GMA: Sam Champion Sea Rescue & Carla Hall Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese


GMA: Sam Champion’s Sea Rescue Review & Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese with a Twist

Yesterday we had the Australian outback and today Sam Champion had Sea World bring in some of their animals. The Chew’s Carla Hall also gave us a new way to look at tomato soup and grilled cheese.

GMA: Sam Champion Sam’s Sea Rescue

Sam Champion teamed up with Sea World to produce and star in Sam’s Sea Rescue, which is now in it’s second season. You can tune in Saturday mornings on ABC to see Sam work with rescued animals. Sea World brought two of the animals that Sam has worked with on the show, Panama the Pelican and Katrina the Alligator.


Panama was rescued when he was nine to 10 weeks old. They said that he was healthy and taken care of when they found him, meaning his parents were probably killed. Sea World warned that fishing line is one of the most dangerous things for animals as it can strangle their beaks and amputate limbs.

Katrina had a backstory. She was a pet, but when her family moved they were unable to take her with them. They brought her to Sea World which gave her a second chance at life. This is a huge reminder to not have wild animals as pets. Just get a hamster, people.

GMA: Carla Hall’s Tomato Sweet Potato Soup

GMA: Sam Champion Sea Rescue & Carla Hall Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese

Carla Hall’s twist on tomato soup and grilled cheese is gourmet comfort food.


This sweet and satisfying soup is the perfect comfort food for a chilly day. Carla Hall has put her gourmet spin on a traditional meal. Try it at home!

Carla Hall Tomato Sweet Potato Soup Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 1 celery rib, coarsely chopped
  • 1 jumbo sweet onion, coarsely chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 jalapeno chile, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 fresh basil leaves
  • One 14.5-ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 Quart vegetable broth, more if desired
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • Freshly ground black pepper

GMA Tomato Sweet Potato Soup Directions:

Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat and heat the oil until hot. Add in carrot, celery, onion and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Stir occasionally until the onions are translucent (5 minutes).

Add the jalapeno, garlic, thyme and basil. Stirr occasionally until veggies are nicely brown (7 minutes).

Stir in tomatoes with juices, veggie stock and sweet potato. Bring this to a boil and reduce the heat to a steady simmer until the sweat potato is very, very tender (1 hour). Puree until smooth. Reheat the soup over low heat and stir in the cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve hot.

GMA: Carla Hall’s Grilled Cheese With Arugula Artichoke Pesto and Harvarti

Adding this to the tomato sweet potato soup means you will be having the best comfort food day.

Carla Hall Arugula Artichoke Pesto Ingredients:

  • 2 cups packed baby arugula
  • 1 cup chopped drained marinated artichokes
  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Freshly grated zest and jice of ½ lemon
  • Kosher salt
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
For the GMA Grilled Cheese Sandwiches:
  • Basil Bacon Bread or other really good loaf of bread, cut into 1/3- inch-thick slices
  • Sharp or extra sharp aged cheddar or Havarti cheese, thinly sliced; or fresh mozzarella, patted dry and cut into 1/4 –inch thick slices
  • Unsalted butter, at room temperature

Grilled Cheese With Arugula Artichoke Pesto Directions:

In a food processor, combine the veggies, garlic, pine nuts, herbs, cheese, lemon, spice and pinch of salt. Pulse until it becomes a chunky paste, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Add oil while the machine is running. Pulse to the desired consistency, less for chunkier and more for smooth pesto. Season to taste with salt. The pesto keeps in the fridge for one week or three months in the freezer.

Spread butter on one side of each two slices of bread. Spread pesto on the opposide side of each two slices of bread. Arrange a layer of cheese over the pesto and place in the nonstick skillet, butter side down, of course.

Cook, turning the sandwich occasionally, until the bread is toasty and the cheese is melted. Go slowly! Eat this sandwich hot, because it’s not good cold.


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