Fire Roasted Tomato Soup

I was given a large pile of tomatoes earlier in the week. I already have salsa in the fridge, and given it’s becoming fall now, so I wanted something warm and comforting. I decided to make them into a heart warming pot of soup. I wanted to roast the tomatoes and onions to really bring out the flavor in them. Since I wanted to keep the soup fresh and healthy I did not go with a cream based. You want to roast the tomatoes until they are starting to lightly bubble and become black. This recipe can easily become vegetarian by swapping the chicken broth out for vegetable. I think the chicken adds just a bit more flavor.

tomsoup4Ingredients:
2 pounds of tomatoes, cut in halves
1/2 white onion, sliced
1 clove garlic
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 cups chicken broth
pinch of ground thyme
3-4 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

Optional: Fresh Parmesan cheese to top it off

tomsoup3Set the oven to 375F. Place a piece of tin foil on a baking sheet. Set the tomatoes, onion, garlic, and 2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over the top of them. Place in the oven, allow to cook for 30-35 minutes. Watch for the tomatoes to be starting to bubble slightly and blacken. Remove from the oven.

While the tomatoes and onions are roasting and are close to done you can put a pot over medium heat. Pour the chicken broth in it, along with the fresh basil, thyme and salt and pepper. Once the tomatoes are ready, add them and the onions to the pot.

Allow the soup to cook on medium low heat until it simmers. About 20 minutes. Then use an immersion blender, or transfer the soup to a blender in batches about 2 cups at a time. Be careful if going this route, the soup will be quite hot. Once it is all blended together, pour into bowls. You can top it off with a bit more fresh basil, and some Parmesan cheese if you like. Makes 4 bowls.

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Fresh Mushroom Soup for Two

I love soups! They make me think of fall, the beautiful leaves, and the cooler weather. It’s not exactly cool here, but I got these lovely Crimini mushrooms at the farmer’s market. I’m a huge mushroom fan, when I make pork chops and steak, I love a big pile of sauteed mushrooms on top. They’re almost better than the main course for me! Anyways, the soup takes about a half hour to make. Since I bought a pound of mushrooms, I can make another batch of this. Cooking for two people can be tough. As much as I like leftovers, I can’t always eat all of them and need something fresh.

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Ingredients:
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 large white onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons white rice flour (pretty much any gf flour will work)
2 cups diced mushrooms (Crimini or Baby bella will work the best)
2 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
salt and pepper, to taste

Over medium high heat melt the butter in a pot. Add the onions and garlic and allow the onions to soften. Add the flour and stir it in well with the onion and garlic. Next, add the mushrooms and allow them to soften. Stir in the broth, heavy cream, and some salt and pepper. Bring to a low boil, then reduce the heat to medium low. Allow it to cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve hot.

*The vegetable broth can be replaced with a chicken broth, or even water.

*The heavy cream can be replaced with milk, but I would suggest adding a bit more flour to thicken up the soup.

This will make 2 larger bowls, or 4 small bowls. You can easily multiply the recipe to make more.

Kale and Quinoa Soup

Kale and Quinoa Soup

Today I made a pot of soup. I wanted to use some of the delicious fresh vegetables that I had available. I wanted it to be hearty and filling. I also wanted it to be healthy, and I wanted something that make good leftovers. It’s not a difficult soup to make, there’s time involved in preparing the vegetables and then you just allow it to cook.

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Ingredients:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 white onion, diced
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 medium carrots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon rosemary
2 zucchini quartered and sliced
2 cups green beans
2 cups vegetable broth
3 cups water
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed
3 cups kale
salt and pepper, to taste

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Over medium high heat put the olive oil in a dutch oven or larger pot. Add the onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Allow them to sweat for 3-4 minutes. Add in the green beans, zucchini, rosemary and paprika. Next, add the vegetable broth, water, and tomato sauce. Add in the rinsed quinoa and black beans. Lower the heat to a medium low and allow it to cook for about 20 minutes. Finally add in the salt, pepper, and kale. Allow to cook another 5-7 minutes stirring all the kale in and allowing it to wilt.

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This will serve 6-8. Serve hot, and enjoy.

A few notes: You can use fresh or frozen beans. The quinoa is uncooked and just rinsed before going into the soup. I do remove the ribs from the kale, and shred it a bit with my hands. I added a bit of cheese on top of mine since I love cheese. I’m looking forward to enjoying it again for lunch tomorrow.

Creamy Asparagus Soup

asparagus soupDo you have a garden full of asparagus? This recipe is great if you do, and still great if you need to make a run over to the local farmer’s market or to the store. It’s creamy, healthy, and delicious! I’m a soup fan and enjoy it year round, so a wonderful vegetarian and gluten free lunch like this is perfect. It goes great with a salad or sandwich, it’s very versatile.

asparagussoup2Ingredients:
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small shallot, chopped
1 pound fresh asparagus, cut into 1-2″ pieces
pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
juice from 1 medium lemon
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups milk

-Optional toppings: cheese, gluten free crackers or croutons.

In a large stock pot over medium heat, start the shallot and garlic in the olive oil. Allow the shallot to soften up for a couple of minutes, then add the asparagus. Season with the salt and pepper, and cook for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Add the lemon juice, and cook for another 3 minutes.

Add the vegetable broth and milk, and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally – bringing the soup to a low simmer. If you have an immersion blender carefully puree until the soup is completely smooth. If not, you can use a blender by scooping out a few cups at a time, blending and pouring back into the pot. If so, allow the soup to cool a bit, and be careful to not burn yourself.

Serve hot, and add any topping of choice. Enjoy.

I will note, that the asparagus got a bit “stringy” around the blades of my immersion blender, and was a bit difficult to clean. However – it was quite worth it!

Potato, Sausage, and Spinach Soup

Potato Sausage and Spinach Soup I made a healthy, delicious soup for dinner today with plenty leftover for lunch tomorrow. There isn’t a lot of ingredients, and it’s not something you have to sit and watch – which is great when I’m trying to get several things done. Since I’ve been trying to eat healthier, I’ve tried to trim a bit of the extra calories out of my food without sacrificing taste.

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound turkey sausage (or spicy Italian sausage)
salt and pepper, to taste
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 white onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon dried sweet basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
2 pounds red potatoes, cut into 1″ pieces
3-4 cups baby spinach, roughly cut
1/2 cup half and half (or heavy cream)

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In a large stock pot, cook the meat with the olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper over medium heat. Drain any excess fat then add the onions and cook until translucent. Add the basil, oregano, broth, water, and potatoes and cook for 15-20 minutes, allowing the potatoes to fully soften when poked with a fork.

Finally, add the baby spinach and half and half, and stir into the soup well, then cook for 5 minutes or so, until it’s fully heated and the spinach is wilted. Serve hot. Enjoy!

Thai Sweet Potato Soup

Coconut Sweet Potato SoupThis soup may look simple but it’s bursting with flavor! A coconut milk base with sweet potatoes and lots of spices makes for a delicious meal. This recipe makes about 4 larger sized bowls, but will easily double if you’d like to make a bigger pot.

Ingredients:
1 14 oz can of coconut milk
4 cups vegetable broth
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into small pieces
1 large shallot, sliced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger
1 tablespoon red curry paste
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
3 teaspoons fish sauce
1 large lime, juiced

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In a large pot bring the coconut milk and broth to a simmer and add the sweet potatoes, shallot, ginger, curry paste, and cilantro. Cook until the sweet potatoes are tender – about 20 minutes. When tender place into a blender and blend until smooth. This may take two rounds, be careful to not burn yourself. Place back into the pot. Add the fish sauce and lime juice. Cook for another 5 minutes, and serve hot. Enjoy!

Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup

Tomato Basil Parmesan SoupWho doesn’t love a delicious creamy tomato soup? This soup has that wonderful tomato taste along with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese. Yummy! I was so excited to be back in the kitchen today – I’d had surgery on my hand last week and I’ve mostly been eating finger foods and simple meals. This filled me up and gave me a nutritious dinner – and it really hit the spot.

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Ingredients:
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 large celery stalks
5 large carrots
1/2 large white onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
28 oz fire roasted tomatoes, diced
4 cups vegetable stock, divided
2 cups milk
1 cup fresh Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup sweet rice flour

extra Parmesan cheese for garnish

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In a food processor place the carrots, celery, and onions and finely mince. (You can also finely chop by hand if you prefer.) Place into a large pot over medium heat with the olive oil and garlic  and allow to cook for about 5 minutes and let the vegetables soften. Add the cans of fire roasted tomatoes and their sauce, the fresh basil, and 3 of the 4 cups of the vegetable stock. Stir well.

In a smaller pot over medium heat melt the butter. Slowly add in the flour and whisk constantly for about 5 minutes. Add in that 1 cup of vegetable stock that was set aside, and combine well. Add this into the larger pot of soup and mix well. Now add in the milk. salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese and stir that in well. Allow to cook for another 20 minutes.

Feel free to top off with a bit more cheese and basil if you like. I really like basil so I sprinkled just a bit more on top of my bowl. Makes 6-8 servings. Enjoy!

Crock Pot Corn and Potato Chowder

cornchowderOn those cold and busy winter days, this is great to sit down to. It’s fast and easy to prepare and you can let it sit and cook all day while you take care of other things. It goes great with some gluten free bread, biscuits, or crackers.

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Ingredients:
32 oz red potatoes, diced
16 oz corn
1 small white onion, diced
3 tablespoons brown rice flour
4 cups vegetable stock
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon turmeric
sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup half and half
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

cornchowder2Place the potatoes, corn, and onions in the crock pot with the flour and toss to lightly coat. Add the garlic, turmeric, salt, pepper, and vegetable stock. Cook on low heat for 6 hours. Add the butter and half and half and stir well, allow to cook for about 10 minutes.

Serve immediately.

Gluten Free Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup

condensed cream of mushroom soupThere’s a lot of recipes that call for condensed soups, and I would avoid them, or not make certain traditional holiday dishes because of them. There was the gluten, the sodium, and then the other pile of ingredients in the can that made me wonder – why is all of that in there? Then I learned how to make my own – and it’s really easy, and I think it tastes much better.

condesned3Ingredients:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small shallot, minced
1/2 cup mini bella mushrooms, minced
2 1/2 tablespoons rice flour
1/2 cup milk (I’ve used 1%, 2% and whole – I’d not recommend skim)
1/2 cup vegetable broth
salt and pepper, to taste

condesned2In a large skillet over medium heat melt the butter and add the shallots, cook until soft and add the mushrooms, and allow them to cook for a couple of minutes then add the flour and stir to coat the vegetables.

Add in the milk and vegetable broth until it’s combined and smooth. Allow it to come to a low boil and is beginning to thicken. Use in any recipe that calls for a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup!

Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup

pumpkin and black bean soupHere’s another delicious vegetarian and gluten free pumpkin recipe that’s perfect for those cooler fall nights. It also makes a large amount so you can either freeze some for later or have some for leftovers.

bbsoup3Ingredients:
2 15 oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained
4 cups vegetable broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

bbsoup2In a large pot over medium low heat, place the olive oil, onions, and garlic and allow them to become fragrant and cook for a couple of minutes. While they are cooking, place the black beans in a blender with 2 cups of the vegetable broth and blend until smooth. (You may need to do in 2 batches if your blender is smaller.) Transfer to the pot with the onions, and add the rest of the vegetable broth and the tomato sauce, along with the spices and the pumpkin puree. Stir together well  and allow to cook uncovered for another 30 minutes to thicken. Garnish with toppings of choice (cheeses, sour cream, green onions, etc) Serves 4-6.