Wednesday, May 27, 2015

From the Kitchens of Bunny and Brandy: Smart Soups and Giveaway!

Brandy has said many time times that if it wasn't for her love of cheese, she could easily become a vegan. "I do like my meat, but I feel I could do without it," she says, "But cheese... there is just no replacing that ooey gooey, milky, stinky goodness."

Brandy predilection for solid dairy came to a head recently when she was asked to try some flavors from Smart Soup's line of low sodium, heart healthy, gluten free, frozen vegan soups.  Smart Soups come in a variety of international flavors meant not only to warm and satisfy, but nourish the body with carefully selected ingredients that are suitable for almost any diet.  As always, Brandy's interest in such a product lay not so much in its health benefits, but in its flavor. "I'm all for eating healthy, but if what one is eating doesn't taste good, there is not a lot of reason to continue in that vein," as Brandy points out.

Luckily, all of Smart Soup's products feature incredibly flavors broths, quite the feat when one considers no meat was used in their production. Brandy's favorite was the Vietnamese Carrot Lemongrass, which had a thick and creamy texture as well as crisp bits of potato, carrot, and soy beans to add texture. The Thai Coconut Curry had a lovely kick of spice that didn't overwhelm the delicate mix of crunchy Asian veggies. The Greek Minestrone was a hearty mix of beans and veggies with a rich tomato broth and just the right amount of Mediterranean herbs.  The French Lentil was very similar, but more filling with the addition of tender lentils. Lastly, the Santa Fe Corn Chowder featured an abundance of black beans and a smokey peppered spice.

As much as she loved these flavorful vegan soups, Brandy couldn't help wishing for the perfect accompaniment to any bowl of soup; a grilled cheese sandwich.  With that in mind, Brandy came up with five different versions of a grilled cheese sandwich, inspired by the bold international flavors of the Smart Soups.

Greek Minestrone
For this soup, Brandy suggests an Italian inspired grilled cheese with whole milk mozzarella and sun-dried tomato on focaccia bread.  The rich cheese and sweet sun-dreid tomato help to balance out the bold tomato broth of the soup, while the hearty focaccia bread is perfect for scooping up all those chunky veggies.

French Lentil
Another soup with a bold tomato based broth, this one, Brandy though, could use some sweetness to balance out the hearty lentils, so she paired this soup with a gruyere cheese and caramelized onions on a classic French baguette.

Thai Coconut Curry
As this soup had a sweet, spicy, and slightly sour base, Brandy thought a creamy and pungent cheese would go best, so she spread some blue cheese on a chewy naan bread, placed the creation under the broiler for just a bit, and topped it off with some fresh avocado.  The combination of this open faced sandwich with the spicy soup was so good that Brandy actually ended up spooning the soup on top of the bread as well to create the ultimate international flat bread pizza.

Vietnamese Carrot Lemongrass
This soup was so creamy and mild that Brandy felt the sandwich should serve to spice things up a bit.  Using the traditional bahn mi sandwich as inspiration, Brandy mimicked the smooth texture of the soup by spreading some smooth goat cheese onto a baguette and topped it with some fresh sliced jalapeno peppers.

Santa Fe Corn Chowder
For this South Western inspired soup, Brandy went all American and used some sharp cheddar and crisp bacon on whole wheat bread.  As this was one of the lightest of the soups, Brandy thought the rich cheddar and fatty bacon worked perfectly with the sweet corn and savory black beans.

Luckily for our loyal readers, Smart Soup has offered to treat one lucky winner to some of their fabulous products!  All that is needed to enter the giveaway is to leave a comment on this blog, on our Facebook page, our Twitter page, or our Instagram page telling us which flavor of Smart Soup you are most excited to try. A winner will be announced the morning of Wednesday June 3rd and will have 24 hours to send us their shipping address and phone number to claim their prize!
Congrats to Joann B. from Facebook with this winning entry!
"I love soup! All the flavors sound wonderful - I especially am interested in the Greek Minestrone. I also like that these soups are low sodium and heart healthy "

The writers of this blog were provided with products from Smart Soup in order to facilitate the writing of this post.

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