Fire Roasted Tomato Soup

fire roasted tomato soup

Mmmm, perfect tomato soup for a cold night.

fireroastedtomatosoup2

Add a dollop of pesto and some cheeeeeze!

My mom made this soup when I was recently home for a visit. It is perfect with some crusty bread and a glass of red wine. My version omitted the celery tops (because I rarely buy celery), but it is good with the celery and I used dried basil because I forgot to buy fresh basil (whoops!). The addition of sun-dried tomatoes gives the soup a nice depth. Anyway, I got to use my immersion blender which is one of my favorite kitchen tools ever.

Fire Roasted Tomato Soup

  • 1TB butter
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 3/4C finely chopped carrots
  • 1tsp sugar
  • 1TB dried basil or 10 large basil leaves, torn
  • 4 sun-dried tomato halves, packed in oil
  • 1 28oz can of fire roasted tomatoes
  • chopped celery tops
  • 1 14oz can of vegetable broth
  • salt and pepper
  • dollop of pesto (to add on top when served, if desired)

Melt butter in stock pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add shallots, garlic and carrots. Cook for 5 minutes, or, until soft. Add the sugar, basil, celery tops and salt and pepper, cook for 5 more minutes. Then add the canned tomatoes and sun-dried tomatoes and broth. Stir and let simmer for about an hour. Check on it occasionally and stir. Remove from heat and use an immersion hand blender to puree the soup (or, you can use a blender instead). Pour soup into bowls, dollop with pesto and a little bit of Pecorino or parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Raw Brussels Sprouts and Chickpea Salad

brussels sprouts & chickpeas

Raw brussels sprouts and chickpea salad with lemony dressing.

I really like a nice, crisp salad and this brussels sprouts salad hits the spot. I think it would also be good with a few roasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds.

  • 1lb bag of brussels sprouts, washed and trimmed
  • 1 can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • juice of one lemon
  • 2TB mayonaise
  • 2TB olive oil
  • 1tsp ground mustard powder
  • 1tsp agave nectar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Slice brussels in half and then thinly slice so they’re almost shredded in texture. Add to large bowl along with the chickpeas and then drizzle a little bit of olive oil over that. Then, for the dressing, whisk together the oil, mayo, lemon juice, agave nectar and mustard powder. I actually guessed on the amounts, so, you may have to adjust. Use your best judgment. I trust you! The dressing should be on the thin side and quite lemon-y. Add the dressing to the salad and thoroughly mix until beans and veg are coated.

brussels sprouts & chickpea salad

A nice addition to dinner or a quick lunch.

Raw Asparagus and Chickpea Salad with Lemon

a spring-y salad.

a spring-y salad.

You may say, “Raw asparagus?!?” And, I will reply: “YES!”(with much enthusiasm). This is an easy and light salad to make for lunch, like I did yesterday. I used both a little bit of Bulgarian feta and Pecorino. I enjoyed the play of the two different flavors and textures of cheese. If you can find Bulgarian feta, buy some, pronto. It’s not salty like Greek feta cheese, it’s more mild and creamy/not so crumbly.

  • 1lb. (bunch) of asparagus, rinsed, cut into 1-2″ pieces
  • 1 can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup (or more) of crumbled Bulgarian feta cheese
  • a couple glugs of olive oil
  • zest of lemon, plus juice of half a lemon
  • flaky sea salt and pepper to taste
  • some shavings of Pecorino Romano cheese

Add cut asparagus and chickpeas in a medium-large bowl. I cut the asparagus into tiny, diagonal pieces to make it more visually appealing (I guess, haha). drizzle with olive oil–enough to coat the beans and veg. Add lemon zest and juice and feta pieces. Stir until combined. Add some shaved (I used a vegetable peeler) Pecorino Romano on top. Enjoy!

Avocado Egg Toast…

oops, I ate the other half of bread.

oops, I ate the other half of bread. Yes, that is a Zabar’s coffee mug!

…it’s what’s for breakfast! I’ve been on a hardboiled egg kick that I think started with having a salad last week with egg, avocado, greens and a spicy cilantro-lime dressing. I’d forgotten how much I love the combination of egg and avocado. I even ate it one evening for dinner following a softball game. There really isn’t anything fancy or overly-complicated or cutesy about this breakfast (or, lunch or dinner). It’s quite simple:

    toast your favorite bread
    drizzle a little olive oil on bread
    spread 1/2 of a an avocado on bread
    put sliced hardboiled eggs on top
    salt and pepper to taste
    sliced tomatoes on the side (optional)

You’re done. Now go do something productive.

Brown Basmati Rice and Black Bean Salad with Tangy Lime Dressing

It’s finally getting warmer in Brooklyn, to the point I had to switch on the A/C for a few days (Con Edison loves me). For me, when it’s warmer outside, I’d rather eat lighter meals that can be served cold. This is a nice, light lunch or dinner option. I think you can add diced pepper and corn to this salad and that would work well too. Go on and make yourself a margarita too!

  • 2 C. cooked brown basmati rice, cooled
  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 avocado, cubed
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 4 scallions, sliced
  • 1/4 C. Bulgarian feta cheese, crumbled (optional)

For the dressing:

  • 2-3 TB mayo
  • 1/4 C. lime juice
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • dash of salt/pepper
  • dash of crushed red pepper flakes

Add all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together until smooth. Adjust accordingly, ie: if you want it tangier, add more lime juice, more creamy, add a bit more mayo. Note: I used bottled organic lime juice (Santa Cruz brand). It’s pure lime juice, no sugar or extra crap. I also use it to make margaritas [upcoming post!])

In a large bowl, add beans and vegetables to cooled rice. (you want to use cooled rice because you don’t want mushy tomatoes and cooked avocado, nor do you want the dressing warmed by the rice). Add dressing and mix until everything is coated. Add crumbled Bulgarian feta on top. Bam, you’re done. With this recipe, I’m pretty sure you CAN win friends with salad

Now, go do your laundry that you’ve been putting off for a few days.