Monday, January 23, 2012

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

For some reason, I cannot seem to get enough soup lately. Usually, I'd blame the cold weather, but Kansas City has had an absurdly mild winter so far. This recipe, as the previous, is inspired by a featured recipe on Door to Door Organics for their Good Food Made Simple Contest. As always, I put my own spin on it. First, I opted to make this soup vegan. I've been experimenting with using more whole foods, which lead to the second big change: Eliminating pre-made stock. So far, I've been pleased with my stock/broth-free adaptations. Additional bonus? Less salt in the final product!

The soup is yummy topped with croutons, cheese, or additional basil. We went with a twist on the traditional and had it with basil grilled cheese.

Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Soup

2 large red bell peppers, cored and cut into fourths
1 lb tomatoes, cut into fourths
1 head garlic, cloves separated and peeled
2 medium carrots, cut into 2 inch lengths
1 stalk celery, cut into 2 inch lengths
1 large red onion, peeled and cut into fourths
4 tbs light olive oil
1/2 tbs salt
5 c water
10 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 large bay leaves
1/2 c fresh basil, chopped
1 can lite coconut milk
additional salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450F.

Place peppers, tomatoes, garlic, carrots, celery,and onion in a large baking dish (I used a 10x13x3 lasagna pan). Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and toss to coat. Roast the vegetables in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, or until the vegetables start to brown.

Transfer the roasted veggies and the liquid in the bottom of the baking pan to a large stock pot. Add the water, thyme, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 30 minutes.

Remove the thyme stems (if any leaves remain attached to the stem, strip them off and return to the stock pot). Remove bay leaves. Add chopped basil and coconut milk; purée the until smooth. Return the soup to stock pot over medium-low heat for another 10 minutes and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot. Makes about 8 servings.

Estimated Nutritional Info: 217kcal, 19g fat, no cholesterol, 615mg sodium, 425mg potassium, 12g total carbs, 2.7g fiber, and 3g protein. Bonus: It's really high in vitamins A and C!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Back from Blogging Hiatus with Salmon Broccoli Chowder and Veg-uary!

Dear Recipe Blog:
I'm sorry I left. Please take me back.
sincerely, the Anti-Chef.

I've been away for so long....that was never my intention, but that pesky thing called Life (outside the kitchen) demanded my undivided attention for quite awhile. I've been keeping chicken-scratch notes of my cooking adventures that I hope to share with my corner of the internet, but that will take some time. More immediate is....


Let me explain. My oldest spawn mentioned wanting to try a vegetarian diet. I haven't done the vegetarian thing in awhile, so I decided we could do it together. We picked February to be vegetarians (hence "Veg-uary"). Several people expressed an interest in doing this with us, so I made a Facebook group for everyone to join for support and ideas. The group is open to anyone, so if you feel this is something you'd like to partake in, feel free! I'm excited to revisit some of my favorite non-meat recipes, as well as create a few more along the way.

On the not-so-vegetarian side of things, I made salmon chowder today. The weather has turned (finally!), and nothing says winter comfort food like a nice, thick, hearty soup. My original inspiration is a salmon corn chowder from Door to Door Organics (my organic co-op of choice). I've done a considerable amount of editing as I'm not a big corn fan, nor did I have vegetable stock on hand. I hope you enjoy my debut recipe of 2012!

Salmon Broccoli Chowder

4 tbs light olive oil
1 small head of broccoli
1 lb salmon filets
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbs oil of choice (I use coconut oil)
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp anchovie paste
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 stalk oregano
2 cups milk
6 cups water
3 russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 large bay leaves
1 dash hot sauce of choice
parsley to garnish, if desired


Coat broccoli and salmon with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place broccoli on one side of a baking sheet and put in the oven. With the broccoli in the oven, preheat oven to 375F. Once the oven is preheated, add the salmon filets to the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes per inch of the salmon's thickness. Remove from oven and set aside.

In a large soup pot, heat oil of choice over medium-high heat. Saute onions and carrots until onions are translucent, about 3 minutes. Add celery, garlic, anchovie paste, thyme, and oregano; saute another minute.

Add milk, water, potatoes, bay leaves, a teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and lightly boil until potatoes are very soft--about 20 minutes.

Once the potatoes are tender, remove the bay leaves and herb stems (if not previously removed). Blend soup until smooth, then return to pot over medium-low heat.

Flake the salmon, discarding the skin. Cut the broccoli into florets. Stir salmon, broccoli, and hot sauce into the soup and heat another 10 minutes. Adjust seasoning to taste, garnish with parsley (if desired), and serve.

Makes 8 1-1/2 cup servings, Roughly 290kcal, 12.5g fat (half of which is monounsaturated), 1100mg potassium, 24g total carbs, 5g fiber, and 20g protein.