timer to let you know when the food is ready.

The prep time for this recipe is about 10 minutes. Whilst the soup is cooking, you can pretty much go about your business until it’s ready to blend.

And one of the best things about this? Only one knife, one chopping board and one glass blending jar to wash up! Quick prep and hardly any cleaning up – what could be a better way to get back on track this Fall?

My only complaint is that it’s really heavy (that would be the glass jar) and when it’s full, even more so, making it a bit unwieldy to pour without making a mess (the spout could use a better design, you have to be really careful pouring).  But other than that, it’s a great concept and I can see it being a bit of a lifesaver for busy people.

Bon appétit and bonne rentrée to all the teachers and students!

Disclaimer: I was provided with compensation as well as a  Cuisinart Blend and Cook Soup and Beverage Blender in exchange for writing two posts about the product. All opinions are 100% my own.  The Kitchen Crew series highlights my stories, recipes and tips with promotional consideration made possibly by Canadian Tire. If you want to uncover your kitchen’s true potential, stay tuned to the Kitchen Crew for my weekly missions.

Come join SoupaPalooza at TidyMom and Dine and Dish sponsored by KitchenAid, Red Star Yeast and Le Creuset

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50 Responses to Canadian Tire Kitchen Crew Mission 1: Easy back to school tomato soup

  1. Belinda @zomppa September 5, 2011 at 08:59 #

    Is it really back to school? Well, this soup certainly is a great way to welcome fall back!

  2. Nelly Rodriguez September 5, 2011 at 09:10 #

    Tomato soup is by far one of my favorite soups! Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  3. penny aka jeroxie September 5, 2011 at 09:17 #

    I like the look of the blender and the soup!

  4. Michelle O September 5, 2011 at 09:19 #

    Great color on this soup. Your photos are awesome too! Buzzed! :)

  5. Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. September 5, 2011 at 09:42 #

    Tomato is one of my favorites as well. This rustic soup looks so delicious and perfect for the cooler weather! And how cool is that blender?!!

  6. Lynn @ I'll Have What She's Having September 5, 2011 at 10:37 #

    I know exactly what you mean about meal planning making you feel more in control. I haven’t been in control of what I eat for a few months now (living with my parents) and feel I’m in a complete tailspin!
    Tomato soup and grilled cheese really are the ultimate comfort foods. This looks wonderful :)

  7. Edible Potential September 5, 2011 at 11:17 #

    A Cuisinart is just so helpful, right? I’ll have to make this for my sons lunch, thanks!

  8. April @ Girl Gone Gourmet September 5, 2011 at 11:33 #

    Love me some tomato soup– can’t wait to make my first batch of the fall! Weather is FINALLY starting to cool down here in TX, which means I’m starting to think about all the wonderful comfort foods associated with fall– tomato soup and grilled cheese tops that list for sure! Interesting twist on a blender– what will they think of next? :)

  9. Lindsey@Lindselicious September 5, 2011 at 12:04 #

    Oh I totally want to make tomato soup, I have never tried making it before! Bookmarking this to make soon!

  10. Mr. Neil September 5, 2011 at 12:47 #

    Let me just say that I TOO am delighted to see Mardi get back into meal planning…. ;-)

    This Cuisinart was an odd-looking instrument, I must admit. Shades of countertop Dalek at first. But the concept is so obvious I’m surprised it’s taken this long for someone to develop – and dead simple to operate.

    Oh, the soup was tasty too. :-)

  11. Mike@The Culinary Lens September 5, 2011 at 13:16 #

    A very simple but no less delicious soup. I love the idea of a cooking blender. I think Vitamix have had them for a time but they are very expensive.

  12. Kimmy @ Lighter and Local September 5, 2011 at 14:08 #

    I saw this contraption in the latest Williams & Sonoma catalogue and really gave it a few lingering thoughts. I love soup, I hate using about 16 pots, pans, or dutch ovens to get what I want. For something quick, this looks fun! (Like I need another kitchen gadget. ;-) )

  13. mademoiselle délicieuse September 5, 2011 at 17:17 #

    This has just been released in Australia as well! Can it cook anything other than soups/pureed foods though?

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite September 5, 2011 at 17:20 #

      From what I can tell, it’s just “soft foods” that it can cook. A real timesaver for those sorts of things…

  14. Paula September 5, 2011 at 21:18 #

    Your Mom’s tomato soup looks wonderful and perfect for this time of year.

    I agree, there’s nothing like a soup that has been brewing on the stove for hours.

    When you don’t have hours…this latest little appliance looks like it will do the job very well :)

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite September 19, 2011 at 18:05 #

      Yes it’s great to know that it doesn’t have to take all day for a great bowl of soup!

  15. Stephanie - The Travel Chica September 5, 2011 at 22:49 #

    I am guessing this is more delicious than a can of Campbells :-)

  16. Ann September 5, 2011 at 23:53 #

    Delicious soup and a way cool appliance!

  17. Denise @ Creative Kitchen September 6, 2011 at 00:20 #

    You make tomato soup look SO easy!! YUM!!

  18. Candace Karu September 6, 2011 at 06:56 #

    I love the idea that you can have real comfort food, that’s good for you, in such a short time. This would be perfect with a grilled cheese sandwich. Thanks for this great post!

  19. Jill Colonna September 6, 2011 at 11:28 #

    I’m feeling all comforted just looking at that gorgeous photo – especially with rice in it, as brings back memories (that scene in Ratatouille.) One of my fav soups and sure beats a tin!

  20. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen September 7, 2011 at 00:07 #

    What a great concept, I’m always turned off by having to clean lots of dishes when I’m cooking.

  21. Lindsey September 7, 2011 at 06:33 #

    This comes at the right time – getting into tomato soup mode!! Alas, I need to get my hands on that blender!

  22. Darcy Jones September 7, 2011 at 22:21 #

    This looks perfect for the rainy week we’ve had here in NYC! A nice back to school lunch for mommy I think ;)

  23. 2peas September 9, 2011 at 09:20 #

    was just thinking of tomato soup the other day and looking for a recipe. Thanks!

  24. Isabelle @ Crumb September 10, 2011 at 12:29 #

    Great post, Mardi! I’m a little jealous of the clever gadget you got… Though I think I still like my Griddler better. :)
    I love pureed soups, and this one sounds like a treat…. Especially with the tomatoes being so great this time of year!

  25. Don (@foodieprints) September 13, 2011 at 15:36 #

    Now if Campbell’s preserved soup that looked like this, they wouldn’t have to worry about upping salt to regain market share…

    Delicious work as always Mardi! Great post :)

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