Before I talk about tomato soup let me show off another glorious bowl of overnight oats. Same basic recipe as before but I stirred in thawed frozen blueberries and added some sliced almonds on top. I could eat these everyday but Travis’ reaction to his second bowl in a week was, “Porridge again? I like my smoothie action.”
I love being able to use of TONS of what’s growing in my garden all at the same time! I think I overdid it planting cherry tomatoes because I have them coming out of my ears. In the past 2 weeks I have made gazpacho, a large version of a caprese salad with halved cherry tomatoes, basil and mozzarella all tossed in a homemade balsamic vinaigrette (that we shared with 8 friends) and we have eaten plenty of tomatoes sliced in sandwiches. My son and I picked another couple pounds of tomatoes yesterday and I was pretty excited to try a cooked version of my tomatoes.
Here are the tomatoes before going in the oven…
This soup is so flavorful! I made it with tons of halved cherry tomatoes with a few larger tomatoes…all from my garden. In the early afternoon I prepared the tomatoes, roasted them and then let them cool completely.
Then I blended all of them with my Vitamix. Because the recipe doesn’t tell you how to slice or dice the basil after I transferred the tomato mixture into the soup pot I blended the basil with some of the chicken stock and then added that to the soup. After the soup was done I used my immersion blender to puree the onions to make it completely smooth. I didn’t strain it as instructed.
Roasted tomato basil soup with some basil to garnish!
After we each had a good sized bowl with dinner there was still enough leftover to fill an eight cup container!
Roasted Tomato Basil Soup
- 3 pounds tomatoes (I used cherry and roma varieties)
- 1 large vidalia onion, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 – 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 4 cups fresh basil leaves
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss together the tomatoes, drizzle extra virgin olive oil over and salt & pepper. Spread the tomatoes in 1 layer on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes.
- In an 8-quart stockpot over medium heat, saute the onions and garlic with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, a little salt and red pepper flakes for 10 minutes, until the onions start to brown. Add the canned tomatoes, thyme, salt and pepper. Add the oven-roasted tomatoes, including the liquid on the baking sheet to a Vitamix or high speed blender and blend until smooth. Add mixture to soup pot. In the same blender container add basil and about a cup of the stock and blend until mostly smooth. Add to soup along with the remaining stock. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Serve hot or cold.
Slightly adapted from Ina Garten
I had no idea that quinoa could be so good as “granola”! It’s like eating crunchy little bursts of energy! Look how this chunk of granola stuck together like a mini granola candy bar…that piece was the first to get eaten!
Quinoa is a seed that is very high in protein and low in fat. I used organic quinoa that I purchased from Whole Foods. Also I had some sliced almonds on hand so I didn’t need to chop them.
I enjoyed this granola on a little plate while doing my homework…
…and on top of frozen yogurt from Sweet Frog (I actually resisted getting any toppings at the store so that I could top it with my granola!)
Crispy Quinoa Granola
- 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- 1/2 cup almonds
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup local organic honey
- 1/2 cup dried golden raisins
- *Note: Can easily be doubled and fit on one baking sheet.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Chop ½ cup almonds. In a medium bowl, combine ¾ cup quinoa, ½ cup pumpkin seeds, ½ cup chopped almonds, and ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Stir in 2 tablespoons olive oil and ¼ cup honey to thoroughly combine. Spread onto a baking sheet.
- Bake for 20 minutes, stirring a few times during baking. Add ½ cup golden raisins (or any dried fruit) and let cool 15 minutes. Break any large chunks into small pieces and store in an airtight container.
Apparently there was a pumpkin theft in my neighborhood yesterday which I was unaware of until I woke up this morning to an amusing string of emails from people in the neighborhood:
Jason (condo owner across the street from the town houses): A girl got out of a black car and took two pumpkins from the corner town house front stoop yesterday. What is this neighborhood coming to?
Erica (sent to a couple of the town house owners who could possibly have missing pumpkins): Did one of you have two pumpkins stolen? Just checking. I’m hoping that a lady was supposed to pick them up or something and did not just take them.
Terri (a town house owner): They were stolen from my front steps!
Laura (another town house owner): I wasn’t home last night. I’m not sure if mine are still there. Elissa had a couple of pumpkins on her steps too.
Elissa (that’s me…also a town house owner): Laura your pumpkins and our pumpkins are thankfully safe and sound!
Funny!!? Well…I thought it was! My bedroom is on the 3rd floor and the first thing I did this morning after reading this email was to walk down to the first floor to check on the pumpkins and send my email reply.
This whole pumpkin situation was also great inspiration for this granola. I plan to enjoy this for myself and share it my sister Angela (who is going to have a baby ANY DAY NOW).
I did some granola research today and then adapted my own unique recipe. It smelled deliciously of spice and coconut while it was baking. It’s crispy and slightly sweet and really good! I can’t wait to try it with some frozen yogurt :)
Pumpkin Seed Granola
- 6 cups rolled oats (not quick cooking or instant)
- 2 cups sliced almonds
- 2 cups raw pumpkin seeds
- 1/3 cup local honey
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/2 cup virgin coconut oil
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon dried ginger
- 2 big pinches kosher salt
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup white raisins
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In the largest mixing bowl you have add oats, almonds, pumpkin seeds and all the spices. Mix together well. In a separate small bowl mix together the coconut oil, honey and maple syrup. Add the wet ingredients to the oats mixture and using a rubber spatula fold it around and around the bowl until combined. (It think it’s better to fold the mixture instead of stirring it so that the almonds won’t break up too much)
- Spread out mixture on a large baking sheet. Stir every 20 minutes so that it bakes evenly. Bake for about an hour.
- Add the mixture back into a large mixing bowl and fold in dried cranberries and raisins. Divide into airtight containers for storage.
These apples are supposed to be my afternoon snacks but instead all but one of them wanted to be made into yummy little apple crisps!
Today, while reading one of the blogs I follow, called A Couple Cooks, I ran across a recipe for Honey Almond Apple Crisps in Jars. The recipe had no sugar (honey instead), very little butter (compared to a lot of recipes for crisps) and an interesting addition…grated ginger.
I didn’t have any little jars but I had everything else. My plan was to bake it together in a small baking dish…but then I ended up in Target this afternoon and found these cute ramekins that were available in fall colors like red, orange and green and they were only $2.50 for 2! Score!
The recipe fit exactly into my new green ramekins!
I dug in with a glass of cold skim milk on the side. I couldn’t eat it all and I think the rest will be really good for breakfast in the morning :)
Randolph wants some too!
Mini Honey Almond Apple Crisps
- 4 apples (about 4½ cups)
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- ½ tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅓ cup honey
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ cup oats
- ¼ cup slivered almonds
- ⅓ cup whole wheat flour
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted or very soft
- 4 small canning jars (or ramekins!)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Peel, core, and slice the apples into small pieces. Peel the ginger; mince or grate 1 tablespoon. In a large saute pan, mix together apples, ginger, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, and a pinch of kosher salt. Stir in ½ tablespoon balsamic vinegar and ⅓ cup honey. Saute until softened, about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine ¾ cup oats, ¼ cup slivered almonds, ⅓ cup whole wheat flour, ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt, ¼ cup honey, 2 tablespoons softened butter.
- Divide the fruit mixture into 4 half-pint wide mouth canning jars or ramekins. Spread the crumble over each jar, pressing down on the crumbs to ensure that none are above the mouth of the jar.
- Place the jars/ramekins on a baking sheet and bake 15 minutes until top is brown. Cool for 10 minutes and enjoy.