Monday, August 22, 2011

Recipes for my soups, berry cheesecake and a pear almondine tart. :)

Italian Sausage Soup

1 pound spicy Italian sausage
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (32oz) box of low sodium beef broth
1 (14.5oz) can Italian-style stewed tomatoes
2 carrots sliced
1 can kidney beans
1 can pinto beans
2 zucchini cubed
2 cups spinach - packed, rinsed and stems cut off

In a stockpot or Dutch oven, brown sausage with garlic on medium heat. Stir in broth, tomatoes, and carrots. Cover and simmer 15 minutes.

Stir in beans with liquid and zucchini. Cover, and simmer another 15 minutes, or until zucchini is tender.

Remove from heat, and add spinach. Replace lid allowing the heat from the soup to cook the spinach leaves. Soup is ready when the spinach leaves wilt.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Olive oil
1 bay leaf
1/2 white, yellow or brown onion
3 sticks of celery chopped
3 carrots chopped
3 red potatoes diced
1 red bell pepper diced
1 green bell pepper diced
1 zucchini quartered then sliced
1 can mexican style stewed tomatoes
1 large can chicken broth low sodium
1 small can green chili diced
hot sauce

garnish for the soup:
1 avocado cut into slices
tortilla chips

Place a little EVOO in the bottom of a big stock pot over medium heat, add bay leaf, white onion, celery, carrots and red potatoes and cook for five minutes. Stir every few minutes.

Once the onions become transparent add the red & green bell pepper, italian squash, stewed tomatoes, chicken broth and green chili. Add a little parsley, dill and hot sauce and cook until potatoes, celery and carrots are soft.

Fish out the bay leaf and discard. Ladle out some soup into bowls and top with avacado, chesse and crush tortilla chips.

Chili Soup

1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 onion chopped
pepper and salt
1 can pinto beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can chili beans
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 can green chili diced
hot sauce
chili powder

Brown beef with onion, salt and pepper in a stock pot over medium heat. Add stewed tomatoes, green chili, pinto, kidney and chili beans with juices. Season with hot sauce, chili powder and paprika until beans are fully cooked.

This soup pairs well with corn bread.

Vegetable soup

Olive oil
1/2 onion
salt & pepper
1 bay leaf
3 carrots sliced
3 celery stocks sliced
3 red potatoes
1 large can of chicken broth low sodium
1 cup frozen peas

Please a little EVOO in a stock pot over medium heat, add onion, salt, pepper and bay leaf and cook until onion softens. Add carrots, celery, red potaoes, chicken broth, frozen peas, parsley and dill. Cook until potatoes, celery and carrot are cooked through.

This soup pairs well with biscuits.

Pear Almondine Tart

2 cups all purpose flour
12 tablespoons unsalted butter cold
1/2 teaspoon salt
1.4 cup to 1/3 ice water

1 small package of blanched almonds
10 tablespoons unsaltedbutter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
4 tablespoons flour
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large can pear halves, drained
1/4 cup apricot jam

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a food processor place the flour, butter and salt. Pulse until the butter is crumbled into pea-size pieces. With the machine running add the water. Transfer to a work surface and shape into a ball. Flatten into a disc and let rest until filling is done.

Make the filling: In the same food processor grind the almonds finely. Remove the almond and set aside in a bowl. Place the butter and sugar into processor and process until creamy. Add the flour and powdered almond to butter and sugar mixture. Process until blended.

Roll out the dough and place into a 12" tart pan with a removable bottom. Prick the dough with a fork. Spread the almond filling on top of the crust. Slice the pear halves and place them into a daisy pattern on top of the filling. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until the filling is nicely browned. Remove from oven. Heat the apricot jam in the microwave for 10-20 secs then brush onto tart.

Berry Cheesecake

1 1/4 graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter melted

Fruit filling
1 package frozen berries
2 tablespoon cornstarch

Cheese filling
3 (8 ounce) package cream cheese softened
1 can (14 ounce)sweetened condensed milk
juice of 1 lemon
3 eggs

Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter. Press on the bottom of an ungreased 9 in springform pan. Refrigerate while making the fillings.

In a food processor, combine berries and cornstarch, cover and process until smooth. Pour into a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in milk. Add lemon juice; mix well. Add eggs, beat on low just until combined.

Pour half of the cream cheese mixture over crust. Drop half of the berry mixture by spoon fulls onto cream cheese mixture. Carefully spoon the remaining cream cheese mixture over sauce. Drop remaining berry mixture by spoon fulls onto cream cheese mixture. With a knife, cut through the top layer only to swirl the berry mixture.

Bake at 300 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.