Sunday, January 6, 2013

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

Okay, so I'm on a tomato soup kick, and I am slightly obsessed with the boxed Organic Creamy Tomato Soup, from Whole Foods. I eat it for lunch, kind of... well... like, almost daily. So, I decided I wanted to make my own. I have procrastinated long enough, and finally gathered up all the ingredients, so I could whip up a batch of this Creamy Tomato Basil Soup, from Cooking Light. First of all, it's an easy recipe. Canned tomatoes, basil, onions and garlic. If you have an immersion blender, this is so perfect. I kept mine slightly chunky, and I wish I'd smoothed it out a bit, but still, it was delicious.

Overall, I think this is a 4 bowler. No one else in my family would try it, because they won't eat cheese, but it was definitely a keeper. I am going to whip up another batch in the next few days.

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup (Adapted from Cooking Light)


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion(or 1 medium onion)
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 (28-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained (I used fire roasted with chili peppers)
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, cut into cubes
  • 2 cups 1% low-fat milk (I used skim and it was great)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


 Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes. Stir in garlic; cook for 1 minute. Add basil and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Stir in cheese until melted. Place mixture in blender, and blend until smooth. Return to pan; stir in milk, salt, and pepper. Return to medium-high; cook 2 minutes.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Vegan Hoppin' John

I made this dish, from Eating Well Magazine, a couple of years ago, but felt it was worth a remake, for New Year's Day. We ended up going out on NYD, so we had it on January 2nd. Go figure. I
Give it 4 bowls, because it was quite delicious, yet it lacked originality, in that it was quite similar to many of the dishes I make. Nevertheless, it was an excellent venture back Into the kitchen, after a month of not cooking, after having a baby. Here's to more fun times in the kitch!

Barley Hoppin' John
Adapted from Eating Well
4 servings, 1 1/2 cups each | Active Time: 20 minutes | Total Time: 40 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 14-ounce can vegetable broth(use 2 cans if using regular pearl barley)
  • 1 cup quick-cooking barley (I used regular, and added cooking time)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 15-ounce cans black-eyed peas, rinsed


  1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper and celery. Cook until the vegetables soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add broth, barley, thyme, lemon juice, crushed red pepper and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until the barley is done, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in black-eyed peas. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Serve hot.


Per serving : 320 Calories; 5 g Fat; 1 g Sat; 3 g Mono; 0 mg Cholesterol; 58 g Carbohydrates; 12 g Protein; 11 g Fiber; 677 mg Sodium; 529 mg Potassium
3 Carbohydrate Serving