Tomatoes Part Two!

I like Thursdays at work.  The work week is already over halfway done, the day is usually busy (which makes it go by quickly), it’s also doughnut day!  In an effort to inspire health my co-worker has been bringing in a veggie tray in addition to the doughnuts.  While I don’t often get inspired from broccoli florets and celery sticks at 8 am, I did find a bag of cherry tomatoes from another co-worker left on my desk inspiring!

By the time I got home, I knew exactly what I was going to do with them.  I combined my friend’s yellow tomatoes with a few reds that I had on hand to make soup!  Yes soup in ninety degree weather!  I love soup and have gone without for months, tonight I decided I was eating it regardless of the heat, but I was going to do my best to not warm up the house even more.

A little heat was necessary so I started by roasting two cups of tomatoes.

Two cups tomatoes with olive oil, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper.

Two cups tomatoes with olive oil, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper.

Twenty minutes at 425 degrees.  As an afterthought I through on a few sprigs of thyme and two cloves of garlic.  I knew the tomatoes were ready when I heard them popping.

A couple of months ago I invested in a high powered fancy blender.  I’d read that the friction in the blender was enough that it would actually increase the heat of the ingredients.  Tonight was the perfect night to test it out- no stove top to further increase the temperature in the house.

 

Tomatoes and garlic!

Sorry for the bad picture!  I simply dumped the tomatoes and garlic into the blender.  I included the oil but pulled out the thyme sprigs.  Put the lid on (thank you high tech blender, no explosions!) and hit the soup button.

I wanted a grilled cheese with the soup, but all I had in the fridge was a Mexican blend.  Again, avoiding the stove I was using my panini press.  Because I was using a Mexican blend cheese, I decided to dress up the soup with Mexican flavors.  Sour cream, a sprinkle of cumin, and a dash of chili powder.

Ready to eat!

Ready to eat!

This was so good!  Savory and fresh.  Perfect for one.  The soup was surprisingly filling and could easily be stretched into two servings, especially with the addition of some veggie or chicken broth.

What tricks do you use in the heat to keep the house cool while still craving hot food?

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Tom Kha “Ivie” Soup

Ivie Here!

I attempted to make a Tom Kha Gai soup on Wednesday night.  Have you tried it before?  I love the flavors in this soup.  You can find it on the menu of most Thai restaurants and I figured, it couldn’t be that hard!  This soup is also known as Thai Chicken Soup.  It is relatively healthy and you just throw all the ingredients into the same pot and 30 minutes later – you have SOUP!  I also made brown rice to pour the soup over.  My husband has never had the real thing at a restaurant, this is something I must remedy.  He found the version I made “good”, but agreed on the changes I want to make.

While eating the soup, I was working out a plan for the next version already, as I said, there were definitely changes that I want to make.  Two major changes are more veggies (maybe a red bell pepper, some onions, or green onions) and another can of coconut milk.  The 2 recipes that I flipped back and forth from, while making the soup were Bon Appetit and All Recipes.  I didn’t really measure out anything.  I basically “Chopped” and “Dumped” the ingredients into the pot, and added more of the foods I like.

I started by pulling everything out and putting it on the cutting board for Picture time:

All the flavors!

All the flavors!

The base of the soup was chicken stock and coconut milk.  My husband did the grocery shopping for me and accidentally picked up a can of “light” coconut milk, so the soup was not as creamy as I would have liked.  I put more ginger in the soup than the recipe called for and added some HOT peppers to kick up the heat.

Ingredients: chicken stock, coconut milk, chicken thighs, mushrooms (crimini and oytster), lemon grass, lime zest and juice, ginger, hot peppers, garlic, honey, basil, cilantro and fish sauce.

I did not have fish sauce, so I improvised with oyster sauce, soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce.  I also added a tablespoon of green curry paste and honey to sweeten.  Lastly, there was salt and pepper.

Chopping and Dumping!

Chopping and Dumping!

I started simmering the chicken stock with the following: lemon grass, one of the habaneros that had a couple of slits in it, and lime juice.  I chopped the other ingredients (garlic, ginger, habanero, mushrooms, and chicken) while this was going on.  Some recipes called for the ginger to be cut into chunks and cooked in the soup and removed before eating, but I like ginger, so I finely chopped my ginger and left it in to eat.

Everything in the Pot!  Rice is cooking too!

Everything in the Pot! Rice is cooking too!

Once everything was in the pot, I added the coconut milk and let it all meld together, crossing my fingers and hoping I was making a rich and flavorful soup.  I tasted the broth occasionally and adjusted flavors with more salt, lime juice, etc.

Dinner is served!

Dinner is served!

I garnished our plates with chopped cilantro and basil, as well as a slice of lime for more flavor.  As you can see, I served the soup over brown rice.  This is definitely an option!

What is your favorite soup?  Have you tried a similar recipe to this?  How did it turn out?