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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup


  • 4 cups canned crushed tomatoes, with juice
  • 2 cups tomato juice
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 12-14 washed basil leaves, chopped
  • ½ t. minced garlic
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a large stockpot, add tomatoes, tomato juice, garlic, and stock. Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently, for about 40 minutes.
2. Add basil leaves.
3. Transfer soup into a blender and puree. This might need to be done in several batches (It took me three batches).
4. Return to stockpot and add butter and half-and-half. Stir over medium-low heat for 5 minutes.
5. Stir in salt and pepper, to taste.

Triple Tomato Soup

Prep: 20 minutes 
Cook: 45 minutes 


  • 1  large onion, sliced 
  • 1  Tbsp. butter or olive oil 
  • 1  28-oz. can whole tomatoes 
  • 3/4  cup dried tomatoes (not oil packed) 
  • 1/2  of 6-ounce can no-salt-added tomato paste 
  • 1  14-oz. can reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth 
  • 1/2  cup sliced celery (1 stalk) 
  • 2  Tbsp. snipped fresh parsley or cilantro 
  • 2  to 3 tsp. lime juice or lemon juice 
  •   Dairy sour cream 
  •   Fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley 

1. In 4-quart Dutch oven cook onion in hot butter, covered, over medium-low heat for 10 minutes or until tender. Add undrained whole tomatoes, 1/2 cup of the dried tomatoes, tomato paste, broth, celery, and parsley. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes; cool. Meanwhile, in microwave-safe bowl cover remaining dried tomatoes with water. Microcook on high (100% power) for 1 minute. Cool. Drain. Snip into pieces; set aside. 

2. In blender, blend half of the tomato mixture at a time until smooth. Return to saucepan; add lime juice, heat through. Top with sour cream, snipped dried tomatoes, and parsley. Makes 4 side-dish servings 

Cream of Tomato Soup with Fontina, Mushroom, Prosciutto and Truffle Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2007
Show: Emeril Live
Episode: Emeril's Lunchtime Specials

10 servings

* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 3/4 cup onion, diced small
* 1/2 cup carrot, diced small
* 1/2 cup celery, diced small
* 1 tablespoons minced garlic
* 3 tablespoons tomato paste
* 2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes, crushed by hand and juice reserved
* 1 quart chicken stock
* 1 tablespoon marjoram
* 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
* 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
* 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
* 1 cup heavy cream
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves

Set a 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and once hot, add the onions, carrots and celery to the pan. Saute the vegetables, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent and the carrots are soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic to the pan and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste, the tomatoes and their juices to the pan and stir to incorporate. Continue to cook until the liquid comes to a boil. Add the chicken stock and marjoram to the pan and return to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, season with the salt and pepper, and cook until the flavors have married, about 30 minutes.

Remove the soup from the heat and, using an immersion blender, or in batches in a bar blender, puree the soup until smooth. Return the soup to the heat and add the balsamic vinegar and heavy cream to the soup. Cook for 5 minutes, stir the basil, and serve immediately with the Grilled Cheese Sandwiches.

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches:

* 1 cup grated fontina cheese
* 2 cups grated sottocennere cheese, or other truffled cheese
* 20 slices white sandwich bread
* 20 very thin slices prosciutto
* 10 thinly sliced crimini mushrooms
* 1/3 cup olive oil, divided

Combine the cheeses and set aside. Lay 10 slices of bread out on a clean surface. Carefully fold 2 slices of prosciutto onto the bread being sure that the prosciutto does not reach over the edge of the bread. Lay between 9 and 12 slices of mushrooms over the prosciutto in 1 layer, and top with 1/4 cup of the cheese. Place a piece of bread on top of the sandwich and brush with about 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Heat a grill pan over medium heat and once hot, place 2 sandwiches, olive oil side down on the grill. Brush the exposed side of the sandwich with another teaspoon or so of olive oil. Use a grill press or another pan to weight the sandwiches. Cook the sandwiches for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown grill marks have formed and the cheese is beginning to melt. Turn to the other side and cook for another, 2 1/2 to 3 minutes, or until crispy and the cheese is melted. Remove from the grill and cut in half diagonally. Continue to cook the remaining 8
sandwiches in the same manner.

Serve each sandwich with a cup of the soup.

Yield: 10 sandwiches

Lightened-Up Pasta Fagioli Soup

“After trying pasta fagioli at a popular restaurant, I was deter-
mined to make it at home, only healthier. It turns out mine was a 
big hit!” Loaded with veggies, it is such a simple way to boost 
nutrition and fiber at mealtime. 
Cindie Kitchin - Grants Pass, Oregon

    * 6 Servings
    * Prep: 20 min.
    * Cook: 40 min.

    * 1 pound lean ground turkey
    * 1 large onion, chopped
    * 2 celery ribs, chopped
    * 2 medium carrots, sliced
    * 1 garlic clove, minced
    * 3 cups water
    * 1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
    * 2 cans (8 ounces each) no-salt-added tomato sauce
    * 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
    * 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
    * 2 teaspoons reduced-sodium beef bouillon granules
    * 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
    * 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
    * 1/4 teaspoon pepper
    * 2 cups shredded cabbage
    * 1 cup fresh or frozen cut green beans (1-inch pieces)
    * 1/2 cup uncooked elbow macaroni

    * In a Dutch oven coated with cooking spray, cook the turkey, 
onion, celery, carrots and garlic over medium heat until meat is 
no longer pink. Add the water, beans, tomato sauce, tomatoes, 
parsley, bouillon, oregano, basil and pepper. Bring to a boil. 
Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
    * Add the cabbage, green beans and macaroni; cover and simmer 
8-10 minutes longer or until the vegetables and macaroni are 
tender. Yield: 6 servings (2-1/4 quarts).

Nutrition Facts: 1-1/2 cups equals 276 calories,
7 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 60 mg cholesterol, 379 mg sodium,
33 g carbohydrate, 8 g fiber, 21 g protein.
Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 2 lean meat.

Lightened-Up Pasta Fagioli Soup published in 
Healthy Cooking February/March 2010, p42

Roasted Tomato Soup

  • 10 tomatoes, ripe (3 lbs), cored, halved and seeded
  • 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, red -- chopped
  • 1 garlic clove -- minced
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 3 tbs basil, fresh -- chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat broiler. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick
cooking spray. Place tomatoes on the baking sheet, cut
side down. Broil until skins are blistered, about 10
minutes. Set aside to cool. Slip off skins and chop

Meanwhile, in a medium-sized saucepan, heat oil over
medium-low heat. Add onions and saute for 5 minutes. Add
garlic and saute until the onions are very soft, about 5
minutes longer. Stir in tomatoes and cook, stirring, for
1 minute.

Transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender and
process until smooth; return to the saucepan. Stir in
stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer
for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in basil. Season
with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until
chilled, at least one hour. The soup can be stored,
covered, in the refrigerator, for up to 2 days.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Chicken Noodle Soup in a Jar


  • ¼ cup of red lentils
  • 2 tbsp. dried onion flakes
  • 1 ½ tablespoons chicken bouillon granules 
  • ½ tsp. dried dill weed or dill seed
  • 1/8 tsp each celery seed and garlic powder
  • approximately 1 cup medium egg noodles
  • 1 bay leaf.

In a two-cup jar, layer from bottom in the order listed above, then seal the jar.

Write these instructions on your gift tag:
Bring 8 cups of water to boil in large saucepan. Stir in jar of soup mix. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Discard bay leaf and stir in 1½ cups of frozen corn or mixed vegetables and 2 cups of cooked, diced chicken or turkey. Simmer for five minutes until vegetables are tender and chicken is heated through. 


  • 1/2 cup small shell macaroni or other small pasta
  • 1/4 cup dry lentils
  • 1/4 cup dried chopped mushrooms (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon minced dried onion
  • 1 Tablespoon instant chicken bouillon granules
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano, crushed
  • Dash garlic powder 

Mix all ingredients in a plastic bag or an airtight container; store, 
tightly sealed, until needed. 

Pasta Soup:
Combine contents of package with 3 cups water in a 2-quart saucepan.
Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 40 minutes, or until
lentils are tender, stirring occasionally. Makes 3 side dish servings.

Pea Soup:
Combine pasta soup mix with 3-1/2 cups water. Bring to boiling; reduce
heat, cover and simmer 35 minutes or until lentils are tender, stirring
occasionally. Stir in 3 oz. frozen pea pods, halved crosswise and
2 tsps. soy sauce. Cover and cook 2-3 minutes more. Garnish each
serving with enoki mushrooms or regular mushrooms, sliced thin, and
Makes 3-4 appetizer servings.

Curry Chicken Soup:
Combine pasta soup mix with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil. Reduce
heat, cover and simmer 35 minutes or until lentils are tender, stirring
occasionally. Add 13-oz. can evaporated milk (1-2/3 cups), 3/4 cup
diced cooked chicken and 1-1/2 to 2 tsps. curry powder.
Garnish with apple slices and fresh mint leaves.
Makes 3-4 main-dish servings.

Pepperoni-Veg Soup:
Combine pasta soup mix, 3 cups water, 1 12-oz. can V-8 juice, and
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover
and simmer 35 minutes or until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally.
Stir in 4-6 oz. sliced pepperoni. Cover and simmer 5 minutes more.
Garnish with Parmesan cheese.