Roasted Tomato and Eggplant Soup

This summer I had more eggplant than I knew what to do with. Usually I made baba ghanouj or I roasted the eggplant and froze it for later. One morning I stumbled across a roasted tomato and eggplant soup that sounded absolutely amazing – I had to try it. While it was a little more work than I usually like to put into things (yes, I’m a lazy cook), it was absolutely worth it. I modified the recipe a bit to finish it off in the crock pot, as an lazy cook would do :). I was living in Madison at the time, so unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of the final product before leaving for school. I’m sure I’ll be making it again, so I will update the post with more pictures.

Roasted Tomato and Eggplant Soup
adapted from Martha Stewart

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Ingredients

  • About a dozen plum tomatoes, cored and halved
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large eggplant, halved
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large bunch of basil

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Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Line 1 rimmed baking sheet with foil. Spray the foil-lined pan and 1 unlined pain with cooking spray. Place the eggplant on the lined pan, face down. Poke holes in the top with a sharp knife. Place the tomatoes, onions, oil, and garlic on the unlined pan
    (in the picture you can see I put the basil, but it came close to burning, so I wouldn’t do that again)
  3. Roast both pans for 45 minutes, mixing every 15 minutes to prevent burning.
  4. If possible, peel the tomatoes (as I mentioned above, I’m a lazy cook, so I wasn’t too picky about this). Pour tomatoes into a food processor and blend well. Pour into a 4 or 6 qt crock pot.
  5. Remove the skins from the eggplant and pour into the food processor. Puree and thin with some water.
  6. Add to the crock pot and combine well. Add the chickpeas and basil to the crockpot. Cook on low for 4-6 hours.

Tomato Pesto Galette

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Tomatoes are in full swing and my dad’s heirlooms are especially sweet now. Here is a quick and easy lunch recipe I threw together last weekend. I love tomatoes and pesto, so I had eyed this recipe up since it was posted in early in August. The original recipe (here) has how to  make crust from scratch. I was lazy and had pizza dough on hand, so I just used that to make two galettes.

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Tomato Pesto Galette
Original recipe – Two Peas and Their Pod

 

Ingredients

  • 2-3 large heirloom tomatoes, sliced 1/4″ thick
  • premade whole wheat pizza dough (or see link above for dough from scratch)
  • 1/3 cup basil pesto (I used this recipe from earlier in the summer)
  • [optional] fresh Parmesan, feta, or mozzarella cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Spray a cookie sheet and/or pie tin. I made one in a pie tin and one on a cookie sheet.
  2. Roll out dough to desired size. Spread a generous amount of pesto and top with tomato slices.
  3. Fold edges over the tomatoes (see picture)
  4. Top with cheese, if desired.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes.

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Grass Fed Beef with Roasted Tomatoes

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This winter J and I purchased 1/2 a cow from a local farmer. I am not much of a beef eater (I could eat chicken every day…or no meat at all) but I wanted to support a local farmer and give grass-fed beef a try. I am VERY happy with the beef. The flavor is different from what we used to get in the store and I actually find myself wanting to make it for dinner (vs. eating because I don’t want it to go to waste and I could use the iron, zinc, B12, B6, and protein).  I am amazed at how naturally lean the meat is as well; when I brown the beef there is less than a tbsp or two of fat for me to drain off (so I’ve stopped wasting my time draining it off – it has some healthy fats in it anyway, since they are grass-fed).

I was also impressed with the farmer. He invited us to his farm to see the cows before we decided to make the purchase. He has 7 pastures and moves the cows each day. This way the grass isn’t over-grazed and is ready for the cows when the come back in a week. Winters in WI are cold, like really cold, so in the winter, many farmers will  supplement their “grass-fed” cows with corn. Not this guy. He feeds them hay from the fields to make sure they stay grass-fed.

Last week I took a study break to throw together something quick for dinner. I used these Roasting Guidelines to decide how long to cook my roast. For the side dish, I opted for broiled tomatoes. I sliced large beef steak tomatoes in half, sprinkled with part-skim mozzarella cheese, and topped with Italian seasoning and garlic. Put them on a pan lined with foil and broil them for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese melts; I kept the light on in the oven so I could watch them. After I took the picture I drizzled them with balsamic vinegar.