Skin-and-All Creamy Tomato Soup with Herbed Goat Cheese

Have you ever wanted to make tomato soup from scratch? But then did without the pleasures of fresh tomatoes because you didn’t feel like skinning them? If you have, count me in and please read on. This recipe might be perfect for you.

Delicious and filling--hot and cold!

Delicious and filling–hot and cold!

Okay, here’s the story. I came away from the fruit-and-vegetable store with nine large, discounted tomatoes ($1.49). Two were hardly blemished so they’ll be used in a salad, but seven squishy sad sacks definitely qualified for a soup.

Now skinning tomatoes isn’t hard, but if I’m going to go to the trouble of boiling a large pot of water, etc., etc., etc., I’ll do it for 18 tomatoes but not a measly seven.

A Hand Blender Sorta Like Mine

A Hand Blender Sorta Like Mine

Questions came to mind:

  • What if I didn’t skin them?
  • What if I just removed the tough stem sections at the top of the tomatoes, cut them in quarters, cooked them to death with that leftover, half-onion, added some soft, herbed goat cheese, and then applied my hand-blender to them?
  • Would I be supping at my soup and find myself chewing on pieces of tomato skin?

The Goddess of Cuisine smiled down on me. The hand-blender chomped the skins into tiny pieces. (See red spots in the photo.) And the results are yummy.  The goat cheese made the soup creamy and took the tartness out of the tomatoes. The herbs added a light, savoury flavor. And the shirataki noodles provided more bulk.

A great recipe when you want fast and easy-peasy!

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Sweet and Savoury Roasted Beets

A confession: I’ve always liked beets but rarely cooked them—partly because they’re messy and partly because the spouse is not enamoured.  “Well,” I say, “Too bad for him.” 

I’ve decided to make beets part of my “DIY Roasted Vegetables” diet strategy, namely, to always have cooked veggies available for snacks and general noshing.  

The result was this easy-to-make, very colourful, and deliciously sweet dish with a tang of savoury, thanks to some sharp cheese. Continue reading

Elegant But Easy Eggplant Soup

This pureéd soup is a pale green and has a lovely, delicate flavour.  It’s good enough for a dinner party.  Just before serving, I add a tablespoon of plain yogurt to each bowl in the center and then swirl it slightly so that it makes a slender white spiral.  Not just delicious but pretty too!  You can also add soy milk or sprinkle it with softened goat cheese.

Eggplants Learn Good Soup Behaviour

Eggplants Learn Good Soup Behaviour

One key to this recipe in terms of taste is the sweet onion.  I’ve tried both yellow onions and leeks as well but without the same success.   The second key has to do with thickness.  Most recipes that feature eggplant as the only vegetable also include cream to make it richer and thicker.  My strategy is not to add too much broth.  The less liquid you add, the thicker your soup will be.  (See cooking tip below.)

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggplants, peeled and cut into thick chunks
  • 2 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 large sweet onion, cut into thick chunks
  • 4 or more cups of chicken broth, to cover
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 Directions

Cooking tip for making a thick and creamy soup: The correct amount of broth is tricky because vegetables often shrink and also contain their own liquids.  To ensure that the soup will not be too thin, remove 1-2 cups of broth after the cooking is finished and before you start blending.  After a first blend, you’ll know if it needs more broth.  Add in ¼ cup increments until you reach the desired creaminess.

  1.  Pour three cups of broth into a large pot.
  2. Add garlic, onion, and eggplant.
  3. Add broth to barely cover the vegetables.  (The eggplant pieces will float so push them down to figure out if they are “covered.”)
  4. Bring to a boil.
  5. Cover and reduce to a simmer.
  6. Cook for 30 minutes.
  7. Cool and then puree in a blender or by using a hand blender.

The quantity should be about 6-8 cups depending on the size of the eggplants and the amount of broth.

For Weight Watchers: 0 points on both the Points and PointsPlus plan.