Tropical Gazpacho

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It’s still hot here in South Central Texas. And if you’re still sweating away the days while waiting for fall to arrive, try this nice cool Tropical Gazpacho recipe I found in the Whole Foods‘ app.  It’s best made ahead of time and chilled overnight, giving the mixture a good opportunity to let its flavors seep together.

And though the original recipe says this serves 6, I must admit it serves more around 10-12. I’m never able to use all the pineapple juice, so I’ve learned to buy the juice in the large 16 oz cans and then freeze the extra juice.  The cans are much less expensive than the jarred pineapple juice.  Same suggestion for the tomato juice too.

Ingredients

2 cups tomato juice
1 1/2 cups pineapple juice
1 mango, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 1/4 cups chopped pineapple
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
1/3 cup finely chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon lime zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon hot sauce

Method

Combine the tomato juice, pineapple juice, mango and pineapple in a blender and pulse 5 to 8 times, or until just combined; the mixture should be slightly chunky. Transfer pineapple mixture to a large non-metallic bowl. Stir in cucumbers, bell peppers, onions, cilantro, lime juice, zest, salt and hot sauce. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight. Ladle gazpacho into bowls and serve.

Creamy Thyme Mushroom Soup with Parmesan & Herb Croutons

photo taken by thehipvegetarian

My friend Heather sent me this recipe. She and all her friends were swooning over how delicious this soup is.

I must admit when I was assembling it, I had my doubts.  Mushrooms and leeks simmering in a stock base looks pretty much like I was brewing a witches brew brought in from the garden. WARNING: This soup does not look visually appealing while being assembled on the stove.

But what this soup lacks in color makes up for in the deepest and richest of flavors.

This Creamy Thyme Mushroom Soup has cast a spell on me — it’s now my all time favorite soup.

Creamy Thyme Mushroom Soup

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 Leeks, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 large yellow onion
(I added 2 garlic cloves)
3-4 large Portobello mushrooms or 1 lb , brushed clean and chopped
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 cups chicken or veggie stock (I used Better than Bouillon Organic Mushroom Base)
1.5 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1 bay leave
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly group pepper
1 cup heavy whipping cream

In stockpot, melt butter over medium heat. Swirl to coat bottom of pot and add leaks and onions. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 mins until slightly softened and well coated with butter. Reduce heat to very low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally for about 30 mins. until leaks and onions are melting soft but not browned. Add the mushrooms and stir to combine. Cover and cook x 10 mins. Raise the heat to medium, stir in the flour, and cook 3 mins. Add the stock, thyme, bay leave, salt, sugar, and pepper. Bring to a simmer, cover partially, and cook for 10 mins longer.

Let soup cool x 10 mins. Discard bay leave. Working in batches, put in food process until a smooth puree. Return puree to pot and add cream. Cook over low heat until heated through, but don’t let boil. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serves 8

Croutons

5 cups fresh bread cubes about 3/4 inch, from artisan loaf with crust removed
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
1/2 tablespoon fresh oregano

Preheat oven to 375. In large bowl, Combine cubes, olive oil, cheese, and pepper and toss to coat evenly. Sprinkle the herbs over the bread cubes, toss to combine, and continue to bake until the cubes are crisp and golden.

Ladle soup into warmed bowls, and garnish with croutons.

 

Come join SoupaPalooza at TidyMom and Dine and Dish sponsored by KitchenAidRed Star Yeast and Le Creuset.

Sweet & Sour Meatballs

Here’s a gem that’s been in the family for about 20 years. I love the secret ingredient — grape jelly.

Sweet & Sour Meatballs

Mix and bake in 9″x13″ pan in 1 inch balls:
1 cup Onion, grated
1 cup Pepperidge Farm Bread Crumbs (Herb)
1 cup Cheddar Cheese, grated
1 cup Pecans, ground
3 Eggs

Simmer and cover meatballs with:
1 12 oz. jar Heinz Chili Sauce
1 10 oz. jar Grape Jelly

Heat and serve.