Tomato Soup

Tomato soup and I go way back. My mother served it often with it’s very best friend, grilled cheese sam’iches, and it was the only decent meal we were served when I taught up in the mountains at Outdoor Science School. I’d always just eaten the canned stuff, until one day I decided to give it a shot and make it from scratch. I remember my girl was about 18 months old and hated everything I made her. But when I let her try a spoonful of this delicious, silky soup her face broke into a huge grin and she said “MMMmmmmmmMMM!” Be still my beating heart.

Tomato Soup

Tomato Soup

Ingredients (Yields 8 cups)

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 large white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, smashed and peeled
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 3 cups water and 1 and 1/2 large chicken bouillon cube OR 3 cups chicken broth
  • 28 oz can of whole plum tomatoes and juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Prep

in a 5 or 6 quart dutch oven, heat the oil and butter over medium heat until the butter melts.

Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft. Stir occasionally and ensure it doesn’t get brown. Reduce the flame to low when its done.

Add the flour and stir to coat the onion and garlic.

Add the remaining ingredients and return the flame to medium-high. Stir the mixture to ensure the flour isn’t sticking to the pan.

Once you bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the flame and simmer, covered, for 40 minutes. I like to check on it every 10 minutes and stir it a little.

Once the time’s up, let the soup cool down a little. Pull out the sprig and discard. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until its silky and creamy. You will have small bits of onion no matter how much your puree it, but I think it makes for a nice texture.

Note: If you don’t own an immersion blender I strongly recommend you invest in one. It makes so many pain-in-the-ass tasks easier. But in the meantime, you can transfer the mixture into your blender and puree in batches. Return the soup to the pot for serving. 

You can garnish with a little freshly ground pepper, a dollop of sour cream, sprinkle of dill, finely diced chives, or a grating of parmesan cheese.

~Nom On

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Herbed Cream Chicken Turnovers

In preparation for fall, my very favorite season, I dreamed up this little turnover recipe. It makes a nice, savory treat for dinner and of course, turnovers are so easy to take for lunch the next day. Enjoy!

Herbed Chicken Cheese Turnovers

Herbed Cream Chicken Turnovers

Ingredients

  • 1 package refrigerated pie crusts
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cooked chicken breast, diced
    Tip: I use frozen chicken breasts. You can pop one straight into the oven or toaster oven and bake for 30 minutes at 325 degrees. Take the chicken out at 155 or 160 degrees internal temperature and it’ll finish cooking as you prep the cream cheese filling.
  • Herbs – I used dill and chives but you can play around with different combinations. Just go with fresh herbs over dried for this recipe.
  • Salt and pepper

Prep

  • Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Soften cream cheese in a medium bowl by microwaving for about 15 seconds.
  • Dice your chicken breast. The finer the better.
  • Prep your herbs – depending on what you chose. I usually just rip a little of what I need off the bushel or use kitchen scissors to snip.
  • Add your herbs and 1/4 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of pepper to the cream cheese. Using a hand mixer, beat on medium until the mixture gets soft and smooth.
    Note: If you cheese is just piling up in your blades, you need to turn up the speed and beat against the side of the bowl. It will get the mixture out.
  • Fold in your diced chicken to the mixture and set aside.
  • Roll out your pie crusts and cut each crust in half.
  • Spoon your mixture in 4 equal portions on each crust in the center of one side.
  • Fold the top half of each crust over the mixture and crimp the edges together to seal. Cut 3 small slits in each turnover.
  • Beat the egg and using a pastry brush, brush the turnovers all over to coat. This is what gives it that nice, brown and savory crust.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

A word of advice…

Turnovers can be dry. The cream cheese in this one does help, but you can offer garnishes, too. Sour cream or apple sauce could work, even a little dijon mustard.  Serve with a side salad or tomato slices dusted with salt and pepper. I wouldn’t serve with a starch, but if you really want to carb out you could do mashed potatoes and gravy. The gravy can be used to cut the dryness of the turnover as well.

~Nom On