Tag Archives: Healthy Cooking

Classic Tomato Soup

4 Apr

I only started making soup a few years ago, before that it was Campbell’s. Yup, from a can, now I wouldn’t dream of it. The funny thing is, growing up both my parents were big soup eaters but my Mom never made it from scratch. I guess making dinner for 10 people every night was all the cooking she wanted to do, and in our house soup was eaten for lunch not dinner. Campbell’s tomato soup was a favorite and of course with a grilled cheese sandwich. My Dad always got creative with his, adding leftover rice, noodles or even chopped up hotdogs.

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Now that I make my own soup I really wanted to re-create that smooth, tasty flavor of my childhood favorite. I began searching for recipes and realized that many seemed to be watered down versions of marinara or grandma’s Sunday gravy with basil and oregano. They had an Italian flavor profile, but I wanted a classic flavor, so I went to work on my own recipe and here it is…and it is exactly what I wanted! I hope you enjoy it. I figured we could all use a good recipe for comfort food during this difficult time.

And in a nod to my Dad feel free to add in rice, noodles, shredded cheese, croutons and even chopped up hot dogs if you dare!

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Ingredients:

1 28 oz can of San Marzano tomatoes

1 qt vegetable broth

2 Tbs olive oil

2 carrots, peeled, finely chopped

2 stalks celery, finely chopped

1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp thyme

Directions:

Heat olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat, add onions, celery and carrots. Sauté until the onion is soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, thyme, salt and pepper; sauté for just 2 or 3 minutes more.

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Add vegetable broth and tomatoes. I like to chop the tomatoes up a bit once they are in the pot. Stir to combine. Bring soup up to a boil then turn down to simmer and cook for 1 1/2 hours.

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Turn off heat. Using and immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth.

If you don’t have an immersion blender, do what I do, use a blender. Add to blender in batches and put each blended batch into a large sauce pan. Be careful not to fill the blender too much and hold the cover tight so it doesn’t explode from the heat. Adjust seasoning at this point, adding more salt and pepper if needed.

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Heat up over low flame for 15 to 20 minutes before serving. Garnish with freshly ground pepper.

Peace and good eats. Stay safe and be well.

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Chicken Milanese-Perfect Summertime Dinner

9 Jul

Always searching for the something new for dinner that is easy, tasty and not full of calories, this is it, Chicken Milanese. I was inspired by my friend and fellow food blogger (you should check her out) Stacey Snacks, she posted a photo on Insta of her Milanese and it was exactly what I was looking for and I didn’t even know it!

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I think the trick to making it really tasty is well-seasoned chicken cutlets and the dressing. The first time I made it I used the typical lemon and olive oil with salt and pepper, it was delicious. But then after looking on Pinterest at different lemon vinaigrette recipes, I decided to try a lemon-caper vinaigrette and it was super good! Of course if you don’t like capers stick with the traditional lemon.

 

One other important thing is that the cutlets are nice and thin. I learned to use a rolling pin from Ina Garten and it really does the trick.

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Ingredients

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced thinly into cutlets (I like to cut my own but you can always buy them and pound them thinner)

1 egg

1 Tbs water

1/2 cup flour

Kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper

1 cup bread crumbs

2 tsp oregano

1 tsp thyme

1 tsp dried parsley

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving.

Arugula or any other of your favorite greens (I don’t care for arugula, I use a spring mix)

1/4 cup olive oil plus more for frying

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 Tbs capers

1 Tbs juice from capers

Directions:

Put the flour on plate with salt and pepper. In a bowl beat the egg with the 1 Tbs of water and on a third plate put the bread crumbs with the seasonings and the 1/4 cup of grated cheese.

Put the cutlets between sheets of wax paper on a cutting board and pound with a mallet or rolling pin.

Coat the chicken breasts on both sides with the flour mixture, then dip into egg mixture and lastly dredge in the bread crumbs, pressing lightly to cover completely.

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Heat the oil a large pan. Add breaded cutlets 2 or 3 at a time, cook 3 to 4 minutes each side. Place cooked cutlets on a plate with paper towels to absorb grease.

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Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, capers and caper juice. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Toss greens with vinaigrette, place greens on a platter or individual plates, top with cutlets and grated cheese. I also like to add a vegetable such as green beans, tomatoes, artichoke hearts or asparagus. Serve. Enjoy!

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*I added fresh parsley and basil from our garden to the greens, added nice fresh flavor!

 

A Lemony Transition to Spring Soup

18 Mar

As much as we are craving Spring, it’s just not here yet; there is snow on the ground and it’s cold. Now today was beautiful and sunny, it did get up to 42 degrees, but that’s not exactly Spring. During the winter months we eat a lot of soups and stews which I love but I’m ready for lighter and brighter foods, so I went on the hunt for soup that was just that, and I found it! Thanks to the blog Cup of Jo I found the perfect recipe for a soup that warms the body but is light and bright; a Lemony Soup with White Beans and Kale.

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This soup is delicious, especially since I changed it up a bit to make it mine. I used spinach since I’m not a fan of kale and I used orzo instead of Ditilini pasta (not a big deal but that’s what I had in the house). I also used canned beans instead of dry, the last time I tried to use dried beans I ended up with cement not soup…something I need to work on.

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I think that other than the fact that this soup tastes so good, is that it is souper easy to make; the flavors of the lemon and garlic are just so good together and it comes together in less than hour.

Ingredients

1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 medium onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbs olive oil

1 small potato, peeled and chopped into small cubes

6 to 8 cups vegetable stock

1 lemon, juiced

1 cup orzo pasta, cooked

2 cups fresh spinach

Salt and pepper

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Directions

In a large dutch oven or pot add olive oil and heat over medium heat, add onions and potato. Stir and cook until onions are translucent then add garlic. Cook for another minute or two until garlic is fragrant. Add 6 cups of the vegetable stock, lemon juice and beans. Add salt and pepper to taste. Heat till boiling then reduce to a simmer and continue to cook for 20 minutes until the potatoes are soft.

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While the soup is simmering cook the pasta. I like to cook the pasta and add it to each bowl as I serve it, otherwise I feel like it gets to mushy and soaks up the liquid. So cook it and put it aside to add as you serve.

Once you feel the potatoes are done, add the spinach. At this point add more stock if you think it needs it, it’s up to you how “brothy” you like it. I did use all 8 cups.

When it’s ready serve with grated parmesan cheese, drizzle of olive oil and some freshly grated black pepper. Mangia!

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Now if you want to, which I may do the next time I make it, is to leave out the potato and add a second can of beans. And of course if you want to keep it vegan, no cheese. One more suggestion for the gluten-free folks, keep the potato and omit the pasta. Once again one of the reasons I love cooking is that you can always make it your own, there are no rules. So keep on cooking and keep on enjoying!

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