More comfort food

Tonight’s schedules are a little tricky.  Tomato soup and grilled cheese are just the thing.  The tomato soup is easy and everyone can get creative with their grilled cheese.  Samantha and Keith found some Parmesan/cheddar cheese.  I’m going to try that!

Tomato soup

  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 3 small yellow onions, chopped
  • 2 large or 4 small shallots, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 qt chicken stock (I’m using half homemade and half store bought)
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • pinch of saffron
  • 1/2 cup orzo
  • 1/2 cup cream

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pot.  Add onions and shallots and cook until soft and golden (10 -12 minutes).  Add garlic and cook, stirring for 1 minute.  Stir in chicken stock, tomatoes and saffron with 1 pinch of salt and a teaspoon of fresh ground pepper.  Bring to a boil and then lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Fill a smaller pot with water and a pinch of salt and bring to a boil.  Add orzo and cook for 7 minutes.  Drain and add to soup along with cream.  Simmer for another 5 – 10 minutes.

Serve hot with grilled cheese sandwiches.

Multitasking

Tonight we had the Southwestern Shrimp Taco salad.  It was delicious and it is pretty straightforward to fix.  That is if it is your only project.  In my case it wasn’t.  Samantha announced that she wanted tomato soup with grilled cheese.  That actually worked out well because I had leftover diced tomatoes from the Chicken Tikka Masala on Saturday.  I had been trying to think of what to do with them and a quick improvised tomato soup seemed like a great idea.  I sautéed a minced shallot and a minced clove of garlic and threw them into the Vitamix with the tomatoes.  We added some chicken stock and half and half and Samantha decided to add basil.  We pureed it all and heated it up and voila – tomato soup and grilled cheese.

Quick tomato soup

I was also making chicken salad with the leftover chicken from last night’s roast chicken.  This is the recipe I like:

Chicken Salad

  • chicken meat
  • 2 ribs celery, finely chopped
  • 1 large or 2 small shallots, minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp celery salt
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup (or as needed) Hellmann’s mayonnaise

Combine chicken with celery and season with thyme, garlic powder, Worcestershire and celery salt.  Add mayonnaise and stir well to combine.  If salad is dry, add more mayonnaise.  Chill and refrigerate until ready to serve.

This was all while making our dinner:

Southwestern shrimp taco salad

  • juice from 3 limes
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp pureed chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (keep the rest in the fridge for chipotle mayo and marinades)
  • 1 1/2 tsp honey (original recipe called for maple syrup but I thought honey would be better)
  • 3/4 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, washed and torn into smallpieces
  • 1/2 can of black beans rinsed and drained
  • 3 plum tomatoes chopped
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1 oz lime flavored tortilla chips  (original recipe called for blue corn chips but we love the lime and I thought it would go well with lime dressing)
  • 2 TB light sour cream

Whisk together lime juice, olive oil, cumin, garlic, chipotle pepper and honey.  Toss shrimp with about 1/2 of the mixture and roast at 425 for about 10 minutes until pink (original recipe called for grilling but I love the flavor of roasted shrimp).  Cover plates with romaine and some lime chips.  Combine beans, tomatoes and avocado in a bowl and toss with remaining dressing.  Divide mixture between plates and top with shrimp and a dollop of sour cream.  Serve.

And Keith was getting chicken stock going!  Feels like a restaurant!

More comfort food

It is very cold here and perfect weather for soup.  I made tomato soup last night for us to enjoy this evening and made chicken salad with the leftover chicken from Sunday’s dinner.  What a delicious meal on a cold winter night!  And there is still more soup left!

Tomato soup

  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 3 small yellow onions, chopped
  • 2 large or 4 small shallots, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 qt chicken stock (I’m using half homemade and half store bought)
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • pinch of saffron
  • 1/2 cup orzo
  • 1/2 cup cream

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pot.  Add onions and shallots and cook until soft and golden (10 -12 minutes).  Add garlic and cook, stirring for 1 minute.  Stir in chicken stock, tomatoes and saffron with 1 pinch of salt and a teaspoon of fresh ground pepper.  Bring to a boil and then lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Fill a smaller pot with water and a pinch of salt and bring to a boil.  Add orzo and cook for 7 minutes.  Drain and add to soup along with cream.  Simmer for another 5 – 10 minutes.

Chicken Salad

  • leftover roast chicken
  • 1 rib celery, finely chopped
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp celery salt
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup (or as needed) Hellmann’s mayonnaise

Combine chicken with celery and shallots and season with thyme, garlic pwoder, Worcestershire and celery salt.  Add mayonnaise and stir well to combine.  If salad is dry, add more mayonnaise.  Chill and refrigerate until ready to serve.

 

Soup and sandwich

The chicken salad I made for the baby shower was so good, it made me crave a good chicken sandwich.  I roasted chicken breasts the same way that I did for the baby shower – bone in, skin on chicken breasts tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted at 350 for about an hour.  I sliced the meat and made sandwiches on white bread with mayonnaise (sometimes the simple things are the best.)  To go with it, I made some homemade tomato soup.  It was delicious and easy, just the thing for a Monday night – here is what I did:

Roasted tomato soup

  • 2 pounds plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise, scoop out seeds and pulp and drain on paper towels upside down
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • fresh ground pepper (about 1 1/2 tsp)
  • kosher salt (about 1 tsp)
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock

Combine pepper, salt, garlic, rosemary and olive oil in a large bowl.  Toss tomato halves with ingredients and marinate for 15 minutes.  Preheat oven to 375.   Place tomatoes in a glass baking dish  (cut side up) and pour all marinade over them.   Roast for 50 – 60 minutes and remove from oven.  Let cool.  Puree tomatoes (I dumped off the olive oil) with 1 cup of chicken stock in a food processor.  Pour into a saucepan and add remaining chicken stock.  Simmer, stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes and serve.

Soup and sandwich

Soup and sandwich

Soup and salad

Last night we had some of my homemade ravioli from the freezer (my supply is dwindling so I’ll need to go on another ravioli making spree.)  I also made tomato soup from a new recipe last night so it was ready to go when I got home from work tonight.  I adapted this from a recipe in the Barefoot Contessa’s newest cookbook, Foolproof.  She serves her tomato soup with grilled cheese croutons.  I decided that my Parmesan crackers would be a nice substitute and we were happy with the result.  Here is what I did:

Tomato soup

  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 3 small yellow onions, chopped
  • 2 large or 4 small shallots, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 qt chicken stock (I’m using half homemade and half store bought)
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • pinch of saffron
  • 1/2 cup orzo
  • 1/2 cup cream

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pot.  Add onions and shallots and cook until soft and golden (10 -12 minutes).  Add garlic and cook, stirring for 1 minute.  Stir in chicken stock, tomatoes and saffron with 1 pinch of salt and a teaspoon of fresh ground pepper.  Bring to a boil and then lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Fill a smaller pot with water and a pinch of salt and bring to a boil.  Add orzo and cook for 7 minutes.  Drain and add to soup along with cream.  Simmer for another 5 – 10 minutes.  Serve with:

Parmesan crackers

  • 1 1/4 cups freshly grated cheese (I used half Parmesan and half Romano)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 TB fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 stick butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup flour

Preheat oven to 350.  Combine cheese with salt and pepper and rosemary in a mixer.  Add butter and beat to combine.  Add flour in 3 batches combining until mixture holds together.  Roll into balls (about 1 TB in size) and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment.  Flatten slightly.  Bake about 14 – 16 minutes until edges are browned.  Remove from oven and let cool.

Green salad with Dijon vinaigrette

  • green leaf lettuce, rinsed and spun dry
  • 1 carrot, sliced thin with a vegetable peeler
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 TB Dijon mustard
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • fresh ground pepper

Combine lettuce and carrot in a salad bowl.  Combine all dressing ingredients in a blender and mix well.  Toss salad with dressing (remaining dressing will keep refrigerated for up to a week.)

Soup and salad

Soup and salad