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
2 shallots, minced
1 clove of garlic, minced
3/4C finely chopped carrots
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!
When I was a kid, my Mom used to make Goulash for dinner on a regular basis and it was always one of my favorite meals. For some reason, I was thinking about it the other day and felt a little homesick (and nostalgic). Maybe it’s because I’ve not seen my parents since Christmas (sad face here:___). I asked my Mom about the recipe and the spices and I tweaked it to make it vegetarian. I think it’s very close to what she used to make. Maybe the next time I’m visiting them I’ll make it for them for dinner.
1 28oz can diced tomatoes plus 1 14oz can diced tomatoes
1 14oz can tomato sauce
Dried Basil, Oregano, or an Italian blend of spices (to taste)
Hungarian (sweet) paprika, to taste
1 bay leaf
A note on the spices: adjust them to your tastebuds. I don’t want to give specific measures because, well, I don’t measure when I cook; I just eyeball it, taste and adjust.
In a large soup pot, over medium heat, add oil, and sauté the garlic and onion, when translucent, add the veggie crumbles and turn down the heat (follow the package directions to cook crumbles). Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and then incorporate the cooked macaroni. Add all your spices, stir, cover and turn down the heat to low. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t stick, stir often. This will be ready in 20 minutes.
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.
I really love pesto of any sort: basil, kale, swiss chard, you name it, I’ll eat it. So, I decided to try a new recipe out that had been in my head for awhile and, lo and behold, it was delicious! Even G. loved it (he had two helpings of pasta). This dish just screams spring!
1 avocado, seeded and halved
1.5oz pkg of basil, washed
couple glugs of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
grated Pecorino Romano (optional)
cooked pasta of your choice
Cook your pasta, whatever shape you decide, (I used gemeli, about 2 cups uncooked), set aside in a large bowl. Add avocado halves, basil, olive oil in a food processor and process until smooth. Use your best judgment with the olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bam, you’re done. Add pesto by spoonfuls to the cooked pasta (you don’t want to over-saturate it), and serve. I added a bit of grated Pecorino to our servings and halved grape tomatoes to mine. This goes well with red or white wine too.
I was in 70 degree and sunny temps in FL the other day…only to come back to 27 degrees and snow in NYC. So, why not make some soup? Not that soup fills the void of fresh Florida produce like tomatoes that actually taste like tomatoes….Oh well. I think this soup would benefit from some homemade croutons sprinkled on top and a glass of red wine. Enjoy!
2-3TB olive oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced
3 cloves of garlic minced or pressed
1 package of white button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 yellow pepper, chopped
1/2C. red wine
1 carton of vegetable broth
1 14oz.can of diced tomatoes (I used Muir Glen Fire Roasted)
2 cans of lentils, rinsed, drained
1 container of spinach, rinsed
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp smoky paprika
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
(Use a Dutch Oven or soup pot) Heat pot first, over medium heat, when pot is hot, add olive oil and then add shallots and garlic, sauté for about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and yellow pepper and cook for another few minutes, until the vegetables are soft. Add half cup of red wine and stir. Let the wine cook down, then add the vegetable broth, diced tomatoes and then the lentils and spices, stir. Then cover and let simmer for about 30-45 minutes. Add the spinach just before you’re about to eat and let that get wilted. Serve with crusty bread or, make some whole wheat bread croutons* and sprinkle on top of soup. Serves 4 with some leftovers.
*To make croutons: Cut two slices of whole wheat or whole grain bread into 1 inch pieces. Heat 2TB of butter in a pan, add bread and make sure the bread is coated with the melted butter. If bread isn’t coated, then add a little olive oil. Add some salt, pepper to taste.