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
  • Print

A fast, easy recipe for an all time favorite soup

.

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

IMG_1482.JPG

-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

 

 

 

 

Sunday Salad! Chefs Salad for lunch or dinner

Sometimes it is just nice to have a big, fresh salad that you can put together in no time at all.  On these  hot summer days when you want a dinner that does not need to be cooked, a salad with meat and cheese is a great alternative.   I love to make all kinds of salads, but today’s is one that we have seen so many times on so many menus the famous Chef’s Salad. Let’s cook!!

Chef's Salad

  • Difficulty: super easy
  • Print

You can use a dressing of choice, I like mine with Olive oil and white wine vinegar

.

1 head of iceberg lettuce 

1 beef steak tomato

1 medium red onion

4 slices of baked or boiled ham sliced 

4 slice of Swiss cheese sliced

Green olives pitted

2 hard boiled eggs

2 tbls Extra virgin Olive oil

1 tbls White wine vinegar

Salt and ground pepper to taste


Rinse and dry the head of lettuce, cut in 1/2″ slices

Cut the tomato into quarters then slice

Thinly slice the red onion, and the olives

Layer the ham and cheese and cut width wide into 1/2″ slice the cut in half

Chop your egg

Add all ingredients to a salad bowl and mix together


Salt and pepper to taste add olive oil and vinegar toss and serve

Buon Appetito!!

Mickey

“Baby” Caprese

The Caprese Salad is one of the most popular Italian summer plates.   Beautiful ripe, red tomatoes sliced with buffalo or regular mozzarella cheese, topped with fresh green basil leaves then drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, delicious.  The Caprese, with it’s colors of the Italian flag, is easy to compose, a hit for summer lunches or dinners.   As much as I adore the traditional sliced version of this salad sometimes it is easier to serve this bite sized “Baby Caprese” Salad to your guests.  Lets Cook!

Baby Caprese

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: super easy
  • Print

A bite sized version of the classic Italian Caprese Salad

.

Ingredients

1 lb baby plum or cherry tomatoes

1/2 lb fresh mozzarella regular or Buffalo  *try to find the small round mozzarella balls

10 large basil leaves

2 tbls imported extra virgin olive oil

sea salt

Directions

-Wash and dry the tomatoes, cut into quarters and add to a serving bowl

-if using the tiny mozzarella balls, cut into 1/4 or 1/8 pieces depending on the size (if using a large mozzarella, cut into pieces more or less the size of your tomatoes, add to serving bowl

-stack the basil, roll it lengthwise and slice it thinly across the width, add to the bowl

fullsizeoutput_57.jpeg

-add sea salt, generously to taste

-add olive oil and mix

Serve

Buon Appetito!

Mickey

Bruschetta with Tomatoes

Everyone needs to have this in their recipe boxes.  Bruschetta, this  one, topped with tomatoes (the CH is pronounced like SK,  please!!).  A grilled piece of garlic rubbed Italian style bread topped with chopped fresh tomatoes.  Yesterday, for Mother’s Day, I served it along with  baby buffalo mozzarella balls as an appetizer, it was a big hit!  I like making it early in the day so the tomatoes become flavored with the garlic, olive oil and basil.  Lets cook!!

Bruschetta with Tomatoes and Basil

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
.

Always good to have this as a go to recipe, put it in your recipe boxes

Ingredients

2 lbs of ripe plum tomatoes (* I used Piccadilly tomatoes)

2 large cloves of garlic peeled

4 tbls extra virgin olive oil (Imported)

Sea Salt course ground

1 cup fresh basil leaves chopped

for the bread:

12 large slices of Italian style crusted bread

3 tbls olive oil

2 cloves garlic crush

 

Directions

  • Rinse the tomatoes, cut them in quarters then chop into even sized pieces, place in a serving bowl
  • Add the olive oil, generously add sea salt to taste
  • Cut the garlic in quarters and add the pieces (*if they are visible you can remove them before serving)
  • toss in the basil
  • Let sit at room temperature, the tomatoes will breakdown a bit, and the flavors will develop.

IMG_1286

For the bread

-Heat grill pan, gas grill or the oven broiler

-In a small bowl, add the olive oil and the crushed garlic, mix

-With a pastry brush, lightly brush one side of the bread with the garlic oil and grill.  Grill or broil the bread watch it carefully it browns very fast, brown both sides of the bread

-Serve the bread oil side up and spoon the tomatoes with their juices onto the breadfullsizeoutput_3e

-Enjoy

 

Buon Appetito

Mickey

 

 

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
  • Print

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

IMG_0907

IMG_0909

– 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.

IMG_0912

-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!!!