Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tomato Tarragon Soup

This soup has a reputation of its own! It has been talked about for so long, that I felt left out not having tasted it. The recipe belongs to my friend Ramsey Dau. He so graciously shared it with me, and is allowing me to share it with you. It’s his Tomato Tarragon soup, a soup worth tasting! It’s slow cooking allows for the tomatoes to marinate in the broth of onion, garlic, and herbs into a divine Italian richness.

Accompanied by hearty country wheat crisps, I ladled myself two bowls for dinner last night before retiring some for my lunch today. A master of his own kind, I am anxious to see what other recipes he has up his sleeves! This one is certainly going into my recipe index. It was heavenly. Thanks Ramsey!

Tomato Tarragon Soup
Yield: 8 servings

3 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 red onion, small dice
2 tsp. Minced garlic or 4-6 cloves of garlic thinly chopped
6 Roma tomatoes, large dice- 1”
1 –2 Heirloom tomatoes, large dice – 1”
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
Dash cayenne
3 tsp. Dried tarragon or 6 stems of fresh
4 cups water
2 vegetable bouillon cubes (I like Organic Gourmet)
2 Tbsp. fresh basil
Salt and pepper to taste
*** Optional*** Fresh squeezed juice from 1 small lemon

Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil for 5 minutes. Chop tomatoes and add to sauté mix. Add brown sugar and cayenne and stir. Cover and allow to simmer for 30 minutes on low. Chop tarragon, add half and cook for 15 more minutes. Add water and bouillon cubes. Simmer for an additional 20 minutes. Add remainder of tarragon and basil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook for a remaining 10 minutes. Garnish with the juice of one lemon, if desired. Adjust salt and pepper as needed.

Orange Scented Pumpkin Loaf

Rising to the occasion of crisp winter days, my greedy lips long for seasonal foods. The latest on my menu of baked goods was an orange scented loaf. Spiced just like a pumpkin pie, with the addition of some orange extract, this harmonious combination was subtle, yet fulfilling, and had the perfect soft texture I was after.

Benefits of pumpkin include its richness in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals; both the flesh and seeds of the pumpkin provide many health-boosting nutrients. Also low in fat, it has many disease fighting nutrients.

Orange Scented Pumpkin Loaf
Yield: 1 loaf

1 3/4 unbleached-all purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp. Baking powder
1/2 tsp. Baking soda
1/2 tsp. Sea salt
2/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup canola oil
1 1/4 cup pumpkin puree (canned or freshly pureed)
1/4 cup almond milk
1 Tbsp. flax seeds
2 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
2 tsp. Orange extract
1/4 cup pecans, optional
1/2 tsp. Minced orange zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl: four, b.powder, b.soda, sea salt, pumpkin pie spice, and flax seeds. Mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl: maple syrup, canola oil, pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, and orange extract. Combine wet with dry. Fold in pecans and orange zest. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Raspberry Oatmeal Smoothie

Ha Ha. I found a new way to hide oatmeal in my kids' food. The idea came to me today, as they requested an ice cream sundae. I do not allow my kids to eat too many sweets, and like most parents prefer them to eat healthy snacks. Knowing that they love smoothies I set upon this task immediately. They are sitting before me now gobbling it up. Just don't tell them.

Here's the recipe.

2 cups of precooked and flavored oatmeal- I flavor mine with cinnamon, vanilla, a pinch of sea salt, and brown sugar (to the taste)
2 cups frozen raspberries
1 cup frozen pineapple
1/2 banana
2 Tbsp. honey

Blend until smooth and serve immediately.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Faux Chicken Dumpling Soup

My perfect meal would include soup, garden salad, and fresh baked bread. With a husband and two children who are not fond of soup, it is seldom I indulge in this combination. However, one soup they eat without complaint is a Faux Chicken Dumpling soup that my friend Brianne passed along to me some time ago. With this crisp Winter air, this is a perfect soup to warm you up!



1 cup flour
1/2 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/8 cup olive oil
1/4 cup plain or unsweetened soy or almond milk

2 Tbsp. Earth Balance
1/4 cup leeks
2 stalks of celery, cut on the bias
1 tsp. garlic
2 carrots, medium diced
1 bay leaf
1 cup green beans
Seitan or chicken substitute (I like to use May Wah Healthy Vegetarian Foods Chicken Balls -Vegetarian, not Vegan)
8 cups of water
4 cubes of faux bouillion (Organic Gourmet makes a great one)

In a soup pot saute leeks, celery, garlic and carrots with the Earth Balance. Allow them to sweat for 5 minutes.

Add bay leaf and water and bring to boil. Allow to simmer for 10 additional minutes. Stirring occasionally.

Add green beans, chicken substitute, and bouillion cubes. Simmer for 8 more minutes.

While the soup is simmering, prepare the dumplings. In a bowl, combine your dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, and sea salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together olive oil and milk substitute. Combine together.

Form small balls (the size of a golf ball) with the dough and drop them individually into the soup. They should float to the top.

Allow to cook for another 8 minutes. A perfect accompanyment to a garden salad and baguette

**** I like to add either noodles or precooked brown rice to this soup to make it heartier

Happy New Year

Another year, another resolution! With a handful of friends referring my blog to their acquaintances, and with no new updates, it is a resolution of mine to get back into the swing of things after being away.

Intending to keep up with my blog while pregnant with my third daughter, I found it harder than expected, as I was sicker than ever during this pregnancy. The thought of of food made me woozy.

My youngest daughter, Matilda Mae, is now 3 months and growing happier and healthier daily. I am still recouping from pregnancy and the additional responsibilities I have taken on. With work and three kids, I have missed writing. So, without further adieu, I promise you, my readers, a fresh start to kick off this New Year.

Happy New Year!