Tomato Soup on “Meatless Monday”

I love all kinds of tomato soups, even the kind in the can!   Smooth and creamy tomato soup is fast and easy to make.  This soup can be “accessorized” with garnishes like my cheese bread croutons, creme fraiche, or even some baked bacon bits with chopped hard boiled eggs.  This is a versatile soup, it can be eaten piping hot or at room temperature.  Any way you like to eat your Tomato Soup,  here is a good, easy recipe to try.  Let’s Cook!

Tomato Soup

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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A fast, easy recipe for an all time favorite soup

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Ingredients

2 large cans, 12 oz plum tomatoes with juices (note, I used San Marzano)

4 carrots, peeled and chopped

4 celery stalks chopped

2 sweet onions

1 small red onion

4 garlic cloves

2 tsp  sugar

2 cups water

2 tbls extra virgin olive oil

small piece of fresh hot pepper (optional)

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves

thyme sprigs to taste

Sea salt course grain and fresh ground pepper to taste

heavy cream (optional)

Directions

-In a medium size soup pot, add the olive oil, garlic, and chopped onions, lightly brown the garlic with the onions stirring, careful not to burn the garlic. (If adding heat add in the hot pepper here).

-Add the chopped carrots, celery and the plum tomatoes with their juices.

-Add the water, sugar, salt, pepper, basil and thyme

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-Stir together, allow to simmer for at least 35-40 until all the vegetables (carrots and celery) are soft

-Using an immersion blender, or regular blender (in batches) blend until creamy and smooth

-Adjust salt

-If adding heavy cream stir in now

-Serve plain with Savory Cheese Bread croutons,  creme fraiche,  bacon and hardboiled egg or just with a sprig of fresh thyme

Buon Appetito!!

Mickey

 

 

 

 

Meatless Monday… Chunky Lentil Stew

Another Meatless Monday, another Meatless Monday recipe. A nice, chunky lentil stew, I like to make a semi-Thai version lots of Cilantro, coconut milk to add creaminess, and  a little Curry powder for some flavor depth.  On a hot Summer day, this stew can be enjoyed at room temperature.  Try adding some avocado slices with basmati rice and you have a delicious meal.  Let’s Cook!!

Chunky Lentil Vegetable Stew

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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A filling Lentil stew filled with flavor

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Ingredients

4 Carrots

1 large onion

2 Red peppers

1/2 Butternut squash

4 stalks of celery

2 scallions

1 1/2 Cup of dried lentils

1 Can of whole tomatoes

2 Cups of Vegetable broth

1/2 Cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 cloves of garlic

Fresh hot pepper to taste

2 tbls extra virgin olive oil

1 can of coconut milk

Curry powder to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

In a soup pot, add olive oil, chopped or crushed garlic lightly brown.  Add onions, scallions, hot pepper,curry powder continue to cook until onions become translucent, add lentils

Clean and chop all vegetables into bite sized cubes add to onion mixture, add tomatoes in their juice, broth, salt and pepper to taste.

Simmer for about 45 minutes until lentils and vegetables are soft

Stir in coconut milk and cilantro

Serve with avocado slices and basmati rice

Buon Appetito!

Onion Soup with Two toppings, Savory Cheese Bread or Classic Toast Topping

Two things you need when making Onion Soup, lots of onions and lots of time . Today I am making a Onion Soup and serving it with two different  toppings.  The first, is the classic version, with it’s crusty, cheesy French bread, the second version is with a large savory, thyme scented gruyere cheese bread crouton.  Give them both a try.   Lets Cook!

Onion Soup with Two Toppings

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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The longer the onions cook and caramelize the deeper the flavor

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Ingredients

For the soup:

1/4 stick of butter

3 tbls extra virgin olive oil

2 lbs of yellow onions

1/2 lb scallions

1 tsp sugar

1 cup of dry white wine

6 cups of broth (vegetable or beef)

1 tbls flour

Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

For the Savory Cheese Bread:

1 lb grated gruyere cheese

1 cup of all purpose flour

2 tbls baking powder

1 tsp salt

8 large eggs

1 tbls finely chopped fresh thyme

For the Classic

Loaf of Crusty Italian or French bread

Grated Gruyere Cheese approximately 1/4 lb per ramekin (to liking)

Directions

-Peel and slice all the onions and scallions as thin as possibleIMG_1309.JPG

-In a soup pot, add the butter, olive oil and on a low heat cook the onions for 20 minutes until they become soft stirring often you do not want the onions to brown, add the sugar and continue to cook on low heat for at least another 25-30 minutes.fullsizeoutput_48

When the onions start to caramelize (turn a golden brown) add the white wine, turning up the heat, add the flour, stirring until it is mixed and dissolved into the liquid

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-Add the broth, salt and pepper to taste, continue cooking on low heat for another 10-15 minutes

-Serve with French bread or Crouton topping; both recipes below

Gruyere French Bread

Spoon the soup into an ovenproof ramekins, cut the baguette into 1- 1 1/2 ” slices (for a crunchier version) lightly toast the bread on both sides, (softer version) place the sliced  bread directly onto the hot soup, grate the cheese directly onto the bread  place the ramekin under the broiler watching closely as you melt the cheese to golden brownIMG_1323.JPG

Savory Cheese Bread Crouton

-Butter a Jelly roll pan and cover with parchment paper

-In a bowl add cheese, eggs, baking powder, salt, thyme and flour, mix well

-Pour and spread mixture onto the jelly roll panIMG_1313

-Bake in pre-heated 350F oven for 20-25 minutes (convection) the bread should be golden brown and an inserted toothpick should come out clean

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-With a pastry ring, cut into large circular croutons, place onto hot soup

 

-Serve the Onion Soup with either the Savory Cheese Croutons or the Classic French Bread and Cheese

Buon Appetito!!

Mickey

 

Meatless Monday, Creamy Potato Leek Soup

It is hard to believe it’s Monday again and time to share another “Meatless Alternative” for Meatless Monday.  Today’s recipe choice is another seasonal favorite…a comfort food for Spring,  a creamy, hearty dish that is really light and healthy.   My version of this recipe is made without heavy cream or butter,  if you like,  feel free to add them!

Creamy Potato Leek Soup

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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A creamy, hearty light and healthy dish for Spring

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Ingredients

3 large leeks

4 large potatoes (try not to use “new potatoes” they will not be as creamy)

6 Cups of Vegetable or Chicken Broth

2 Tbls Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 large garlic clove

Thyme to taste

Sea Salt and Pepper to taste

Butter or heavy cream (optional)

Directions

-Cut the leeks in half along the length, wash well  (leeks have a tendency to be very dirty on the inside) and slice into 1/4 inch slicesfullsizeoutput_12

-Peel the potatoes and cut into small piecesfullsizeoutput_14.jpeg

-Smash the garlic clove with a knife, in a medium size soup pot add olive oil and  lightly brown the garlic on a low heat

-Add the leeks saute with the garlic fullsizeoutput_13.jpeg

– When the leeks start wilting and get slightly golden, add the potatoes, the broth, salt, pepper and the thyme bring these ingredients to a boil.  Turn heat down and cook until the potatoes are very soft,  between 30-45 minutes.

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-Off the heat, with an immersion blender (or in a blender) blend the soup until all ingredients are blended and creamy.  If you want to add butter or heavy cream to taste (optional)IMG_0992.JPG

-Serve hot or  at room temperature with croutons and/ or Parmesan Cheese

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Buon Appetito!!

Directions

 

 

Meatless Monday…Pasta with Arugula, Garlicy Fresh Tomatoes and Parmesan Cheese Petals

This pasta dish is a great go-to when you have fresh ripe tomatoes.  It has lots of flavor, the spicy crunch of the arugula,   the garlic infused tomatoes,  and the fresh petals of  shaved parmesan cheese.  It is an easy, fast, pasta.  Fun to make with those artisan pasta shapes that you have always wanted to try!!

Pasta with Arugula, Garlic Infused Tomatoes and Parmesan Cheese Petals

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

1/2 lb of Artisan Pasta (I used Fusilloni- large Fusilli)

2 Cups of fresh, ripe plum tomatoes chopped

2 large cloves of garlic pressed

2 tbls extra virgin olive oil

1-2 cups of fresh Arugula washed and dried

Parmesan Reggiano Cheese shaved to taste

Sea Salt and ground fresh pepper to taste

Directions

-Fill a pasta pot with water to boil

-add olive oil and garlic to a wok style pan and brown the garlic on low heat

-add the tomatoes, sea salt and ground pepper stir and cook for 5-10 minutes on medium/low heat  (note- you want the tomatoes to break down a bit, but still retain some shape, the goal is to infuse the garlic flavor)IMG_0906.JPG

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– Salt the boiling water, add the pasta and cook 1 minute less that the package indicates, you. will finish the pasta off with the tomatoes for it’s last minute of cooking.

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-Mix well and continue cooking on a lively flame incorporating the tomatoes with the pastaIMG_0913

-Spoon the pasta onto the bed of Arugula and top with petals of parmesan cheese that you will make with a vegetable peelerIMG_0910

Serve and Enjoy FullSizeRender

Buon Appetito!!!

Meatless Monday….Greens and Beans Soup with Garlic Bread Croutons

If you grew up in an Italian American home, you probably have eaten or are  familiar with “Greens and Beans”.  The greens, escarole or Swisschard  are cooked in a garlicky oil mixed with white beans.  I have taken this dish one step further making it into a soup, topping it with a garlic Parmesan crouton. It is a filling flavorful soup for lunch or dinner on a Meatless Monday!!

Greens and Beans Soup with Garlic Parmesan Croutons

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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A soupy version of a favorite, Green’s and Beans

Ingredients

1 1/2 lbs a of cleaned chopped Swisschard or Escarole

4 cups Cannellini Beans ( not dried)

1 hot pepper chopped (note- peppers have different heat this is to taste)

2 tbls extra virgin olive oil

4 scallions finely diced

2 garlic cloves finely diced

6 cups of vegetable broth

sea salt

pepper

For the bread

1 loaf  of crusty bread Italian

2 cloves of crushed garlic

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tbls fresh flat leaf parsley chopped

3/4-1 cup Parmesan cheese

Directions

-In a soup pot, add the olive oil, garlic, scallions and pepper sauté until garlic is lightly browned

-add the chopped greens, the beans and the brothIMG_0879

-add sea salt and pepper to taste

-bring to boil, and simmer for 35-45 minutes

Garlic Parmesan Croutons

-slice the bread in half or thirds depending on size

-in a prep bowl add olive oil and the crushed garlic stir

-with a pastry brush paint the bread with the oil mixture then dust with the parsleyIMG_0880

-Spread the Parmesan on the bread generously

-place the bread under the broiler until golden brown, let cool and cut into cubes

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-ladle the soup into bowls, add the Croutons and server

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Buon Appetito!!!