Soup – The Tomato Tart http://www.thetomatotart.com Handmade, Homemade, Gluten Free, Thu, 24 Aug 2017 16:06:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 16307028 Thai Butternut Squash Soup a Vegan Paleo Recipe http://www.thetomatotart.com/recipe/vegan-butternut-squash-soup/ http://www.thetomatotart.com/recipe/vegan-butternut-squash-soup/#comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 14:24:13 +0000 http://www.thetomatotart.com/?p=4246
Butternut Squash Soup Pin

Thai Butternut Squash Soup, Vegan, Gluten Free, Paleo

Thai Butternut Squash Soup

Yesterday, we sat by the window and watched with delight.  Cars stopped, people stared, and when neighbors wandered over, we went outside to greet them. With less than a week until Halloween, we placed the decorations outside.  The seven-foot tall wraith, the gravestones, the ghostly heads, and our scary clown are the culmination of a month’s worth of work.…

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Butternut Squash Soup Pin

Thai Butternut Squash Soup, Vegan, Gluten Free, Paleo

Thai Butternut Squash Soup

Yesterday, we sat by the window and watched with delight.  Cars stopped, people stared, and when neighbors wandered over, we went outside to greet them. With less than a week until Halloween, we placed the decorations outside.  The seven-foot tall wraith, the gravestones, the ghostly heads, and our scary clown are the culmination of a month’s worth of work.

Planning, carving, painting, gluing, starching, and building have been fun but time-consuming tasks.  When I say it was worth it, I am not kidding. A little girl called Tiana came over on her bicycle. She is four and when I asked her if my clown was scary, she told me he was silly and asked what his arms were made of. She also suggested we name our seven-foot tall reaper, Joey. So yeah, meet Joey.

Our Halloween Decorations

With all of our spare time going to the preparations for Halloween in our new home, I’ve leaned on simple-to-prepare meals. The weather has finally started turning towards fall and this soup was my first soup of the season on our first chilly day.

Thai Butternut Squash Soup, Vegan, Gluten Free, Paleo

Thai spices shine in this butternut squash soup, which gets richness from a bit of coconut oil and nice balance from a tart apple.  It is full of flavor from all of the fall produce, but low in fat, vegan, gluten free, and Paleo.  It is a soul-satisfying soup with a bit of spice from the ginger and chili.  In other words, this tastes like a fall classic with a Thai bent.

I wish you a Happy Halloween! Be safe, have fun, and when you come home, enjoy a bowl of steaming hot soup to warm you up.

Need help? Learn how to prep a butternut squash in six simple steps.

Thai Butternut Squash Soup Photo

  • INGREDIENTS

  • One medium butternut squash (2.5-3lbs), peeled and cubed.
  • 1 tart apple, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 1 medium onion peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 hot red chili (optional)
  • 1 stalk lemongrass outer leaves removed and finely minced (optional)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

 

  1. Melt coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add butternut squash, apple, onion, ginger, chili, and lemongrass. Sautée for 10 minutes.
  2. Fill pot with enough water to cover veggies by about an inch. Then add garlic and salt. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to low and simmer for 30 minutes or until all vegetables are very soft.
  3. Blend soup with a high speed blender or an immersion blender. Strain through a mesh strainer and serve with a drizzle of olive oil and some fresh herbs.

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12 Hearty Soup Recipes http://www.thetomatotart.com/recipe/hearty-soups-for-autumn-nablopomo/ http://www.thetomatotart.com/recipe/hearty-soups-for-autumn-nablopomo/#comments Sat, 09 Nov 2013 20:56:46 +0000 http://www.thetomatotart.com/?p=3886 One of my favorite blogs is Running with Tweezers. Aside from Tami’s amazing food photography (she’s a professional food stylist by trade), she is a lovely lady. Her Saturday Soup feature on her blog inspired this post. Here are six soups I’d like to eat this Saturday plus six of my favorite soups from my blog.

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12 Gluten Free Hearty Soup Recipes for Cold Weather

Here are 12 Gluten Free Hearty Soup Recipes for Cold Weather

One of my favorite blogs is Running with Tweezers. Aside from Tami’s amazing food photography (she’s a professional food stylist by trade), she is a lovely lady. Her Saturday Soup feature on her blog inspired this post. Here are six soups I’d like to eat this Saturday plus six of my favorite soups from my blog.

soup-turnip

It seems only fitting that I’d start with one of Tami’s soups. I am a recently converted lover of turnips. I’m not sure why the turnip was so unappealing to me. Perhaps I ate a bad one once. Or perhaps it’s the fact that the turnip looks like a beet’s homely cousin. As in, why settle for a turnip when you can have a beet. Whatever the poor turnip’s stigma once was, it has been lifted and this creamy turnip soup looks like a bowl of perfection.

soup-carrot

Tracy of Shutterbean is awesome. Her blog? Amazing. Her style? Fantastic. Her kid? Adorable. This soup? Yes! Ever since she posted this, carrot coconut soup last week, it’s been on my list.  How can anyone resist the flavor combination of rich coconut milk, sweet carrots, and spicy chilies topped with sriracha? Not me. This is one hearty soup recipe I’ll be making again and again.
soup-veg

When I’m doing recipe searches- like specific flavor combinations I’m craving, there is a blog that often comes up in my searches. Cookin Canuck.  When we had the chance to spend some time together last summer, I told Dara that either she had the best search engine skills or that we had similar palates. Either way, everything I’ve made from her blog is fantastic. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am cuckoo for cauliflower-especially cauliflower soup. Dara’s cauliflower and butternut squash soup has been on my radar for a while, and I can’t wait to make it.

soup-mushroom

Jamie Oliver. What can I say? He’s swoon-worthy, kind, passionate, and a great recipe writer. I made this soup on Thursday night. I wish I could say there were still leftovers. We ate two pounds of mushrooms in the course of two meals. I will definitely be making this soup again for Thanksgiving.

 

soup-fennell

Brandon of Kitchen Konfidence makes gorgeous and exciting food. He was one of the first bloggers I followed when I started blogging. This soup is stunning, thick and rich, almost a stew. It’s filled with chicken, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and curry. I love the use of almond butter in this recipe too- reminds me of African peanut stew. This is definitely on my “to make” list.

 

soup-leek

One of my favorite flavor combinations comes into play in this gorgeous soup from Nicole at Pinch My Salt. Fennel and leeks are a perfect pair. Aromatic, abundant in the winter, ready to lend elegance to any dish. This soup also satisfies my cauliflower quotient. This soup will be making an appearance on my table on Monday. Just in time for the rain.

 

And here are six more hearty soup recipes from my blog that I love. Each one is perfect for a cold night meal.

soup-green-curry onion-carrot-soup
pumpkin-soup- pumpkin-pan
soup-cauliflower Chicken Posole

Daily Gratitude:

Soup
Purple Sweet Potatoes
Open Space
The River
NaBloPoMo

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Roasted Tomato Gazpacho with Yellow Plum Salsa http://www.thetomatotart.com/recipe/roasted-tomato-gazpacho-with-yellow-plum-salsa/ http://www.thetomatotart.com/recipe/roasted-tomato-gazpacho-with-yellow-plum-salsa/#comments Wed, 25 Jul 2012 14:27:27 +0000 http://www.thetomatotart.com/?p=3199

Roasted Tomato Gazpacho with Plum Salsa

There are two kinds of people: those who are excited by soup and those who are not. I neatly fall into the first camp. To be fair, it’s easy to be excited by anything when your earliest memories came from a kitchen like my grandmother’s.…

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Roasted Tomato Gazpacho with Plum Salsa

There are two kinds of people: those who are excited by soup and those who are not. I neatly fall into the first camp. To be fair, it’s easy to be excited by anything when your earliest memories came from a kitchen like my grandmother’s.

I remember beautiful and rustic potages, aromatic and creamy leek and potato, cold cucumber soup in the summer with a dollop of cream on top.  I remember a bouillabaisse in the South of France when I was a little girl- I had a mussel I knew was bad, but I just threw the mussel to the side and kept eating because I’d never tasted a broth so good.

My father loved soup too, I remember the way he’d say “Passe le beurre, si vous plais” in his comically bad French accent. He’d joyously drop a pat of butter into his potage, swirling it around with the sour cream and fresh herbs.  Soup wasn’t just a seasonal thing in our family. Vicchysoise and cucumber soup made appearances, but more common in the summer months was soup au pistou, and something that could almost be called a ratatouille soup (tojours sans aubergine!).

Though parts of my family lived just 45 minutes from the Spanish border, gazpacho never made an appearance on my childhood table. Here’s how my first encounter with gazpacho went down.

What’s it called?” I asked. Skeptical of the uncooked tomatoes, and a name that sounded entirely made up. So skeptical, in fact, I almost didn’t try that soup. It was the 80s and my mom and dad were obsessed with their new Vitamix. My mom was usually a pretty fantastic cook, but these blended creations were far from her best work. This gazpacho was not looking too promising.

“It’s Spanish,” my mother assured me. “You probably even ate it when you were there.”

Of course, my mom knew the magic words. I had loved Spain- everything about it, and if I’d “probably” had gazpacho, it would stand to reason that I’d loved it too.  Funny thing is, I don’t particularly remember my mom’s gazpacho other than thinking it tasted sort of like salsa.  I also don’t remember her ever making it again.

I do remember being very into gazpacho and Spanish food in general after that. I ordered gazpacho each time I saw it on a menu, and began to suggest Spanish restaurants when we went out to dinner. Eventually, I found a place in North Beach that I would fall in love with. The food was so-so, but the gazpacho was cold and fresh, the sangria was a revelation, and the flamenco was sublime. Plus they passed the bota bag early and often- never thinking to check if I was 21. Incidentally I did celebrate my 21st birthday there. By then, my flauxmenco  dancing (see how I did that faux + flamenco) was only half dreadful. A typical evening involved me in a steamy embrace with the flamenco dancer, being dragged across the floor, with a rose in my teeth. Salut!

Now where were we? Roasted Tomato Gazpacho!  Each summer, I make gazpacho at least a half dozen times. Each time, I’m sure I’ve found my favorite recipe.   This one is stunningly good. I start by roasting heirloom tomatoes low and slow just like I learned from Molly Weizenberg’s beautiful memoir. The soup is smoky and thick and topped with a salsa of yellow tomatoes, cucumbers, and yellow plums. It’s good, really, really good. Sexy good. So good you might want to put on some Spanish guitar and stomp around your kitchen flauxmenco style, just don’t forget to remove the thorns from your rose before you put it between your teeth.

  • INGREDIENTS ROASTED TOMATO GAZPACHO

  • 2.5 lbs mixed heirloom tomatoes slow roasted ala Mollie Wizenberg of Orangette (sans coriander)
  • 1 cucumber seeded and sliced into 2 inch thick rounds
  • ¼ inch slice of red onion
  • ½  to 1 jalapeño seeds removed if you’re not into heat
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • ¾ teaspoon hot smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt (I used smoked sea salt)

 

  • INGREDIENTS YELLOW PLUM SALSA

  • 1/2 of cucumber, seeded and chopped into ¼ inch pieces
  • 2 yellow tomatoes seeded and chopped into 1/8 inch pieces
  • 2 yellow plums chopped into ¼ inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
  • 1 teaspoon very finely chopped jalapeño
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspooon white wine vinegar
  • sea salt
  • finely ground black pepper
  • finely chopped fresh parsley (about 1 tablespoon)

INSTRUCTION ROASTED TOMATO GAZPACHO

  • 1. Allow your roasted tomatoes to cool to room temperature then add them to the jar of your blender with cucumber slices, onion, and jalapeño and give a good whirl until well combined.
  • 2. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy looking. Taste and adjust seasonings if need be. Chill the soup while making the salsa.

INSTRUCTIONSYELLOW PLUM SALSA

  • 1. Add cucumber, tomatoes, plums, onions, and jalapeño to a large bowl.
  • 2. In a smaller bowl, mix olive oil, vinegar, sea salt, and pepper and combine well.
  • 3. Pour olive oil mixture over cucumber mixture and toss to coat. Taste and adjust seasoning. Then add parsley and allow to rest in fridge while flavors get cozy with one another for 30 or so minutes.

Serve nice cold soup with a big spoonful of yellow plum salsa on top.

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Vegan Carrot Soup with Caramelized Onions http://www.thetomatotart.com/recipe/vegan-carrot-soup/ http://www.thetomatotart.com/recipe/vegan-carrot-soup/#comments Sat, 31 Dec 2011 07:26:03 +0000 http://www.thetomatotart.com/?p=2584
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Ruby Dog Staring Down My Carrot Soup

Vegan Carrot Soup with Caramelized Onions

This creamy carrot soup is vegan, gluten free, and paleo friendly. Packed with sweetness from the carrots and a deep umami from the caramelized onions, this soup is the perfect thing to perk up a cold grey day. Jump to the recipe.

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Vegan Carrot Soup with Caramelized Onions from http://www.thetomatotart.com

Ruby Dog Staring Down My Carrot Soup

Vegan Carrot Soup with Caramelized Onions

This creamy carrot soup is vegan, gluten free, and paleo friendly. Packed with sweetness from the carrots and a deep umami from the caramelized onions, this soup is the perfect thing to perk up a cold grey day. Jump to the recipe.

It wouldn’t be exactly true to say that I woke up to rain. Still, a heavy blanket of fog swaddled our little yellow house on the hill, and the ground was wet enough that I can imagine it may have rained overnight.

San Francisco's McLaren Park

Bundled up in my red winter coat, I leashed up the pooch and went for a long walk in McLaren Park. Despite what folks say, we do have seasons in California.

San Francisco's McLaren Park

Ruby Dog At San Francisco's McLaren Park

Sometimes, we live with evidence of all of them at once. Just today, as Ruby and I tromped through mud and autumnal fallen yellow leaves, I also bathed in the smell of winter’s piney conifers. These firs, lush yet strangely expectant, as if they’re just waiting to be strung with shiny glass balls.

Follow The Tomato Tart’s board • • • Vegan Recipes • • • on Pinterest.San Francisco's McLaren Park

Just a short way down the path, I was surprised to find evidence of the first blackberry blossoms, a reminder that summer will come and provide mounds of juicy berries- rife for the foraging.

Roses San Francisco's McLaren Park

I found pink cottage roses wet with dew, spiders spinning sparkly webs, dazzlingly-bright yellow flowers, shy mushrooms peeking from beneath blades of grass, and nasturtiums- from whom I stole a sip of spicy nectar. When I left the cover of the tress and came upon a grassy playground, robins sang while hunting for fat little worms.

San Francisco's McLaren Park

San Francisco's McLaren Park

You see all the seasons, right there before me.

San Francisco's McLaren Park

As we neared the end of our walk, a few raindrops fell. Tucking my camera into my coat and quickening my pace, I looked forward to the decidedly wintery soup waiting for me at home.

Ruby Dog Staring Down My Carrot Soup

Ruby Dog Staring Down My Carrot Soup

Vegan Carrot Soup with Caramelized Onions

Rating 

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

This caramelized onion and carrot soup will feed a crowd. Though this recipe is easily halved, the onions take about an hour to caramelize, so I like to make the full size batch and freeze half in pint sized Mason jars. Then we take out one or two at a time to thaw. This makes a great meal with a salad and a nice glass of wine.
Ingredients
FOR SOUP
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 3 tablespoonsolive oil
  • 2.5 lbs carrots peeled and sliced into coins
  • 1 large yukon gold potato peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces
  • ½ cup celery sliced
  • 16 oz carton vegetable stock- homemade or low sodium variety
  • salt and pepper to taste
OPTIONAL GARNISHES
  • Parsley leaves, loosely packed
  • Lemon thyme, leaves removed from stem
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Piment d'espelette
Instructions
SOUP INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Cook onions and olive oil over low heat until well-caramelized and a dark golden brown, stirring infrequently (about 50-60 minutes)
  2. Add carrots, potato, and celery and cook for another 10 minutes, tossing well to coat with olive oil and onions.
  3. Add vegetable stock, turn heat to medium high, and bring to a rapid boil. Cook until vegetables are very tender almost falling apart- about 20 minutes.
  4. Blend with an immersion blender until completely smooth, thinning with just a little bit of stock, water, or milk of your choice if you'd like a thinner soup
  5. Season with salt and pepper and serve with herb oil and a sprinkling of piment d'espelette if using
HERB OIL INSTRUCTIONS (Optional)
  1. While the soup is cooking, finely chop ¾ cup parsley and 2 sprigs thyme in food processor until very tiny.
  2. Add ½ cup olive oil and give it a little whirl. Rest the herb oil at room temperature for at least 20 minutes.
  3. When ready to serve, strain through a fine mesh sieve and add one teaspoon of the herbs back to the strained oil and whisk to incorporate.

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Roasted Pumpkin Soup With Parmesan Sage Whipped Cream + A Trip To Point Reyes http://www.thetomatotart.com/recipe/roasted-pumpkin-soup-with-parmesan-sage-whipped-cream-a-trip-to-point-reyes/ http://www.thetomatotart.com/recipe/roasted-pumpkin-soup-with-parmesan-sage-whipped-cream-a-trip-to-point-reyes/#comments Fri, 28 Oct 2011 01:26:03 +0000 http://www.thetomatotart.com/?p=2317

I’ve spent all but a few of my 38 years in the San Francisco Bay Area. I was born and raised here, and while I’ve left a couple of times, I’ve never tricked myself into thinking my leaving was permanent. Sure, I’ve thought about  a simpler life, a porch swing, a big rambling yard.…

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I’ve spent all but a few of my 38 years in the San Francisco Bay Area. I was born and raised here, and while I’ve left a couple of times, I’ve never tricked myself into thinking my leaving was permanent. Sure, I’ve thought about  a simpler life, a porch swing, a big rambling yard. Sometimes the dreaming drifts to living in a “real city” or finally moving to Maui or The South of France, but when I truly connect with the place I live, I fall head-over-heels in love all over again.

This past Sunday, we woke up early and lazed around in bed. I had planned on making some apple tarts to bring on our day trip, but Joshua managed to talk me into extra snuggle time, and before I knew it, I was rushing to photograph Friday night’s pumpkin soup before we were heading out the door to Point Reyes- bellies full of the last of the pumpkin goodness.

It doesn’t matter how many times I cross the Golden Gate Bridge and pass through the Rainbow Tunnel into Marin County. Each time, the beauty, the happy memories, the readiness for adventure, the sense that something wonderful could happen at any moment, is always fresh.  This time, it truly would be new; we were headed up to the birthday party of Joshua’s friend’s kid near Tomales Bay. Climbing the hill to the property, we were surrounded by redwoods. Wild strawberries lined the path, and a break in the trees revealed a jaw-dropping view of the Pacific to the west. We heard children’s laughter before we saw the gate.  Oh, and the signs…“Deaf Dog” & “Please close gate, sheep wandering free”

I looked at Joshua, “what is this place?”

We found Joshua’s friend, who welcomed us, warmly and started the tour, beginning  in the sheep pen. I met the horse, the pony, the chickens, and the dogs, but the donkeys were apparently out exploring. Finally, I met the people. Enchanted by hydrangeas, fuchsias, and tiny koi fish in the Fairy Tale Garden, I wandered the property, camera in hand.

The vegetable garden drew me in, of course, and I laid on my belly marveling at the late fall squash blossoms and noticing that if I held my camera just right, the red chard looked as though it was actually on fire.

Sometimes, I forget to leave the city, and when I finally do, it seems I can’t do enough to drink in all the beauty of my surroundings. All my senses overjoyed, I am simply filled. The snorted greeting and the barnyard smell brought another layer of warmth to the hot autumn day as I approached the horse stall. I stood in the hot sun for a good long while just stroking the horse’s neck while she nuzzled me back.

“This”, I thought, “is the life”.

As the day went on, we had the idea to go sailing, well perhaps motoring (since there was virtually no wind). But, first, I had to meet those donkeys. I walked down to their pen, and said “Hey Donkeys” and up come these adorable little guys. One was friendly and gregarious, he walked right up for loves, the other, the white donkey, was more shy. I stood between the chicken coop and the donkey pen and pet a chicken with one hand and a donkey with the other for a while.

Really, “this is the life”

Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore and had to go into the donkey pen which is when I made my new best friend. I now know, I want a donkey. I think Ruby and the donkey would get along fabulously and I think the donkey would be fine in the backyard. I also think it would be nice if I could give him a bath, so that I could be less dirty that I was from hugging the donkey I met on Sunday.

A detour, down to our friend’s place led to an excellent cup of espresso and my learning to throw knives. I hung back at first, letting the boys throw, but eventually, I said that I’d like to learn as well. I think it could be a new hobby. Suits me, no?

All of the knife throwing, coffee sipping, sparkling conversation, cat cuddling, and the like made the possibility of sailing a little dim, so we hiked down to Johnstone beach before parting ways with our friend.

In the end, Joshua and I were hungry and stopped off for some fresh local oysters and fish and chips at a little roadside café since all we’d really eaten was the pumpkin soup at 11am.

Ah, and speaking of pumpkin soup, I suppose I should tell you a bit about the best pumpkin soup I’ve ever made. It’s roasted, filled with Parmesan and roasted shallots, and then topped with Parmesan and sage whipped cream. It really couldn’t be simpler, but it couldn’t be much tastier either. Sort of like reconnecting with my city and falling in love again, I’m totally smitten with pumpkin soup, in a whole new way. I hope autumn brings new life to something familiar in your life.

X
Sabrina

  • INGREDIENTS PUMPKIN SOUP WITH PARMESAN SAGE WHIPPED CREAM

  • 2 small pumpkins like sugar pie or red kuri (I used one of each)
  • 4 shallots sliced thinly
  • (up to) 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 ounces of Parmesano Reggiano
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ¾  cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 3 leaves of sage
  • salt/pepper
  • fresh grated nutmeg

 

  • INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 425º and line a baking sheet with parchment
  • Cut and clean pumpkins, then slice into eighths
  • Rub with grapeseed oil and sprinkle with salt, roast for about 35 minutes until soft and golden brown at the edges
  • During the last twenty minutes of cooking melt butter in a large dutch oven or soup pot over low heat, and add shallots. Cook very slowly allowing them to caramelize. This should take about twenty minutes. Stir infrequently.
  • When pumpkin is ready and onions are deep golden bronze (like a St. Tropez tan, baby), scoop flesh from skin and add to the pot along with 4 cups of vegetable broth
  • Cook  until pumpkin becomes very soft and flavors begin to blend adding more vegetable broth as needed and mashing pumpkin with a wooden spoon.
  • Add 2 oz of finely grated parmesan and remove from heat.
  • Blend with immersion blender until very smooth, stir in ¼ cup heavy cream, add salt and pepper to taste and top with sage parmesan whipped cream and fresh grated nutmeg
  • SAGE PARMESAN WHIPPED CREAM

  • In a small, cold mason jar, add ½ cup cold whipped cream  and use your immersion blender to whip your cream to fluffy heights.
  • Add sage leaves and finely grated parmesan cheese and blend for a couple of seconds et voila!

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Chef Dominique Crenn + Watermelon Gazpacho with Compressed Cucumbers http://www.thetomatotart.com/recipe/chef-dominique-crenn-watermelon-gazpacho-recipe/ http://www.thetomatotart.com/recipe/chef-dominique-crenn-watermelon-gazpacho-recipe/#comments Sun, 03 Jul 2011 12:41:54 +0000 http://www.thetomatotart.com/?p=1967

Chef Dominique Crenn of Atelier Crenn Rainbow Melon Salad for Pride

Last Saturday was fantastic. I mean really really great. I woke up, walked the dog, fussed around the kitchen a bit. Made some tart dough, got dressed in favorite summer dress and headed downtown to attend a cooking demo at Macy’s in union square.…

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Chef Dominique Crenn of Atelier Crenn Rainbow Melon Salad for Pride

Last Saturday was fantastic. I mean really really great. I woke up, walked the dog, fussed around the kitchen a bit. Made some tart dough, got dressed in favorite summer dress and headed downtown to attend a cooking demo at Macy’s in union square.

I must admit this was my first time attending one of the culinary council’s demos (I’ll definitely go again). So, why now?  Two words. Dominique Crenn. Chef Crenn is one of the hottest chefs in the country right now, and though I haven’t had the chance to dine at her extraordinary restaurant, Atelier Crenn, it has been at the top of my list since it opened earlier this year. I have it on excellent authority that we will be doing the 11 course tasting menu on my birthday!

Chef Dominique Crenn Rainbow Melon Salad for Pride

I arrived early for the demo and had a chance to chat with Chef Crenn, a recent champ on Iron Chef (battle yogurt vs. Chef Symon). I dug her instantly and was thrilled to find that we share many of the same food philosophies. She spoke passionately of food as art, of soulful cooking, and of spending time eating and enjoying conversation and laughter with the people you love being an important part of an excellent meal. (see, I told you we shared a lot  in our food Philosophy).

Helping with the demo/MCing the event was the utterly charming Liam Mayclem the host of Foodie Chap on KCBS.  I also can’t say enough good things about this guy. He claims not to cook, but he handled the melon baller pretty well. I was excited to learn the he will be MCing all of the SF Chefs preview events. If you’re in San Francisco, come by and meet both of us. I’ll be covering them for this blog, starting next Saturday at 2pm at the Ferry Building.

Chef Dominique Crenn and Liam Maclem the Foodie Chap

Chef Crenn’s demo was part of Macy’s Pride celebration. For it, she prepared a beautiful and light rainbow salad with compressed melon and cucumbers, crisp olive bread, buckwheat that had been fried and smoked (YUM), and micro greens. Each melon had been prepared with a different simple syrup. I wish you could have tasted this salad. It was my exact flavor profile perfection. From ginger lime to cilantro and chile. Simple syrups matched perfectly with a salty sweet olive bread.  Textures played on colors played on scents. Expertly balanced and remarkably fresh is the only way to describe this dish, and I get the feeling Chef Crenn can do this dish with her eyes closed.

Chef Dominique Crenn Rainbow Melon Salad for Pride

I was so inspired by the flavors, colors, the compressing technique, and Dominique Crenn’s marvelous energy and generosity of spirit that I was immediately compelled to make a dish as an homage to Chef Crenn’s salad. So, meet my heirloom tomato and watermelon gazpacho with compressed cucumbers. I hope you’ll enjoy this icy cold soup with spicy sweet cucumbers. We most certainly did on a rare warm San Francisco evening.

You will hear more from me on Chef Crenn, but I’ll leave it at that. Keep your ears peeled for more news and please, when you get the chance, go eat at Atelier Crenn, which is one of the top restaurants in the country today.  Oh, and pick up the July issue of GQ for Alan Richman’s piece on San Francisco Restaurants. It’s all about how they’re kicking the tails of New York’s. Dominique Crenn and Atelier Crenn figure heavily into the piece.

My Tomato Watermelon Gazpacho with Compressed Cucumber

Ingredients For the Gazpacho

  • ½ mini watermelon cut into large chunks
  • 2 heirloom tomatoes cut into large chunks
  • 1 piece of good quality gluten free white bread. Crusts removed and torn into pieces
  • ¼ of one white onion cut into chunks
  • ¼ cup of water
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • fine grain sea salt and white pepper to taste

 

Ingredients For the Chili Lime Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup organic sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • peel of 1 organic lime
  • handful of organic cilantro
  • 1 jalapeño halved

 

Gazpacho Topping Ingredients

1 English cucumber mostly peeled, (I like small a couple of small stripes of peel) halved and seeded and cut into ¼ inch pieces
¼ cup watermelon cut into ¼ inch pieces
cilantro

 

  • Instructions for Gazpacho

  • Blend watermelon, tomatoes, and white onion in a blender with ½ of the water only adding the rest if needed. The texture should be smooth, but not like juice.
  • Add one slice of white bread and blend until incorporated and smooth.
  • Refrigerate until ice cold.

 

  • Instructions For Compressed Cucumbers in Simple Syrup

  • Add the water and sugar to a heavy bottomed saucepan and stir over medium high flame until sugar is dissolved.
  • Add lime peel, cilantro, and jalapeño and bring to a rolling boil.
  • Remove from heat, remove cilantro, and pour into a mason jar.  Allow to cool for a few minutes; you can add a bit more fresh cilantro at this point if you like.
  • If you have a vacuum sealer, this part is super simple, if not, you can get creative like I did or… well, you’ll see.

 

  • a.    Vacuum sealer method: Add cucumber chunks to your sealer bag, add enough (cooled) simple syrup to cover, and seal. Allow to marinate in the fridge for 24 hours.
    b.    Simple zip top bag method, Add cucumber chunks to a zip top bag. Cover with cooled simple syrup, press out as much air as possible, and refrigerate for 24 hours.
    c.    Crazy girl’s zip top bag method. Now, I was only making this for my husband and I. I think this might be a little unsanitary for anyone you wouldn’t kiss- at least pretty close to their mouth. And, I now have a vacuum sealer on order. But, I’m just telling you how I did this. Surely, my husband does not mind my lips on a straw near his zip top bag of cucumbers. Nope, that’s not any sort of euphemism. Add cucumbers and cooled simple syrup to a zip top bag. Seal all but one small corner of the bag. Press and roll the bag so that air is escaping from the little corner. During this process, you may lose a little liquid, this is okay as long as the cucumbers remain covered. Finally, insert a straw and suck out any remaining air being careful not to suck out any simple syrup no matter how delightfully spicy sweet it may be. Once sufficiently sucked and sealed, refrigerate for 24 hours.

 

These will keep in your fridge up to one week, Chef Crenn said she’d gotten interesting textural results having frozen the compressed cucumber/melon as well. I haven’t tried this yet.

To assemble: Chill some glasses in the freezer for at least 20 minutes
While glasses are chilling, strain cucumbers, mix with ¼ cup chilled diced watermelon, and finely chopped cilantro to taste Taste soup once more for a final seasoning check. Add salt and pepper if needed. Ladle into glasses, top with a bit of the cucumber and melon and enjoy.

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Winter Squash Soup with Pancetta, Leeks, & Green Garlic http://www.thetomatotart.com/recipe/squash-soup-with-pancetta-leeks-green-garlic/ http://www.thetomatotart.com/recipe/squash-soup-with-pancetta-leeks-green-garlic/#comments Wed, 26 Jan 2011 22:07:12 +0000 http://www.thetomatotart.com/?p=754

Blue Hubbard Squash Soup with Pancetta

At last week’s market, I was found myself drawn to a ghostly, bluish, pod-shaped squash at Miramonte Farm’s stand. I lovingly shot photographs of it. I smiled as I admired it, and made sure that it was situated next to an orange and green acorn squash to accentuate it’s decidedly Victorian pallor as it patiently sat for photographs.…

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Blue Hubbard Squash Soup with Pancetta

At last week’s market, I was found myself drawn to a ghostly, bluish, pod-shaped squash at Miramonte Farm’s stand. I lovingly shot photographs of it. I smiled as I admired it, and made sure that it was situated next to an orange and green acorn squash to accentuate it’s decidedly Victorian pallor as it patiently sat for photographs.

Upon my return home, I placed the pale, blue-tinged gourd upon my vintage French butcher’s table next to a golden-hued butternut squash. Having recently had a fantastic soup at Bar Jules with pumpkin, faro, and pancetta, I fancied a version of my own using my new blue squash, leeks, green garlic, and some of the Italiany bacony stuff.

In researching the blue “harbour” squash, the first thing I learned is that it is actually called a blue hubbard squash.  Evidently, I’d misheard. I also re-learned that beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder. Everything I read, described this squash that I had been making eyes at, as beastly, ugly, warty (well that part was true), and altogether unattractive on the outside.  People were much kinder when extolling the virtues of the tasty orange insides, and I knew the blue hubbard and I were just perfect for one another.

A side note, most people bake these and use them in heartier dishes. I rather liked the starchiness of this squash in a broth-based soup. You could substitute any winter squash here, butternut squash, pumpkin, or acorn squash soup are all fantastic! Also, feel free to sub regular garlic!

Have you had a blue hubbard squash before? before? What’s the best way you’ve eaten it?

  • INGREDIENTS
  • 1 small blue hubbard squash (2-3 lbs), peeled, cored, cut into ½ inch cubes. You can sub any winter squash here.
  • ½ inch thick slice of pancetta chopped into small bits
  • 2 cups of water
  • 3 stalks of green garlic white parts only, minced (or sub 3 cloves regular garlic)
  • 3 small leeks white parts only, sliced length wise into 2 inch slivers
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • hand full parsley chopped
  • salt and pepper

 

  • INSTRUCTIONS
  • Sautee pancetta with leeks and green garlic over medium high flame for about 5-7 minutes until some of the fat has rendered off and the pancetta begins to crisp. Remove the pancetta and set aside
  • Puree one cup of squash with one cup of water and olive oil until it is perfectly smooth.
  • Add one cup of water and the remaining squash to the leek and garlic mixture along with the squash puree and cook on high until squash is tender about 25-30 minutes, add cooked pancetta back to the soup then salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.

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Vegan Curried Butternut Squash Soup with Tandoori Spiced Croutons http://www.thetomatotart.com/recipe/vegan-curried-butternut-squash-soup-with-tandoori-spiced-croutons/ http://www.thetomatotart.com/recipe/vegan-curried-butternut-squash-soup-with-tandoori-spiced-croutons/#comments Mon, 20 Dec 2010 00:08:16 +0000 http://www.thetomatotart.com/?p=608

Curried Vegan Butternut Squash Soup

I concocted this soup recipe to serve in pretty vintage punch glasses for my friends’ wedding. It provides a big mouthful of flavors- salty, sweet, spicy, and herbaceous, so it works well as an amuse bouche or an appetizer when served this way or even in tiny shot glasses.…

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Curried Vegan Butternut Squash Soup

I concocted this soup recipe to serve in pretty vintage punch glasses for my friends’ wedding. It provides a big mouthful of flavors- salty, sweet, spicy, and herbaceous, so it works well as an amuse bouche or an appetizer when served this way or even in tiny shot glasses. It is also a perfect hearty (yet still) vegan soup if you’re feeling like a big bowl of warming spices and pure deliciousness on a cold an rainy day.

  • INGREDIENTS FOR THE SOUP
  • 1 medium butternut squash about 2 lbs(peeled and cubed)
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 tbsp virgin coconut oil
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 1 pinch of black mustard seeds
  • 5 cups of water or veggie broth
  • 2 green cardamom pods
  • 1 pinch of tumeric
  • ½ teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 1 heavy pinch of salt
  • 1 inch knob of ginger peeled and cut into coins

 

  • INGREDIENTS FOR THE CROUTONS
  • ½ loaf of day old baguette cut into tiny cubes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon tandoori spice (or hot madras curry powder)

Curried Vegan Butternut Squash Soup

 

  • INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE SOUP
  • Sauté onions, ginger, and spices in coconut oil over medium heat in a large dutch oven until onions begin to caramelize.
  • Add butternut squash and water and turn heat to high. Bring to a boil and cook until butternut squash becomes exceedingly tender 15 or so minutes.
  • Working in batches, add butternut squash, onions, and some of the cooking liquid to the bowl of your food processor and puree until very smooth. Be careful that your cardamom pods do not get into the food processor.
  • Once all of the soup is puréed, return to pot, stir in the coconut milk and cook for a few minutes longer. You can put the soup through a food mill if you like to get it super smooth; I did not.

 

  • FOR THE CROUTONS
  • Heat oven to 375º, and like a baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Toss bread cubes with olive oil and tandoori spice to coat
  • Bake for about 5 minutes until bread is nice and crispy

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Vegan Tortilla Soup with homemade tortilla strips http://www.thetomatotart.com/recipe/vegan-tortilla-soup-with-homemade-tortilla-strips/ http://www.thetomatotart.com/recipe/vegan-tortilla-soup-with-homemade-tortilla-strips/#comments Tue, 16 Nov 2010 08:34:10 +0000 http://www.thetomatotart.com/?p=383

Vegan Tortilla Soup
My neighborhood has two very distinct personalities and nowhere is it more apparent than in my favorite two markets. One is Bi-Rite market; it is a foodie Mecca featuring the most glorious heirloom veggies, specialty products, artisan cheeses, a deli counter that will make a grown San Franciscan weep.…

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Vegan Tortilla Soup
My neighborhood has two very distinct personalities and nowhere is it more apparent than in my favorite two markets. One is Bi-Rite market; it is a foodie Mecca featuring the most glorious heirloom veggies, specialty products, artisan cheeses, a deli counter that will make a grown San Franciscan weep. The other is Casa Lucas which also features awesome produce, they’ve got the yummiest requeson, and really nice little chorizo though they have no other meat counter to speak of. Tonight I found plantain flour. It was a different kind of specialty product than one might find at Bi-Right but no less special.

I love my two markets. I shop often enough at each that I have a rapport with the people who work there. Each has it’s own rhythm and I feel happy and at home in both places.

Tonight was a Casa Lucas night. I had some handmade tortillas from La Palma that were stale and needed to be used which meant it was a perfect night for tortilla soup. After last night’s heavy dinner, though, the soup was going to be vegan! So, here’s my light and spicy vegan soup with homemade tortilla strips.

 

Corn, Carrots, Onion, Chard

  • INGREDIENTS FOR THE SOUP
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 4 carrots (chopped into 1 inch sections)
  • ½ red onion diced
  • 1 jalapeño (sliced into ½ moons)
  • 2 ears corn (removed from ear)
  • 2 summer squashes (sliced into rounds)
  • 2 cups chard cut into a chiffonade
  • 1 ½ tbsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tbsp cumin
  • black pepper
  • 1 tbsp dried epazote

Vegan Tortilla Soup

 

  • TORTILLA STRIPS
  • 2 thick cut handmade tortillas cut into strips
  • ¼ cup canola oil

 

  • INSTRUCTIONS FOR SOUP
  • Heat vegetable stock, paprika, cumin, and epazote until boiling in a dutch oven or heavy stockpot
  • Add carrots and onions and cook for 10 minutes then add corn and cook for another five, add the jalepenos and squash and cook for another five minutes. Add chard and cook for just another 1-2 minutes then turn off heat and cover.

Vegan Tortilla Soup

  • INSTRUCTIONS FOR TORTILLA STRIPS

  • Heat oil in a cast iron skillet over medium fire until hot and shimmering
  • Carefully add tortilla strips and flip when golden at edges about 2-3 minutes on each side.
  • Remove to a paper towel lined plate.

Serve soup with shredded cabbage, lemon, radish, and tortilla strips.

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Spicy Carrot Soup with Pumpkin Seed Butter and Apple Salsa Cruda http://www.thetomatotart.com/recipe/spicy-carrot-soup-with-pepita-butter-y-mas/ http://www.thetomatotart.com/recipe/spicy-carrot-soup-with-pepita-butter-y-mas/#comments Sat, 30 Oct 2010 22:50:20 +0000 http://www.thetomatotart.com/?p=309

Isn’t it the strangest thing when you have two long time friends who have never met? Heather has been my best friend for more than 20 years. Sean and I have been dear friends for more than 11 and even lived together twice. It just so happens that these two friends have never met due to our extremely glamourous jet setting lifestyles.…

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Isn’t it the strangest thing when you have two long time friends who have never met? Heather has been my best friend for more than 20 years. Sean and I have been dear friends for more than 11 and even lived together twice. It just so happens that these two friends have never met due to our extremely glamourous jet setting lifestyles. Well, it’s really due to the fact that Heather and I only recently started living in the same metropolitan area again and Sean lives in Southern California, now.

Spicy Carrot & Habeñero Soup

So, you can imagine, I was thrilled when Heather decided to come over for dinner on Thursday while Sean was in town visiting from LA. I’d love to tell you that I decided to make a bright orange soup to support my home team in the world series, but I can’t say I really think about things like baseball.  Truth is, I’d been thinking about a spicy carrot soup with pepitas ever since I saw this spicy pumpkin soup from Pinch My Salt.  This carrot soup is topped with a spicy pepita butter, requeson, an apple salsa crudo, & Salvadorean chorizo, but could easily become veggie or vegan if you just omit the chorizo the requeson and the tiny amount of cream in the soup.

Spicy Carrot & Habeñero Soup

Joshua, Sean, Heather, and I had such a great time eating, laughing, and drinking some pumpkin beer from Dogfish Head. We also had a little Steak with the pepita butter on top and a carrot and apple slaw with pomegranate seeds on top. The real standout (aside from the company) was this soup, though. Heather said this was one of the tastiest things I’d ever cooked for her, Joshua (my husband) went back for seconds and thirds even though he knew he wouldn’t have room for the steak when it was served, and Sean’s words were “wow, you’ve stepped up your game”.

Here’s the secret, this soup is EASY—almost criminally so. I am so happy to post in here for you. Share it with friends & family and have a lovely meal. Oh and “Go Giants, I hope you totally win that Superbowl!”

Spicy Carrot & Habeñero Soup

  • INGREDIENTS FOR CARROT SOUP
  • 3 lbs carrots cut into 1-2 inch chunks
  • 3 shallots chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ¼ – 1 habeñero chili seeded (optional they’re HOT but oh so tasty)
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream

 

  • INGREDIENTS FOR SPICY PEPITA BUTTER
  • 1 oz hulled raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 Serrano chili- this is optional, you can omit it, or use less. Seed and remove the membrane for less spicy. I like it hot, so I did not seed mine.
  • Juice from ½ of a lime
  • Handful of cilantro
  • Handful of Italian parsely
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Spicy Carrot & Habeñero Soup

 

  • INGREDIENTS FOR APPLE SALSA CRUDO
  • 1 firm tart organic apple diced
  • 1 tbsp Italian parsley rough chop
  • juice from ¼ lemon
  • salt & pepper to taste

 

  • INSTRUCTIONS FOR APPLE SALSA CRUDO
  • Mix all ingredients making sure to coat the apples in lemon juice so that they don’t brown.
  • Refrigerate mixture and serve very cold for a nice contrast from the hot soup.

 

  • INSTRUCTIONS FOR SPICY PEPITA BUTTER
  • Add all ingredients except 1 tbsp of the olive oil and salt and pepper to the bowl of your food processor and mix until the texture is like a very chunky green peanut butter. This will not look like pesto except in color. It should be dry not wet at all.
  • If you need more olive oil, you can drizzle it in a little at a time.
  • At the end, add in the salt and pepper and begin tasting.

 

  • INSTRUCTIONS FOR CARROT SOUP
  • Cover carrots, habeñero, shallots, and garlic, with water and cook in a heavy saucepan or dutch oven over high heat until carrots are very very soft, About 30 minutes.
  • Process with some of the cooking liquid in food processor in batches until you reach desired thickness. You may not need all of the cooking liquid. Stir in cream, salt, and pepper.
  • Serve in bowls with toppings.

Spicy Carrot & Habeñero Soup

 

  • TOPPINGS:
  • Apple Salsa Crudo
  • Spicy Pepita Butter
  • Salvadorian Chorizo
  • Requeson (or well-drained Ricotta)

 

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