Monday, June 30, 2014

Creamy Tomato Soup with Goat Cheese

This is absolutely my newest, favorite tomato soup recipe.  I have been trying for years to perfect one.  I have found some that come close, but have never been able to make one that I found really hit the spot with me.  I finished this pot in less than 24 hours.  I did share a small bowl with an elderly friend, but I had to pull out all the altruism that I could muster to do so.  I really wanted to be selfish with this one.  Amazingly this recipe has no sugar or butter.  The creaminess comes from the delicious goat cheese.  If you can find it fresh, you absolutely need to go that route.  I use fresh when I can get it but buy it in bulk at Sam's Club when I can't get it fresh.  I can eat it on anything... crackers, chips, dips, nachos, soups, casseroles... I really like goat cheese.  Can you tell?  So when you see my going in to a local business and coming out with a sandwich bag full of white substance... I have not gone to the dark side.  I am simply feeding my goat cheese addiction!

Creamy Tomato Soup with Goat Cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 can (28-ounce) diced tomatoes, un-drained (use San Marzano if at all possible.  They are the best canned tomatoes that you can purchase.  It really, really makes a difference!)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • Bunch of large fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 water
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
Melt the butter in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft and translucent and the garlic tender, but not browned. Add the salt and a few grinds of black pepper.

Add the tomatoes, along with their liquid and bring the mixture to a slow simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes.

Add the milk and goat cheese and continue cooking until the cheese has melted. Add the basil (saving a small amount for garnish) and stir until wilted.

Using a hand-held immersion blender (or conventional blender), puree the mixture until smooth. Add the water to thin slightly and stir in the pine nuts and keep warm until served. Sprinkle with reserved basil before serving.

The recipe makes about 4 cups of soup.  For me that is basically two meals worth!  I normally just have soup as my meal.  I love this stuff!!  I was almost sad when I finished if off today at lunch.  However, I have a plan to make my Mexican Corn Soup this evening so I will have to take solace in that.  And make another pot of tomato later in the week which I get my next goat cheese hook up!

Adapted from My Gourmet Connection.


Potato, Squash and Goat Cheese Casserole

I have recently located a source for fresh goat cheese within my community.  I was already an admitted goat cheese addict, but now that I can get it fresh, my addiction is at an entirely new level!  I also have a local source for fresh, home grown crooked neck yellow squash.  Now I have been able to combine these into the most delicious casserole.  For me, it is a meal on its own.  For the family, I made a roasted chicken to serve along side the casserole.   My 13 year old isn't such a fan of goat cheese and didn't care for this... but the adults loved it.  I have a tiny bit left over which just may be my dinner tonight... I also made the most delicious Creamy Tomato Soup with Goat Cheese which I will post next.  It is absolutely my favorite tomato soup recipe to date.  And we all know I make a lot of soup!!

Potato, Squash and Goat Cheese Casserole

  • 2 medium yellow squash, about 1/2 pound
  • 2 small to medium russet potatoes, about 1 pound
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 6 ounces goat cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a 1 1/2 to 2-quart casserole dish with a drizzle of olive oil.
 
Use a mandoline slicer or chef's knife to slice the squash and potatoes into very, very thin slices, 1/8-inch or less. Toss the sliced vegetables with the 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large bowl. (A mandoline is really the best choice to get really thin, even slices.  It makes a big difference in cooking time.)

Place 1/3 of the squash and potato slices in the bottom of the dish then season with salt and pepper. Top with half of the goat cheese, scattered evenly in large chunks. Repeat with another 1/3 of the vegetables, seasoning again with salt and pepper and topping with the other 1/2 of the goat cheese. 

Finish by layering on the final 1/3 of the vegetables and seasoning with salt and pepper.
Pour the milk over the entire dish. Top with the Parmesan cheese. Bake, covered, for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake 15 more minutes, until the top browns. 

Adapted from Simple Recipes.