Loaves & Dishes
By Jennie Geisler Erie Times-News staff blogger
Follow Jennie Geisler's kitchen adventures on her Loaves & Dishes blog.   Read more about this blog.
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Posts tagged ‘Tomato Soup’
Posted: January 21st, 2014
This Tomato Basil Bisque, from www.justapinch.com, is on the table in 10 minutes, and it's amazing.

This Tomato Basil Bisque, from www.justapinch.com, is on the table in 10 minutes. Don’t change a thing.

It’s hard to put into words just how incredible this dish tastes. My husband called it “restaurant worthy.” I fell in love with it at first slurp.
Lots of times, super-simple recipes come out so-so. Not horrible, but nothing to write here about. I’m not sure what made me save this one. It might have been the word “bisque,” which usually indicates creamy and and luscious, if a bit rich.
Tomato Basil Bisque strikes a perfect balance of tangy and rich, and I was absolutely floored by how easy it is to make. I opened three cans, measured out 2 1/2 cups buttermilk, chopped some fresh basil and — that’s it. The soup was done in 10 minutes. It took longer to make the requisite grilled cheese companion.
There’s simply no way to improve this. It’s darned close to a culinary miracle.
And, by the way, it’s healthy and nutritious. Very little fat, lots of tomato. I’m literally infatuated with this, which means I’ll keep making it at a furious pace until I’m dead sick of it. Guessing, however that that’s a long time coming.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: August 27th, 2013

SparkPeople's tomato soup just tastes like it packs cream and butter.

SparkPeople’s tomato soup just tastes like it packs cream and butter.


A co-worker sent me a Tweet yesterday making fun of the yearly backyard tomato drama. I can’t quote it directly in this family-friendly space, but it went something like this:
JUNE
Wife: Look, honey, I think I see a tomato starting!
AUGUST
Wife: Look at all these (!@#$) tomatoes! Eat some of them, you (!@#$)!
That’s pretty much where we are at my house. I have a measly 7 pints of tomatoes canned, but about a year’s worth to go. And that needs to happen, like, yesterday.
But yesterday I wasn’t feeling well, I got home late, and we had a thunderstorm for about 15 minutes, making it unwise to go out into the garden to pick — during those 15 minutes.
But at least I’ve done one batch, right? That’s usually the hardest one.
I don’t know what happens when other people can, but when I do it, I always have a leftover tomatoes that won’t fill a whole canner, and I don’t have time (read “desire”) to do a separate batch just for a few.
I also don’t feel like cooking a real dinner after/during canning.
So this time, I used the leftover prepped tomatoes to make this Fresh Tomato Soup from SparkPeople, and paired it with lightened up grilled cheese sandwiches, using 2 percent cheese and butter spray on the outside. Sometimes I use Arnold’s Sandwich Thins, but we had a loaf of plain white bread (don’t ask) we had to use up.
Turned out to be a lovely way to eat up some loose ends.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: August 8th, 2013

pressureThanks to everyone who entered the drawing for “The Book of Steak.” The winner is Julie Miniger. I’ll pop it in the mail today.

If you are not Julie Miniger, you are eligible to enter the drawing for “225 Best Pressure Cooker Recipes,” by Cinda Chavich.

Serious canners are digging out their pressure cookers about now, producing preserves of all manner of preservable produce.
So it’s out. Might as well put it to work on dinner while they’re at it.
Besides canning, the pressure cooker is also known for getting tonight’s dinner on the table a lot faster than conventional cooking methods. The book goes into great detail about how it’s done, and includes hundreds of recipes from appetizers to desserts.
To enter the drawing, send an e-mail to jennie.geisler@timesnews.com. Please include your NAME, MAILING ADDRESS and NAME OF THE BOOK you want. I do not store or share this information.

Tomatoes are turning red in my garden, and I’m champing at the bit to have enough to make this one:

CREAMY TOMATO SOUP
1/4 cup unsalted butter
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 (14-ounce) can tomatoes, chopped, with juice
4 cups chicken stock
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons dried basil
1/2 cup heavy or whipping cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. In the pressure cooker, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic, celery, onion and red pepper; saute for 10 minutes, until onions start to brown. Stir in tomatoes with juice, chicken stock, tomato paste and basil.
2. Lock the lid in place and bring the cooker up to full pressure over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, just to maintain even pressure, and cook for 8 minutes. Remove from heat and release pressure quickly.
3. Stir in cream, return to medium heat and simmer for 5 minutes, until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Puree with hand-held blender for a perfectly smooth soup.
“225 Best Pressure Cooker Recipes”

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: January 3rd, 2013

First things first, I need to get your weekly book drawing in here, before you cookbook lovers start thinking I’m trapped under something heavy.
Thanks to everyone who entered the drawing for “Sweet Christmas.” The winner is Karen Fritts. It has lots of good ideas for year-round holidays. I’ll pop it in the mail today. In fact, I already did.

Second and more important, I hope you had a joyful holiday season. Ours was great but crazy (both at work and at home), and I limped out of it exhausted with a lingering cough and a house in complete disarray.
But here we are with a fresh start and, despite the wreckage I’ve left behind of past resolutions, I have a few again this year. One of them is to eat enough vegetables and fruits.
It’s not rocket science: If you put “good health” into your GPS, it will keep sending you back to the produce section.
So I’m going to start there.
Trader Joe’s, that grocery store everyone in the Northeast raves about, for its shelves full of healthful, sustainable deliciousness, has started publishing cookbooks and right now I have a copy of "The I Love Trader Joe's Vegetarian Cookbook", by Kris Holechek Peters.
All of the recipes call for Trader Joe’s brand something or other, but we can find most of them in national and store brands, at least in natural foods sections and health food stores.
To enter the drawing, please send an e-mail to jennie.geisler@timesnews.com including your NAME, THE NAME OF THE BOOK YOU WANT and your MAILING ADDRESS. I don’t share or store this information, by the way.

Just looking for a recipe? Here’s one of the best-looking ones that will get me some veggies IN MY BELLY. (Little Austin Powers joke for Mike Myers fans)

TUSCAN TOMATO SOUP (vegan and gluten-free)
2 medium yellow or red potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small yellow or white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups sliced celery
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 to 2 cups water (I would use vegetable broth)

1. In a small stockpot, cover the potatoes with just enough water to submerge, and simmer over medium heat until tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
2. Drain the water and transfer the potatoes to a blender or food processor and blend with the can of tomatoes. Set aside.
3. In the stockpot, heat the oil over medium heat and saute the onion until it starts to slightly soften, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 2 more minutes. Add the celery, beans, oregano, and salt, and mix to combine.
4. Add the potato mixture to the pot and simmer, with the lid on, until the celery is tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Add the water until the soup is the consistency you’d like. Cook until heated through, 5 minutes more.
Serves 4 to 6
“The I (Heart) Trader Joe’s Vegetarian Cookbook”

Posted in: Uncategorized

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