Tag: Tomatoes

Cream of Tomato Soup

cream of tomato soup

I’ve been thinking about Cream of Tomato Soup a lot lately. I haven’t had it in years and the last time was most likely Campbell’s. The occasion for making it came up with a party I was having for my daughter Margot.

cream of tomato soup

She recently became a designer for Keep Collective, a jewelry company. We invited family and friends local to me (she lives in Philadelphia) for a Saturday afternoon, including a light lunch. We had about a dozen acceptances. This seemed like a perfect opportunity to make a lovely ladies’ lunch.

Hors d’oeuvres

Scallion and Parsley Humus
Crudité
Pita Chips

cream of tomato soup

Lunch

Cream of Tomato Soup
Grilled Cheddar Cheese on Rye
Turkey Club Sandwiches

cream of tomato soup

Dessert

Triple Chocolate Brownies
Chocolate Almond Coconut Biscotti
Banana Bread Biscotti
Passion Fruit Chocolate Biscotti

cream of tomato soup

The soup and sandwiches were a big hit. It was a chilly day and everyone was oohing and awing about comfort food. I kept the soup in the crockpot on low to easily fill and refill mugs. No utensils – all finger foods!

We had a great afternoon and everyone stayed a long time. I think they departed around 7pm – always a sign of a good party when guests stay longer than expected!

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Cream of Tomato Soup

cream of tomato soup

Cream of Tomato soup was one of my favorite soups growing up. This recipe packs lots of natural tomato sweetness and goes perfectly with grilled cheese sandwiches!

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 2 quarts
  • Category: Soup

Ingredients

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, sliced
1 large celery stalk, sliced
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon cayenne
1 cup dry white wine
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
1 can (14.5) ounces fire-roasted tomatoes
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
6 cups vegetable stock or water
1 bouquet garni (3 parsley sprigs, 20 thyme sprigs, 2 bay leaves, 6 pepper corns securely wrapped in cheesecloth)
1 cup heavy cream

Instructions

Melt the butter in a 7-quart Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat.

Once the butter foams, stir in the onion, celery, carrot, and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Lower the heat if the onions are browning.

Stir in the garlic and cayenne and cook for 30 seconds.

Add the wine and bring to a boil, reduce to ¼ cup.

Stir in the crushed tomatoes, fire-roasted tomatoes, tomato paste, stock or water and bouquet garni.

Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and cook for 40 minutes.

Remove and discard bouquet garni,

Cool off heat for 15 minutes.

Pour the soup in batches into a blender or food processor, filling the container halfway or less. Cover, remove the top insert to allow for steam to escape, but cover that hole with a folded over towel.

Place into a clean container and continue pureeing until all the soup is smooth. Stir in the heavy cream.

Reheat and serve.

Freezes well.

Notes

See our video on how to safely puree hot foods.

Marinara Sauce

Red Sauce

Marinara sauce is a quick and easy red sauce with few ingredients, minimal prep and short cooking time. It’s ready, start to finish, in an hour. Before you start, put up a large pot of salted water for pasta.

This recipe makes just about one quart, which is perfect for one pound of pasta. It’s dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan.

I use a little more oil to sauté the onions and garlic because a good olive oil is an essential component of a good red sauce.

Red Sauce

A medium onion minced is about one cup and 6 medium cloves garlic add a good punch of garlic without being overwhelming. I also like a little crushed pepper flakes for heat. Fresh basil adds a complementary flavor to the tomatoes. If you don’t have any, use a teaspoon of dried basil. One 28-ounce can crushed or puréed tomatoes completes the recipe.

Sweat the onions on medium heat for five minutes to soften and release the natural water content. Stir in the garlic, pepper flakes and dried basil, if using, and cook for 30 seconds. Just long enough to release the aromatic aroma of the garlic. Stir in the tomatoes and fresh basil, if using, bring to a boil, lower the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 30 minutes.

Red Sauce

The best way to dress the pasta is to put a couple of ladlefuls of sauce in the drained pasta pan and add the pasta back. Stir to combine. Serve the extra sauce and some grated Parmesan cheese on the side.

See our recipe for garlic bread, a great accompaniment for a pasta with red sauce!

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Marinara Sauce

Red Sauce

Marinara sauce is a quick and easy red sauce with few ingredients, minimal prep and short cooking time. It’s ready, start to finish, in an hour. Before you start, put up a large pot of salted water for pasta.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 1 quart
  • Category: Sauce

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, minced

8 cloves garlic minced

¼ teaspoon pepper flakes

1 can (28 ounces) puréed tomatoes, such as San Marzano or Red Pack

2 large sprigs fresh basil or 1 tablespoon dried basil

Instructions

Heat the oil in a medium, covered saucepan over high heat.

Stir in the onion and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. If the onion starts to brown, lower the heat.

Toss in the garlic and pepper flakes; cook and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Stir in the tomatoes and basil, bring to a boil, cover and lower heat to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes.

Discard basil.

Notes

Recipe easily doubles and freezes well.

Mediterranean Braised Lamb Shanks

We started March with almost summer-like temperatures in the mid-70s and now the first day of spring, we’re expecting a snow storm! I decided to take advantage of the hopefully last cold days to make Mediterranean Braised Lamb Shanks in the slow cooker. Always make a braise the day before, the flavors are much better and it gives you an opportunity to easily remove the fat before reheating.

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Eric went to Stew Leonard’s and picked up some beautiful grass-grown lamb shanks from the Amish country. For the Mediterranean flavors, I’m using sundried tomatoes, Dijon mustard, herbes de Provence, saffron and a lovely Italian red wine. I had ¾ cup of cornmeal in the cupboard and decided to make a soft polenta with some sautéd shaved Brussels as my sides.

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The snow came Sunday night and it was a beautiful sight to wake up to this morning! The sun glistening on the snow-covered limbs and a brilliant blue sky. The snow didn’t even stick to the paved surfaces and the barely three inches we got are melting away quickly!DSCN5036

 

Goodbye Winter!

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Happy Spring everyone!

 

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Mediterranean Braised Lamb Shanks

A flavorful Mediterranean Braised Lamb Shank recipe for the slow cooker. Cook the day before to allow the flavors to come together and to let the fat set for easy removal.

  • Prep Time: 45 mins
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Total Time: 8 hours 45 mins
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Category: Lamb
  • Method: Stew/Braise

Ingredients

  • 8 Lamb shanks
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more if needed
  • 2 cups diced onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced carrot
  • 8 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 1 cup sundried tomatoes, not packed in oil
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons dried herbes de Provence
  • Pinch saffron
  • 1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup stock or water
  • GARNISH
  • ¼ cup pitted and sliced Nicoise olives
  • ¼ chopped rosemary, thyme and parsley
  • zested lemon peel

Instructions

  1. Generously season both sides of the lamb shanks.
  2. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven and brown the lamb shanks in batches.
  3. Add a little more oil if needed and stir in the onions, celery, carrots and garlic. Cover and sweat for 5 minutes, stirring once.
  4. Add the wine, sundried tomatoes, mustard, herbes de Provence and saffron, stir to combine, bring to a boil and reduce by three-quarters.
  5. Stir in the tomatoes and stock/water. Add the lamb shanks, cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, until fork tender.
  6. Combine the olives, herbs and lemon peel. Plate the lamb and sprinkle the garnish over the top.

Gazpacho

The summer provides an abundance of vibrant, fresh, ripe vegetables and this is the perfect time of year to make gazpacho. Have it for lunch and/or dinner or take a thermos filled to the brim for a picnic or
as a refreshing pick-me up on a bike ride or hike.

Gazpacho is a cold Spanish soup that originated in the southern region of Andalusia. The primary ingredient is ripe red tomatoes. The most common additions include bell peppers, jalapenos, garlic, onion, olive oil, Sherry wine vinegar, salt and pepper. The traditional Gazpacho Andaluz contains bread soaked in water and pureed with the rest of the vegetables, which makes the soup thicker and heartier. The soup can be pureed to a smooth texture and further refined by using a food mill to remove any remaining skins or seeds or less processed for a chunkier texture.

Cold Tomato Soup

Puree these ingredients.

I tried a few variations on the texture before I was satisfied. My first go round I not only peeled the tomatoes but seeded them as well. I have to admit to have feelings of guilt as the luscious red pulp that surrounds the seeds went to waste. I also pureed all the vegetables. I think losing the pulp made the soup less flavorful and I wished for more texture in the soup.

I finally settled on pureeing all the tomatoes with one half of the bell peppers, red onion and cucumber and all of the jalapeño and garlic. Do this step in batches, using one-third of the tomatoes and vegetables each time, the juice from the tomatoes helps get an even puree.

Cold tomato soup

Vegetables on the right are pureed with the tomatoes in batches. The vegetables on the left, pulse to chop into small pieces.

The remaining bell peppers and red onion I pulsed last to chop them into small pieces. I left the cucumber out fearing it would turn to mush and diced it by hand. I used Kirby cucumbers from the farmers market, which were small, sweet and had small, fine seeds. If you use a cuke with large seeds, scoop them out before dicing, they’re bitter.

Cold Tomato Soup

Diced cucumber.

Serve the soup well chilled and choose from a variety of possible garnishes: croutons, minced vegetables, avocado chunks, cooked shrimp, cilantro or pesto oil.

 

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Gazpacho

Try this quick and easy recipe for gazpacho, a cold tomato vegetable soup that’s perfect for lunch or dinner.

  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 1 1/2 quarts
  • Category: Soup

Ingredients

  • 6 cups tomatoes, peeled and chunked (4 pounds)
  • 1 cup 1-inch chunks of cucumber, (about 2 small Kirby cucumbers)
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion, chopped (1/2 small onion)
  • 1/3 cup yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped (1/2 pepper)
  • 1/3 cup green bell pepper, seeded and chopped (1/2 pepper)
  • 2 tablespoons minced jalapeno (1 small)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cloves of garlic, (2 large)
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion, chopped (1/4 small onion)
  • 1/3 cup yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped (1/2 pepper)
  • 1/3 cup green bell pepper, seeded and chopped (1/2 pepper)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons, plus one teaspoon Sherry wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Puree the tomatoes, cucumber, onion, bell peppers, jalapeño and garlic in batches using one-third of the ingredients for each batch. Pour into a pitcher or serving bowl.
  2. Pulse the onion and bell peppers until coarsely chopped. Add to the soup.
  3. Stir in the oil, cilantro, vinegar, salt and pepper.

Notes

Serve the soup well chilled and choose from a variety of possible garnishes: croutons, minced vegetables, avocado chunks, cooked shrimp, cilantro or pesto oil.

 

Roasted Halibut with Tomatoes and Bell Peppers Recipe

Saturday nights are a great time to ease back and have a leisurely dinner at home. This Roasted Halibut with Tomatoes and Bell Peppers recipe comes together in about an hour, is very flavorful and makes enough to easily serve six.

My family is not crazy about tomato sauce made with whole tomatoes; they prefer a smooth sauce. I used a combination of tomato puree and diced tomatoes (I like a little chunkiness and snuck it in!). Use whatever works best for you.

Bring a pot of salted cold water to a boil while making the sauce and cook the pasta, any shape will do, while the fish is roasting. Halibut is a mild-flavored fish with a firm texture and needs to be cooked through.

Method

Ingredients: olive oil, onions, bell peppers, garlic, Italian herb mix, crushed red pepper, tomatoes.

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Sauce

Thinly slice a medium onion (2 cups) lengthwise.

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Heat the olive oil in a large covered pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the onions and one teaspoon salt, cover, lower the heat and sweat for five minutes.

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Trim the ends and remove the seeds from a red, yellow and green bell pepper and thinly slice lengthwise.

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Add the bell peppers to the onions, stir, cover and sweat another five minutes.

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Mince four garlic cloves.

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Stir in one tablespoon Italian herb mix, the minced garlic and 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon pepper flakes.

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Add the tomatoes, stir, bring to a boil, lower the heat to a gentle boil and continue cooking for 30 minutes.

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Finished sauce.

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Fish

Place the fish on the lined sheet tray and lightly brush with oil.

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Season each side with a sprinkling of Kosher salt and…

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and a couple of grinds of pepper.

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Slide into the oven and roast for 14 minutes; this filet was one inch thick. Adjust for more or less time depending on thickness.

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Remove to a warm plate and top each filet with 1/4 cup sauce and garnish with parsley and serve the sauced pasta on the side.

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Here’s what an alternative dish looks like when someone doesn’t want fish – grilled chicken with tomatoes and bell peppers.

Recipe freezes well.

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Roasted Halibut with Tomato Bell Pepper Sauce

roasted halibut
  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6 portions
  • Category: Fish

Ingredients

  • Sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups thinly sliced onions
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut in thin slices lengthwise
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut in thin slices lengthwise
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cut in thin slices lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon Italian herb mix
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 28-ounce cans tomatoes
  • Halibut:
  • 6 six-ounce halibut filets
  • Kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • olive oil for brushing the fish
  • optional garnish: freshly chopped parsley, about 3 tablespoons

Instructions

  1. Set up:
  2. Preheat oven to 400º F.
  3. Line a 10- x 15-inch baking tray with parchment or foil.
  4. Method:
  5. Heat the olive oil in a large covered pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the onions and salt, cover, lower the heat and sweat for five minutes. Add the bell peppers, stir, cover and sweat another five minutes.
  6. Stir in the herb mix, garlic and pepper flakes. Add the tomatoes, stir, bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer and continue cooking for 30 minutes.
  7. Halibut:
  8. Lightly brush both sides of each fish fillet with oil and season with a sprinkling of salt and a couple of grinds of pepper.
  9. Slide into the oven and roast for 14minutes for a one-inch thick fillet. Adjust for others.
  10. Top each filet with 1/4 cup sauce and garnish with parsley.
  11. Serve the sauced pasta on the side.