Campbell’s Tomato Soup and grilled cheese were common in our house when the girls were growing up. Now that I’ve discovered homemade tomato soup, the canned stuff is out the door. I roast tomatoes all summer and freeze them for soup and sauces in the winter. The tomatoes I had frozen did not have garlic and onion in them, so I sautéed the onion in a little olive oil and added the garlic when the onions were brown. The end result was delicious. The soup was a little thick, so I added water to gain the consistency I like.
The perfect lunch or dinner for a snowy winter day!
Roasted Tomato Soup
3 lb. Roma Tomatoes (I used a variety of tomatoes from my garden)
1/2 small onion
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup milk or cream (I used Half and Half)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons fresh basil (I used pureed frozen basil)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon sugar
salt and pepper to taste
Water or milk to thin the soup to your liking
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Cut tomatoes in half, drizzle with oil. Add onions, garlic, salt and pepper.
Roast for 40-50 minutes, until the tomatoes start to brown. (At this point you can freeze the tomato mixture for later or proceed with the recipe.)
Scrape the tomato mixture into the blender and add the milk or cream, Parmesan cheese, basil, tomato paste, and sugar. Puree until completely smooth and adjust seasonings to taste.
Serve immediately with grilled cheese for dunking. Yum!
Eggplant is my favorite vegetables! Each year I grow eggplant in my garden, finding success with Japanese Eggplant varieties. Instead of just roasting eggplant (which I love), I wanted to try this Eggplant pasta dish and loved it!
EGGPLANT TOMATO AND MOZZARELLA PASTA BAKE
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound rigatoni
1 medium eggplant, diced
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
One 24-ounce jar marinara sauce
2 cups fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Nonstick cooking spray, for the baking dish
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season aggressively with salt. Add the rigatoni and cook 3 minutes less than the package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water and drain.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Toss the eggplant and tomatoes with 3 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread on the baking sheet and roast until the eggplant is golden brown and tomatoes are tender, 25 to 30 minutes. (Leave the oven on.)
Toss the rigatoni with the eggplant, tomatoes, about 1/4 cup pasta water and the marinara sauce in a large bowl. If it looks dry, add the remaining pasta water. Stir in 1 cup mozzarella.
Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray. Transfer the pasta to the baking dish and top with the remaining cup mozzarella and the Parmesan and drizzle with the remaining tablespoon olive oil.
Bake until the cheese is melted and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. (Turn the
broiler on at the end if you want the cheese to brown more.) Garnish with additional Parmesan and the chopped basil and serve.
What do you do when you have a lot of leftover spaghetti squash and Italian sausage? You invent a recipe for egg cups. Through the years, I’ve made many types of egg cups, but spaghetti squash is a new one. Frankly, I didn’t expect them to be very good, but they were delicious! I made them and refrigerated them, heating them up in the microwave the next day. I’ll definitely be making this again, and again.
ITALIAN SPAGHETTI SQUASH EGG CUPS
5 eggs, beaten 3-4 cups cooked spaghetti squash 1-2 tablespoons olive oil 1 cup cooked Italian Sausage, crumbled 1/4 shredded Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning salt & pepper to taste Extra shredded cheese to sprinkle on top of the egg cups before baking.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together. Pour into greased muffin tins (they tend to stick so grease generously). Sprinkle extra shredded cheese on top of each cup. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Makes about 16 egg cups.
Summer vegetables and Quinoa is the perfect combination. This recipe is from Iowa Girl Eats. I follow her blog and love her recipes! Her blog name, alone, was enough to bring me to her blog…Iowa girls stick together!
I loved this dish and the wonderful summer vegetables. I substituted roast red peppers for the sundried tomatoes with great results. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did!
EASY SUMMER QUINOA
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup quinoa
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large shallot, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
pinch red pepper flakes
2 cups chopped kale
1 small zucchini, chopped
salt & pepper
2 ears sweet corn kernels (about 2 cups)
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes packed in oil, cut into strips (or roasted red peppers or both!)
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup peas
1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
shaved or fresh grated parmesan cheese, for topping
Bring scant cup chicken (or vegetable) broth to a boil in a small saucepan. Rinse quinoa very well in a fine mesh sieve under running water (quinoa is coated in a natural, bitter coating that needs to be rinsed off) then add to saucepan, place a lid on top, turn heat down to medium-low, then cook until quinoa is tender and broth is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Set aside.
Heat olive oil in a very large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots then sauté until tender, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and red chili pepper flakes then sauté for 30 more seconds, stirring constantly.
Turn heat up to medium-high then add kale and zucchini. Season with salt and pepper then sauté for 2 minutes.
Add corn and sun-dried tomatoes then sauté for 2 more minutes.
Add white wine then scrape up brown bits from bottom of skillet with a wooden spoon. When wine is nearly gone, add peas then stir to combine. Add chicken broth and cooked quinoa then cook until broth is absorbed. Remove skillet from heat then add basil and stir to combine. Taste then add salt and pepper if necessary. Serve topped with freshly shaved or grated parmesan cheese.
Colorado weather is typically wonderful but as the locals say, ‘if you don’t like the weather, wait 10 minutes’. Last week we were blessed with much-needed rain that left a chill in the air and a craving for soup. My sister-in-law, Betty, has told me about the Chicken Quinoa Soup recipe she makes regularly, compliments of Iowa Girl Eats. It sounded like the perfect soup to satisfy my craving, and indeed it did.
I’ve become a huge fan of quinoa, kale, and sweet potatoes and the combination in the soup is divine. The addition of the parmesan rind adds a wonderful salty/nutty flavor to the soup.
I served with a fresh pretzel roll and loved every bite! A new favorite for my recipe box.
CHICKEN QUINOA SOUP
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 carrot, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 rib celery, chopped (1/2 cup)
1/2 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
salt & pepper
4 cups torn kale
1 garlic clove
8 cups chicken broth, divided
1 teaspoon parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
2″ parmesan cheese rind (optional)
2 large chicken breasts (about 1lb), cut in half
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 1/2″ cubes (2 cups)
1 large russet potato, peeled and chopped into 1/2″ cubes (1-1/2 cups)
2/3 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Heat oil in large soup pot over medium heat. Add carrot, celery, and onion, season with salt and pepper, then saute until tender, about 10 minutes.
Add kale and garlic, season with more salt and pepper, then saute for 2 more minutes. Add 7 cups chicken broth, parsley flakes, dried thyme, bay leaf, and parmesan cheese rind (if using), then bring to a boil.
Add chicken breasts to the pot then cook for 10 minutes, or until no longer pink in the center. Remove to a plate then add sweet potato, russet potato, and quinoa to boiling broth. Place a lid on top, lower heat to medium, then cook for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender and quinoa is cooked. Meanwhile shred chicken.
Add shredded chicken back to the soup, remove bay leaf, then add parmesan cheese and stir to combine. Taste and add more salt & pepper if necessary. Serve topped with additional parmesan cheese, if desired. Use remaining 1 cup chicken broth to add when reheating soup, as quinoa will absorb much of the broth as it cools.
Italian Pie is a family favorite for my good buddy, Jan. She suggested I give it a whirl. I can certainly see why it’s a favorite. The crisp crust paired with the hearty meat layer and the yummy cheese layer result in a wonderful, easy meal for your family. Pair with a nice salad, French bread and you’re set!
Next time, I plan to serve it with a side of marina sauce for those that may enjoy a little extra tomato flavor with their pie. Buon appetito!
1 refrigerated pie crust
Bake a pie crust (I used Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust). Pierce unbaked crust with fork and bake for 10 minutes at 425 degrees. While the pie crust is baking, brown the meat layer:
1 pound ground chuck
1 onion, chopped
1/2 pound mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt & pepper
Cook ground chuck, onion, mushrooms, garlic and seasonings until cooked through. Drain.
1 cup small curd cottage cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
garlic salt & pepper
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Combine all cheese layer ingredients together
Pour cooked meat layer into baked crust.
Top with cheese mixture.
Sprinkle top of Italian pie with 3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese.
Sprinkle with dried parsley.
Place aluminum foil around the crust edge to protect from over baking.
French Onion Soup was introduced to me in my 20s at a restaurant on the Plaza in Kansas City, MO. It was highly recommended and I have been in love with it ever since. Thank goodness food processors were invented to help with the teary slicing duty to make this dish.
This recipe is so simple yet so yummy. I have also added left over roast beef bits if I have them on hand. Take it for a spin and see if it is a hit at your house!
FRENCH ONION SOUP
1/4 cup butter or margarine
4 cups thinly sliced onion
4 cans (10.5 ounce) condensed beef broth
1 teaspoon salt
4 to 6 slices French bread (1″ thick)
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Heat butter in large skillet. Add onions and sauté’; stirring until golden–about 8 minutes.
Combine onion, broth, and salt in medium saucepan; bring to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, toast bread slices in broiler until browned on both sides.
Sprinkle one side of each with grated cheese; run under broiler about 1 minute, or until cheese is bubbly.
To serve: Pour soup into a tureen or individual soup bowls. Float toast, cheese side up, on soup.