Roasted Tomato Soup

Screen Shot 2014-11-12 at 3.26.49 PM There are still a few (slightly sad) looking tomatoes at the farmer's market here in New York, but with snow in Minnesota this week, there's no doubt that winter will be here sooner than we know it. Tomato soup is possibly my favorite way to bridge the gap between summer and fall–you get the brightness and acidity of summer's best produce with the coziness of a warm fall soup. Make this weekend, and stock up in the freezer for a little taste of summer all through the cold months to come.

I didn't have a chance to photograph this the night I made it (curse you, Daylight Savings Time!) but did snap this picture at my desk the next day for lunch. Serve with grilled cheese  sandwiches, obviously (because let's be honest, who really wants tomato soup without grilled cheese?)

Roasted Tomato Soup (adapted from Ina Garten, courtesy of my mom)

3 pounds ripe tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise 1/8 cup plus 2 tablespoons good olive oil 1 tablespoon kosher salt 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper 2 cups chopped yellow or white onions 6 garlic cloves, minced 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 1 (28-ounce) canned plum tomatoes, with juice 2teaspoon fresh thyme leaves 1 quart chicken stock or water

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss together the tomatoes, 1/8 cup olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the tomatoes in 1 layer on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes.

In a large stockpot or dutch oven over medium heat, saute the onions and garlic with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the butter, and red pepper flakes for 10 minutes, until the onions start to brown. Add the canned tomatoes, basil, thyme, and chicken stock. Add the oven-roasted tomatoes, including the liquid on the baking sheet. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Pass through a food mill fitted with the coarsest blade, or blend until relatively smooth in a blender. Taste for seasonings.

Peanut & Vegetable Stew

_MG_6062Despite the fact that it was officially spring last week, New York is still feeling distinctly chilly. I for one am more than ready to not wear a coat and spend a little time outside, but until the temperatures warm up a little more, I'm sticking with hearty soups and stews for dinner. This recipe came from my mom (through one of her oldest friends), and is a great way to get your fill of vegetables and protein all in one. You can also add chicken to make it a little heartier, but I like it vegetarian to feel especially virtuous._MG_6065 Meanwhile, I'll be dreaming of asparagus and strawberries and all things spring over here. Will this winter never end?_MG_6071



Peanut & Vegetable Stew (serves 8)
1 T olive oil
1 med onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 red pepper, chopped (about 1 1/4 cups)
1 cup chopped carrots
1/2 c chopped celery
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons minced, peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon curry powder
1-14 1/2 oz can diced tomatoes
1 bay leaf
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 large sweet potato, peeled & cut into 1/2" pieces
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
1/2 cup or more of peanut butter
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1-5 oz bag spinach leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
Ground pepper
Heat oil in a large soup pot.  Add onion, bell pepper, carrot & celery.  Saute until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add garlic, ginger, curry powder and saute until fragrant, about 1 min.  Do not brown garlic.  Add tomatoes & bay leaf.  Cook, uncovered until tomatoes are slightly reduced, about 3 min.
Add broth & sweet potato & bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer about 8 minutes.  Stir in garbanzos and peanut butter till combined.  Cook until thoroughly heated, about 2 minutes.  Stir in cilantro and spinach until spinach wilts.  Season with salt & pepper.

Corn, Chicken & Butternut Squash Soup

_MG_5428Soup isn't the most glamorous of meals – not nearly as exciting as, say, foie gras, or steak, or even pizza. And yet, there is something so inherently comforting about a bowl of warm soup, filled with hearty vegetables and diced chicken, with a little honey-drizzled cornbread on the side for good measure. Soup like this makes me long for a fireplace, for a cabin somewhere in the woods with snow falling outside the window and no honking horns of the city. I can't promise that this soup will take you there, but it will make you warm on a cold night no matter where you are, and give you your daily serving of vegetables to boot. And sometimes, that's good enough._MG_5431



Corn, Chicken & Butternut Squash Soup (adapted from Epicurious)

Word of warning: this recipe makes A LOT of soup. So be sure to have plenty of tupperware for leftovers, or make it for a lot of people (i.e. more than two)

2 tablespoon butter
2 medium onions, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup all purpose flour
9 cups low-salt chicken broth
4 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled seeded butternut squash (cut from one 1 3/4-pound squash)
1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
2 16-ounce bags frozen corn kernels
1 cup milk
4 cups diced skinned roast chicken (2-3 chicken breasts)
2 cups chopped green onions
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

In a large pot, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onions and 1 cup bell peppers. Sauté until onions are soft, about 10 minutes. Add flour; stir 2 minutes. Mix in broth, then squash, potatoes, and thyme; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer uncovered until squash and potatoes are tender, about 12 minutes. Add corn, cream, and 1 cup bell peppers. Simmer until corn is tender, about 10 minutes. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and keep chilled. Bring to simmer before continuing.) Add chicken, 1 cup green onions, and 1/2 cup cilantro; simmer 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Ladle chowder into bowls; sprinkle with remaining 1 cup green onions and 2 tablespoons cilantro.

$10 Mondays: Parsnip & Apple Soup

Apologies for the lack of posting last week. I was in the midst of getting ready for a quick weekend trip to Minnesota (photos to come this week) and ate a lot of takeout. I know, disgraceful. However, we did have time to ship up this easy parsnip and apple soup. With the addition of bacon, this soup makes an easy (and cheap) weeknight dinner. The parsnips and carrots could easily be substituted for any other root vegetable -- potatoes would make this even more inexpensive. Parsnip and Apple Soup (adapted from Food & Wine)

2 tablespoons butter

1 large onion/, roughly chopped

6 cups chicken or vegetable broth

1 1/2 lbs parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

1/2 lb carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

2 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced

2 oz bacon, roughly chopped

1/2 cup cream

1/2 cup milk

Salt and pepper, to taste

In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add broth, parsnips, and carrots and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes. Add apples and simmer for 15 minutes more.

Meanwhile, sauté bacon in a pan until crispy. Drain on a paper towel and set aside.

Working in batches, purée soup in a blender until smooth. Mix in cream and milk and reheat if necessary. Season well with salt and pepper, and top with bacon and croutons, if desired.

Creamy Curried Celery Root & Apple Soup

Celery root is not a vegetable you would pick up immediately. Its gnarled and knotty surface doesn't look like much, but when you cut off the ugly exterior, inside lies a crisp, parsnip-like root, with just a hint of celery's strong taste. I found this recipe in the New York Times Dining Section, and it is a perfect antidote to a chilly November evening. It's a little more interesting than plain old potato soup, and the curry adds warmth and flavor to the celery root's mellow creaminess. Creamy Curried Celery Root & Apple Soup (Adapted from the New York Times)


4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter 1 small onion, chopped 1 tablespoon garlic, minced 1 tablespoon curry powder 1 to 2 teaspoons ground cumin Salt and black pepper 1 pound celery root, peeled and cut into 1- to 2-inch chunks 3 apples peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock or water 1/2 to 1 cup cream, half-and-half, or milk, or to taste

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. After a couple of minutes, add the onion and garlic and sauté until soft, about five minutes. Add the curry powder and cumin and stir to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Add the celery root and apples, and coat with the spices, then add the water or stock and bring to a boil.Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until celery root is tender and soft, about 20 minutes.

Cool slightly and pour into a blender. Purée in batches. When it has all been puréed, return soup to the pan and mix in the cream or milk, and adjust the seasoning to taste.