July 25, 2021

Donna’s Day: Alfresco soup and sandwiches

Prepare a tasty lunch for all ages and eat it outdoors together while the days are sunny and warm. In this menu, melted cheese sandwiches cut in wedges and semi-homemade tomato soup with fresh chunks of ripe tomatoes from the garden taste fresh and satisfying.

Serve with watermelon slices, strawberries and other summer fruits for dessert. A cupcake or sea-salt topped brownie makes the alfresco lunch extra special if there’s a birthday in the house or if you crave something so deliciously sweet.

Here are the simple soup and sandwich “comfort food” recipes you can throw together in minutes with your pint-size chefs. Serves 4 to 6.

Citrus-Flavored Tomato Soup

Empty one large 15.2-ounce can of condensed tomato soup into a saucepan. Fill the can with equal parts orange juice and water and add to the soup. Stir well and simmer.

Ten minutes before serving, add one chopped fresh tomato. Serve in attractive mugs or small bowls garnished with fresh basil. Set on individual plates with melted-cheese sandwiches and fruit.

Melted-Cheese Sandwiches

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, let your child stir together 1 cup of reduced-fat four-cheese Mexican shredded cheese, 1 to 2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise, 1 chopped scallion and, depending on tastes of your children, 1 teaspoon fresh thyme.

Lightly butter the cut side of two halved large sandwich rolls, or 1 halved small baguette. Your child may spoon the cheese mixture evenly over the buttered bread and set on a cookie sheet. Bake in oven for 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and bread is lightly toasted. Cut into wedges.

Alternate idea: Use your favorite bread instead of sandwich rolls or a baguette and cut bread slices with biscuit cutters or cookie cutters for whimsical sandwich shapes. Follow above steps for melted cheese sandwiches.

Donna Erickson

Find more recipes and family fun at www.donnaerickson.com. © 2021 Donna Erickson distributed by King Features Synd.