Tag Archives: onions

Roasted Tomato Soup with Cheesy Crostini

It was around 20 degrees when I woke up this morning.  With a bit of snow.  That’s right folks!  It snows in Oregon!  Which makes this a stellar day for working in jammies, enjoying the fireplace and eating soup!

One of the only soups I still buy in a can is tomato soup.  Until now, that is.  This was the easiest, tastiest homemade tomato soup I have ever made. I’ve made tomato soup before but have always used canned tomatoes. This recipe uses fresh tomatoes, roasted in the oven.  It was so easy and added a depth of flavor that was just spectacular.  I may never buy another can of Campbell’s soup again.

The recipe I used to make this also included grilled cheese bites as croutons.  You can do that if you want to, but although I love grilled cheese, soggy bites of it didn’t really appeal to me.  I made cheesy crostini instead.  Crunchy, gooey, and perfect for dipping.  This is comfort food at its finest!

Roasted Tomato Soup.  Perfect.

Roasted Tomato Soup. Perfect.

Roasted Tomato Soup
(slightly adapted from getoffyourtushandcook.com)

3-4 lbs plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
1 yellow onion, cut into large dice
6 cloves of garlic (4 left whole for roasting and 2 minced for sauteeing)
4 tbsp. olive oil, divided
1/3 cup red wine
2 cups chicken stock
1 tbsp.  balsamic vinegar
6 oz can tomato paste
1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped (plus a little extra for garnish)
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4-1/2 cup half-n-half (0ptional)

Preheat oven to 375. Lay the tomatoes, onions, and 4 garlic cloves onto a large baking sheet lined with parchment or foil.  Drizzle with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
No need to peel anything.  Just cut in half and throw on the pan with the onion and garlic.

No need to peel anything. Just cut in half and throw on the pan with the onion and garlic.

Roast for 50 min to 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool.
Roasted to perfection.

Roasted to perfection.

Once the roasted tomato/onion/garlic mixture has cooled a bit, transfer it to a blender and puree until smooth.
In a soup pot over medium heat, add 1 T olive oil, 2 cloves minced garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Cook a minute or so until garlic is fragrant but not brown.
Pour in the pureed tomato mixture and cook about 5 minutes. Then add the tomato paste, chopped basil, red wine, chicken stock and balsamic vinegar and stir to combine.  Allow the mixture to come to a boil and then reduce to low and simmer for 30 minutes to an hour.  Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed.
Cheese Crostini.  Perfect for dipping!

Cheese Crostini. Perfect for dipping!

Cheesy Crostini
1 baguette
Shredded cheese (I used mozzarella and cheddar)
Heat oven to 425˚.  Slice the baguette on a bias to create long oval pieces.  Lay out on a baking sheet and top each with a little pile of cheese. Bake for a 5-10 minutes, until cheese is melted and edges of bread are starting to brown.  Remove and serve with soup!

 

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Kale Over Easy Tostada

After my Halloween debauchery, I decided to detox from all the sugar with a three day juice fast.  I drank four fresh vegetable/fruit juices per day, and ate a light vegetarian dinner each day.  I think it did the trick.  After a splitting headache for two days, I felt much better and stopped craving sugar.  While the juices were delicious, by the time my fast was done I was juiced out.  But still had a lot of juicing veggies left.

While I normally eat a lot of vegetables, kale and chard are not among my favorites, so I’m trying to find creative ways to use them up.  I really liked how this tostada turned out.  The onions and garlic add so much flavor to the kale, and a quick sauté brightens the taste and softens the texture.  With the yolky egg on top, it was a great combo.  I might actually buy kale to make this again.

Kale Over Easy Tostada

Kale Over Easy Tostada

Kale Over Easy Tostada

For each tostada:
1 tostada shell
2-3 kale leaves, coarsely chopped (discard stems)
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1-2 eggs
1 oz. shredded cheese (I used white cheddar)
Salsa (optional)
Salt & pepper

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a medium skillet.  Add onion and sauté 2-3 minutes.  Add garlic and kale and cook another 2 minutes,  until kale is slightly wilted and onions are translucent.

Just cook until kale is wilted but still bright.  You don't want to cook it to death.

Just cook until kale is wilted but still bright. You don’t want to cook it to death.

If desired, heat tostada shell for a few seconds in microwave (just so it isn’t cold), and top with kale mixture.  Break eggs into the same skillet, sprinkle with salt & pepper and cook until they are done as much as you like.  I like mine over easy, which means cook just until the whites are set (not clear), then flip or cover to cook the other side briefly, removing them while the yolk is still runny. Place eggs on top of kale.

Top with cheese and salsa and enjoy!

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Four Onion Chowder

I’m definitely becoming a farmer’s market addict.  This week I came home with so many goodies, I planned almost my entire menu around it.  A rainy evening was the perfect time to pull out my onion chowder recipe.  And it was the optimal showcase for the spring onions, chives and fingerling potatoes I bought at the market this weekend.

Fresh chives, spring onions, red onion, and shallot.

If you aren’t familiar with spring onions, they look like green onions on steroids.  I usually only see them at farmer’s markets and usually only in the spring.  I’m only guessing here, but that might be how they got their name.  In any case, if you can’t find them, or if it’s not spring, you can use leeks instead.  With spring onions, you can use all of the white and green parts, just like with a green onion.  With leeks, just the white and light green parts.  Really, I think with this recipe, any combination of any types of onions you like would work beautifully.  As for the potatoes, I used fingerlings because I had them (and because they don’t require peeling!), but feel free to substitute any potato you like or have on hand.

For a vegetarian version, I would suggest simply eliminating the pancetta.  Add a little liquid smoke to replicate the smoky flavor if desired.  Use veggie broth instead of chicken.

Four Onion Chowder

Four Onion Chowder
(Adapted from Food 52 three onion chowder recipe) 

2 tbsp. butter
4 oz. pancetta, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
1 bunch spring onions (or leeks)
1-2 shallots
2 stalks celery, sliced or chopped
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp. fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 cup frozen or fresh corn kernels
2-3 cups chicken broth
1 pint fingerling potatoes, diced (about 2 cups)
2 cups half & half
2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup fresh chives, chopped
Salt & pepper

In a soup pot or dutch oven melt butter and cook pancetta.  When some of the fat has rendered from the pancetta, toss in the onions and shallots.  Saute until tender, but don’t brown or your soup will be brown.  Add garlic, thyme and bay leaf.  Stir to combine.  Add chicken broth.  If you like a thicker chowder, just add 2 cups. If you like it a little soupier, add 3 or more.  Add corn.  Bring to a boil.  Add half & half and potatoes.  Turn heat off.  Cover and let sit for at least 30 minutes until potatoes are tender.  Add chives, parsley, salt & pepper.  If needed, turn on the heat for a few minutes to make it hotter, but don’t bring to a boil.  Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.

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