Tag Archives: soup
19 Jan

roasted tomato soup

I’m observing National Soup Month / National Hot Tea Month by combining soup and tea… again!

You can’t possibly be surprised at this point.

As long as I have tea in my pantry and veggies in my crisper, I am fully equipped to run this whole soup + tea combo concept right into the ground or at least as far as February when we can recognize other foods on a national level.

I’ve come up with another recipe that is healthy, incredibly easy, full of flavor, and uses just a handful of ingredients.

And just so that I can say that I warned you, this probably won’t be the last one.

I have another soup + tea combo up my sleeve that I can’t wait to share with you.

This recipe makes just enough for a big bowl of soup so it’s perfect for lunch.

It can also be split between two small bowls and eaten as a first course at dinner.

Or you could always pour it into two mugs and stand in your kitchen sipping it while chatting with your significant other on a lazy Sunday.

Just a suggestion.

 

Ingredients

16 oz. Marzano, cherry, or plum tomatoes – I use packaged Marzano tomatoes

1 roasted red pepper – roast your own or use a jarred pepper

10 oz. brewed Numi Organics Tomato Mint Savory Tea*

5-6 sprigs of fresh thyme

1 garlic clove – minced

Balsamic Vinegar

 

Directions

Cut the tomatoes in half vertically and use your thumb to scoop out the seeds and gel. Take this time to contemplate the meaning of life or your to do list for the afternoon.

Toss the tomatoes into a bowl with a drizzle of olive oil, a small splash of balsamic vinegar, the garlic, a good sprinkle of sea salt, and some freshly ground black pepper.

Strip the thyme leaves from their sprigs and add to the tomatoes.

Toss everything together.

Roast at 300 degrees for one hour. You will need to roast longer if you use plum tomatoes. The tomatoes are done when they are shriveled and caramelized but still moist.

Brew the tea according to package directions.

Chop up a roasted red pepper and toss it into a sauce pan along with the tomatoes (be sure to add the juice that has accumulated on the baking sheet), and tea.

If you roasted your own pepper, be sure to scrape off and discard the charred skin before you add it to the soup.

Bring to a simmer and then reduce heat to low. Let it simmer for a few minutes so all of the flavors can get to know each other.

Pour the soup (which should still be in a very chunky state) into a blender and give it a whirl until it is very smooth.

Pour the now creamy soup back into the pan and add a sprinkle of sea salt.

Give it a good stir and taste for seasoning.

Pour into a bowl or mug and top with chopped basil, hot chili flakes, shaved parmesan, crumbled bacon, hot sauce, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, or a parmesan thyme crisp (recipe below).

I added a few dashes of Worcestershire but I’m an addict. I add it to everything.

I realize that adding Worcestershire might seem odd but since there is no broth or stock in the soup it has a much lighter, gentler flavor so the Worcestershire just gives it a tiny hit of sweetness and acidity that I really like.

Enjoy!

 

Parmesan Thyme Crackers:

Lay a silpat or parchment paper on a baking sheet or spray with non-stick spray.

Sprinkle the parmesan cheese onto the baking sheet in a pile and then spread out lightly with your fingers.

Sprinkle thyme and freshly ground black pepper on top.

Bake at 325 for about 10 minutes or until golden brown.

 

* Numi Organics Tomato Mint Tea contains: organic tomato, organic onion, organic mint, organic lemon peel, organic parsley, organic cinnamon, organic decaf black tea, organic allspice

Advertisements

Because it’s probably cold where you are…

13 Jan

tomato tortellini soup

 

Polar Vortex.

Destined to be my favorite phrase of 2014.

I know we’re only a few days into the new year but I have heard that phrase more times that I can count and it’s equally ridiculous to me every time I hear it.

I’m betting that most of you that were seriously in the grasp of the Polar Vortex don’t find it so funny.

The Polar Vortex made things mighty uncomfortable for us Floridians for about three whole days.

People lose their minds here when the temperature drops below 60 degrees so I’m sure you can imagine the situation here when we were experiencing temps in the 30’s and 40’s.

The humanity.

Nevertheless, we survived the blustery, unforgiving, 3-day long winter of 2014 with our sanity mostly intact.

But because it’s still pretty cold for most of you guys right now, I think soup just feels right.

I know, I know. We just talked about soup a few days ago.

Well, get ready because this is happening.

We’re also using marinara again because it makes things so much easier.

This soup isn’t vegan or gluten free or dairy free or fat free.

It is meat free so there’s that. Hey vegetarians!

And I make no apologies because what it is is hearty, creamy, and just plain good which is just what you need when it is ridiculously cold outside.

Sure. You can certainly make your own marinara from scratch and if you have the time, I whole-heartedly encourage you to do so.

However, using a good quality jarred marinara is so much easier and comes already seasoned. It’s also less expensive than buying all of the ingredients you’ll need to make marinara from scratch if you don’t already have them lying around your kitchen.

What do I mean by good quality?

Well, the next time you go shopping for marinara and spot one that looks promising, go ahead and flip that jar over and look at the ingredient list on the back. Check for things like high fructose corn syrup, natural flavors, lots of sodium and/or sugar, yeast extract, and soy bean oil.

Do you see any of those things?

No? Great! That jar goes home with you.

Yes? Put that jar right back on the shelf.

Why?

Let’s look at it this way… if you were making your own marinara at home, would you add any of those things?

No. No you wouldn’t. So you don’t need them in a jarred sauce.

Moving on.

You’ll notice (eventually) that this recipe calls for cream cheese. I realize this seems weird.

I thought it might be weird too until I found myself without heavy cream and just tried it.

If the idea of cream cheese in soup is too much for you, you can always leave it out and just add a good splash of heavy cream instead.

Do what feels right to you.

Adding the cream cheese gives the soup a flavor that is eerily similar to that tomato soup that comes in a red and white can that we all grew up dipping our grilled cheese sandwiches into.

So if you’re into that, stick with the cream cheese.

Ingredients

24-26 oz Jar of marinara – or equivalent amount of the homemade stuff

4 cups of vegetable stock

6 oz. room temperature cream cheese (not low fat)

8 oz. mushrooms (approx.) – chopped or quartered

1 bag fresh spinach – chopped

1 bag frozen tortellini

Directions

Drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil into a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat and add the mushrooms.

While the mushrooms saute, add the room-temperature cream cheese to your blender along with 2 cups of stock and blend it up until it is completely smooth. No specks of white should appear.

Pour the cream cheese/stock mixture over the mushrooms along with the remaining 2 cups of stock and the marinara and bring to a simmer.

While the soup simmers, cook tortellini according to package directions.

I prefer to cook pasta separately and then add it to my soup just before serving. Otherwise it just gets too mushy.

However, if you are feeding a crowd, go ahead and cook the tortellini right in the soup.

Once your tortellini has finished cooking, add your chopped spinach. Adding the spinach right at the end will keep it crisp and bright green.

If you opted to use heavy cream instead of cream cheese, now would be the time to add it along with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and taste to make sure the seasoning is just right.

To serve, add some tortellini to the bottom of each bowl and just pour the soup over.

Garnish with shredded or shaved parmesan, chopped basil, red chili flakes, whatever you want.

Enjoy!

7 Jan

green tea soup

Not too long ago Numi Organics was offering free samples of their new savory teas online.

I love tea and up until that point, had never had the opportunity to try a savory tea blend so I jumped all over that offer.

About a week after I placed the request, I received a package that contained all six flavors included in their Garden Sampler variety box: Tomato Mint, Spinach Chive, Carrot Curry, Fennel Spice, Broccoli Cilantro, and Beet Cabbage.

All of the blends contain organic vegetables, herbs, spices, decaffeinated black or green tea, and they smell fantastic.

These savory teas would be great if you were under the weather or as part of a cleanse but when my box of savory tea samples arrived in my mailbox, I immediately thought soup.

I think it’s the most obvious route.

I make soup quite often when I need to use up some senior veggies that are past their prime.

It doesn’t hurt that my youngest child loves homemade soup. The canned stuff doesn’t do anything for her but if I put a bowl of my vegetable soup in front of her, that bowl is clean in just a few minutes.

I’ve shared my recipe for vegetable soup before so that’s old news.

This next version is even easier (if you can believe that) because it uses leftover marinara sauce.

Most of us will have a half-empty (or is it half-full?) jar of sauce in our refrigerator at some point.

It will inevitably be shoved in the back and forgotten.

So why not put it to good use and make soup?

I actually made two batches of this soup so that I could try out two different flavors of savory tea.

I went with the Fennel Spice and Spinach Chive flavors.

Both were delicious and each lent its own unique flavor to the soup.

Green tea is such a mild flavor on its own, so it really allows the flavors of the herbs and vegetables to come through.

I know I’ve said it before but this vegetable soup is beyond easy to make.

You don’t even need a recipe.

Just chop up some elderly veg and get it sauteing in a little olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. I used an onion, carrots, celery, and kale.

While this is happening, steep your tea. Just follow the directions on the package.

When your veg has softened, discard the tea bag and add your tea along with 3-4 cups of vegetable stock, a can of diced tomatoes, and some marinara.

How much marinara?

That depends on your broth preference.

If you like a more tomato-flavored broth, add more marinara.

If you like a thinner broth and less tomato flavor, add less marinara.

See, easy.

You really can’t mess this up.

Just let it simmer for a little while until all the flavors come together.

If it needs salt, add it.

If you want oregano or basil or anything else in your herb/spice arsenal, add it.

Easy.

Once everything is nice and hot and the flavors have all mingled and gotten to know one another, you can also add beans and cooked pasta, if you like that sort of thing.

We certainly do.

green tea soup

FunBites Review & Giveaway!

28 Mar

I was asked recently by FunBites if I would be willing to review one of their cutters.

I’m pretty sure that I was the only blogger left in lunch land that didn’t already have one of these. So I think you know what my answer was.

FunBites come in two styles: Cube It! which makes 12 square bite-sized pieces, and Luv It! which makes a geometric heart pattern and two smaller hearts.

I chose the Cube It!

Using FunBites is easy:

Step 1: Place FunBites cutter on top of food.  Remove popper top and set to the side.

Step 2: Grab cutter handles on both sides, press down firmly and rock 5-6 times to cut through the food.

Step 3: Lift the cutter up, insert popper top and pop out the bite-sized pieces!

FunBites cutters can be used on sandwiches, fruit, veggies, pizza, burgers, tofu, omelets, cheese, pancakes, pretty much anything.

Seriously, these cutters are tough!

I wanted to do something a bit different with my FunBites Cutter so I used mine to make bite-sized butter cookies. The type of cookie really doesn’t matter here, just make sure your dough is nice and cold.

I like to roll mine out between two sheets of wax paper, so it doesn’t stick, lay it on a sheet pan, and then pop it into the freezer for 20-30 minutes.

Once the dough was chilled and firm, I used my FunBites cutter to cut out the dough squares:

Then I used the popper top to pop them out:

If your dough has chilled enough, you should get nice clean edges just like that up there. However, if your dough sat out for a bit due to… oh, I don’t know, kids who are on spring break and “need you” every two minutes – your dough might not come out so square. If that happens, just tap the edges down lightly with your finger. Easy peasy.

Cookies this size don’t need long to bake. Mine took between 5-7 minutes.

Ta Daaaa!

Cute right!?

Then I got to thinking about other things I could do with the FunBites Cube It!

I had a can of cinnamon rolls in the fridge – perfect! I rolled each of them out just a little and then used the Cube It! to cut little squares. These little cinnamon squares were a big hit with both of my kids. You can serve them with the glaze on the side for dipping as I did below or toss them with the glaze and let them set before you serve them.

I also made:

I just made a grilled cheese sandwich, let it cool for a few minutes so the cheese could set a bit, then cut it with my FunBites Cube It! I plopped a few on top of some veggie soup and it was lunch. If you like your grilled cheese to stay more crisp, just serve them alongside the soup rather than in it. Or serve it on a skewer with some lunch meat and/or a tomato in between for dipping, Yum.

And lastly…

If you’re buying croutons you need to stop it! It’s way too easy (not to mention cheaper) to make them yourself. They taste better too. I use whatever bread we have lying around, this is actually whole wheat sandwich bread. I cut the bread with my Cube It! then I tossed it in a bit of extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning. Then I toasted it on a sheet pan in a 300 degree oven for a few minutes until toasty.

After using the FunBites Cube It! for a couple of days, I can see where you could literally use it for every meal. I used it for breakfast, lunch, snack, and even a sweet treat but you could also use it to make bite-sized appetizers or to cut food into a safer size for little ones.

FunBites are:

  • Sturdy
  • Easy to use
  • Fun
  • BPA free
  • Made in the USA
  • Dishwasher safe

If you want to learn more about FunBites, or if you want one for yourself, you can visit their website: www.funbites.com.

Or…

Enter my giveaway and win one!

To enter:

1st: Like FunBites on facebook: facebook.com/FunBites

2nd: Like WSBFL on facebook: facebook.com/WeShouldBeFoldingLaundry

3rd:  Tell me in the comments section below which FunBites cutter you would choose if you won, Cube It! or Luv It!

**Rules & other super important info**

You must complete all 3 steps to win!

The winner will be selected by Random.org on April 4th, at noon and notified by email. Winner has 48 hours to respond. If I don’t receive a response from the original winner within 48 hours, I will choose another winner via Random.org.

This FunBites giveaway is open to all residents of the US & Canada.

Disclosure: I received a FunBites Cube It! cutter to review. No other compensation was provided by FunBites. All photos are the property of WSBFL and opinions given in this review are solely my own.

* This giveaway is now closed.