Tag Archives: tomato

Cream of Tomato Soup.

It’s been bitter cold in Chicago (and most of the rest of the country) the past few days.  So cold that one of my Facebook friends posted a picture of an icicle on her eyelash – for real.  And of course on the coldest day of the winter thus far, I spent all day running errands with the kids in tow.  We were all frozen by the time we got home so I knew only my most favorite comfort food would do the trick to warm our bellies and thaw us out.

I’m a big fan of the gelatinous goo that comes out of the can.  In my world, there’s nothing better than a big bowl of Campbell’s served with Kraft American cheese on white bread.  But some days, it’s nice to be a grown up and eat food that is a bit more real.

This soup definitely hit the spot.  It had a rich, smoky undertone due to the bacon (BACON!).  The Fruitaholic happily slurped down 2 bowls, even after telling me that he doesn’t like tomato soup.  I didn’t change much about the recipe.  I added an extra slice of bacon so that I’d have some to garnish the soup with, and I added a couple of carrots to up the veggie factor.  I substituted popcorn for the croutons because I had some on hand and thought they added a nice crunch.  I didn’t use the creme fraiche but didn’t feel as though I was missing anything by not including it, but feel free to garnish as you see fit.

Cream of Tomato Soup.


  • 5 Slices Thick Cut Bacon, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. Butter
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 3 Carrots, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
  • 1 Tbsp. Flour
  • 4 Cups Chicken Stock
  • 2 Sprigs Thyme
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 28 oz. Can Whole, Peeled Tomatoes in Juice, crushed by hand (I used San Marzano)
  • 1/4 Cup Heavy Cream
  • Snipped Chives, for garnish
  • Popped Popcorn, for garnish (I used Trader Joe's Popcorn with Herbs and Spices)


Add chopped bacon to a large saucepan and heat over medium until fat has rendered and bacon is crisp, about 15 minutes. Remove a spoonful or two of the bacon and set aside to use for garnish.

Increase the temperature to medium-high and add the butter. When melted, add the garlic, onion and carrot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes.

Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Add the flour, stir until combined, and cook an additional 2 minutes.

Add the chicken stock, thyme, bay lea and tomatoes. Bring to a boil then reduce temperature to medium-low. Cook until slightly reduced, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.

Remove from heat. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth then stir in the cream.

Garnish individual bowls with reserved bacon bits, popcorn and chives.

Source -

Slightly adapted from Saveur


Pasta with Tomato Mascarpone Sauce.

For this month’s Secret Recipe Club, I was given the opportunity to become familiar with Rebecca’s blog A Dusting of Sugar.  Rebecca is a college student, keeping her passion alive while she’s away at school.  While I found myself drooling over her cookies, cakes and brownies, I ultimately decided on her Tomato Mascarpone Sauce.  Leave it to me to choose one of the few savory recipes on a blog that’s primarily about baking!

It was the mascarpone that won me over.  A true weakness of mine!  I made some embellishments to the recipe in order to amp up the flavor.  And once that sweet, creamy cheese came into play?  Swooooon.  This one is definitely a keeper.

Pasta with Tomato Mascarpone Sauce – adapted from A Dusting of Sugar

  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 Large Shallot, diced
  • 1/4 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 28 oz. Can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 8 Large Basil Leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 Cup Red Wine
  • 4 oz. Mascarpone Cheese
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 1 Lb. of Your Favorite Pasta, cooked

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  When hot, add the shallots, garlic and red pepper flakes and saute for a few minutes until soft.  Add the tomatoes and basil, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes, adding the red wine about halfway through.

Remove from heat and stir in the mascarpone, salt and pepper.  Toss the pasta with the sauce.  Serve with parmesan cheese.

Marinara Sauce.

Sorry for the blog hiatus.  I have a TON of new recipes that I’m looking forward to sharing with you but I’ve had a bit of a scenery change that got in the way of my posting abilities.  No, I haven’t abandoned my sweet home Chicago, but the Husby is on a two week business trip and the Fruitaholic and I decided to join him.  So hello from (a suburb of) SEATTLE!!

The Fruitaholic and I are having a great time exploring, so if you’re familiar with the area, make sure to leave me a comment with your “must dos/must eats!”  I do have a kitchen equipped with basic supplies so I’m hoping to be able to test out some new recipes, but I also came prepared with a backlog of awesome recipes (almost) ready to share with you.  So enough with the chatting, let’s get to it!

There’s something to be said about a big bowl of pasta.  It’s warm and comforting and easily one of the most adaptable foods out there.  Whenever I don’t know what to make for dinner, I just put a box of pasta on the stove and top it with whatever is in my fridge.  Some days it’s fancy, like brie and bacon and butternut squash.  Other days it’s simply adorned with chicken sausage and spinach and garlic.  But most of the time, I end up pulling out a jar of store bought sauce from the pantry, heating it up and topping it with parmesan cheese.

I’d never thought about making my own sauce until this past week’s recipe swap.  Now you might be thinking, what the hell does tomato sauce have to do with soup?!  Reading through the recipe, it called for a cup of marinara sauce, and Melissa had mentioned that she had made her own, so in order to stay as authentic to her mother’s soup recipe as possible, I decided to do so as well.

Honestly?  I was surprised at how easy it was and, of course, how much better it tasted than the store bought kind I’m so accustomed to.  You’d think I’d have learned my lesson by now that pretty much everything tastes better when you make it yourself.

This is also a great freezer friendly recipe.  You can freeze the leftovers in ice cube trays and once frozen, transfer to a ziplock bag.  When ready to use, just thaw 2 to 3 cubes per serving.

Marinara Sauce – slightly adapted from I Was Born to Cook

  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Sweet Onion, chopped
  • 6 Cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 3 28 oz. Cans Crushed San Marzano Tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
  • 1/2 Tbsp. Salt
  • 2 Tbsp. Dried Basil
  • 2 Tbsp. Dried Parsley
  • 1 Tbsp. Garlic Powder
  • 2 Tbsp. Sugar

Set a stock pot over medium-high and add the olive oil.  Add the crushed red pepper, onion and garlic and cook until translucent, about 5-8 minutes.

Add tomatoes, tomato paste and the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.  Bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer.  Cover, leaving slightly ajar, and cook for about an hour, stirring occasionally.

Serve over your favorite pasta, and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Moroccan Stuffed Tomatoes.

I’ve mentioned before that my love for cooking stems from my Dad.  We’re constantly talking about food, and emailing or calling each other with different recipes that we’ve found, so when I called to check in the other day, it wasn’t unusual that we spent 20 minutes chatting about this great recipe he found.

Jade from The Mess Pot chose August’s theme for What’s Baking, which was “Celebrate Summer,” and as soon as I opened up the email Dad had sent with the recipe inside, I knew it would be a perfect fit.  Dad is making an effort to consume less meat, and so am I, and if all meatless recipes taste as good as this one, I see much less meat in my future.  Two of the best kinds of summer produce, tomatoes and zucchini, are the stars of this dish.  The ingredient list is simple and the end result delicious.  The tops of the filling got a little bit charred in the oven, but it didn’t distract from the amazing flavor.  I’m so glad I decided to add some golden raisins to the mix.  I loved the sweet little bites against the the savory of the rest of the filling.

We ate these as a meatless main dish (2 tomatoes per person) but it would make an excellent side dish alongside some simply seasoned chicken breasts.

Moroccan Stuffed Tomatoes – adapted from New York Times Dining, created by Anissa Helou

  • 3 Tbsp. Olive Oil, plus additional for brushing baking dish
  • 4 Ripe Vine tomatoes, tops sliced and seeds removed
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 Onion, minced
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 Lb. Zucchini, trimmed and grated
  • 3 Tbsp. Golden Raisins
  • 3 Tbsp. Cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/3 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes, or to taste
  • 3 Tbsp. Shelled Pistachios

Preheat oven to 350.  Brush a baking dish with olive oil.  Without puncturing the tomato, cut off a small slice from the bottoms so that they sit flat.  Arrange tomatoes in the baking dish, open side up, and sprinkle lightly with salt.

Place the grated zucchini in a colander, sprinkle lightly with salt and allow to drain for a few minutes.  Squeeze out as much moisture as possible.

Heat 3 Tbsp. olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.  Heat until shimmering, then add onion and saute, stirring often, until golden and translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic, zucchini and golden raisins to the pan and saute an additional 2 minutes, until the zucchini has softened and the raisins are plump.  Remove from heat and add cilantro, red pepper flakes and pistachios.  Spoon the filling into the tomatoes, mounding the tops.

Bake for 40 minutes.  Garnish with additional cilantro and pistachios, if desired.