tomato soup

How to Make Canned Tomato Soup Stand Out

Ok, let’s get something straight: The best type of tomato soup is the one made with fresh, ripe tomatoes and nothing can change that fact. It is not only more delicious, but also more nutritive and better for you.

But what if it is not the season for tomatoes? Or you have forgotten to buy tomatoes? Or you have tomatoes but they are not ripe enough to be included in a soup? Well, I believe that everyone has a few tomato soup cans sitting in the pantry, so use these three reasons as an excuse to eat canned food. It’s ok if you do it once in a while. Even if the only reason is being lazy.

That brings us to the next issue: canned tomato soups taste pretty bland. So, we need a few tips and tricks to boost their flavor.


Tips and Trick for Canned Tomato Soup Recipes


Combine canned tomato soup with a diced fresh tomato, the complement with a few chopped fresh basil leaves and double cream to make it thicker. Other forms of tomato you can add are tomato paste, tomato purée, and tomato juice.


Add a drizzle of pesto, homemade or store-bought, for instant flavor, cheesiness, nuttiness, and creaminess. Stir it into your soup at the end of cooking or add a dollop to each bowl and garnish with toasted pine nuts.

For a more exotic take on tomato soup, add a bit Thai red curry paste (one or two tablespoons should be enough), combine with cooked rice, then top with shrimp. Another way is to add fish sauce (from a few drops to ½ cup, according to taste). You can also add chopped fish filets to make a Vietnamese tomato soup recipe.


Croutons are not the only form of bread that can be included in your tomato soup. Combine your tomato soup with flavorful bread. Rub a slice of bread with garlic and top with grated hard cheese like Cheddar. Broil it until the cheese is melted and place it floating on your tomato soup. Alternatively, you can opt for a toasted baguette slices.


Sautee some bacon, then use the same grease as roux – simmer the canned tomato soup in it, together with some double cream. Use the bacon as a garnish.

Sautéed Veggies

Sauté aromatic veggies like onion, garlic, carrots, and celery in oil or butter until soft. Alternatively, you can also sauté spinach or kale. However, make sure that all your veggies are cut into bite-sized pieces. If you like meat in your soup, sauté some cubed chicken breast as well. If you choose to go with oil, use healthy alternatives like olive oil or sesame oil. The later one will also contribute nutty flavor.


Everybody knows that tomato soups love cheese! For an instant cheesy taste, top the soup with shredded hard cheese like Parmesan or Gruyere or softer cheese like American cheese, Feta or Mozzarella.

Alternatively, you can serve with grilled cheese or grilled cheese sandwiches on the side. Another (vegan) option is to use nutritional yeast. These golden flakes are heated in water until creamy and, besides cheesy and salty taste, they also act as a thickener!


Make your soup heartier and more fulfilling by adding pasta. The best option is tortellini – meaty for meat lovers, cheesy for vegetarians. Simply take frozen tortellini and add them directly to simmering soup.


For a surprising twist, add some vanilla! Many tomato soup recipes call for an acidifier like vinegar or lemon juice to emphasize the tomatoes’ natural acidity. These are often combined with regular or brown sugar to balance the taste. However, adding just a pinch of vanilla bean-infused sugar will add a little sweetness and aroma, without overpowering your tomato soup.

You need a detailed guide on tomato soups? You’re welcome.

Take Your Regular Tomato Soup Recipe up a Notch

When someone asks what’s your favorite summery dish, a tomato soup won’t exactly be your first choice. Well, as soon as you’ve finished reading this post I can guarantee it will become your go-to recipe this summer.

First of all, tomato soups are satiating. Top them with some cheese or fried bacon and enjoy a bowl of creamy pleasure. Second, they are affordable and third, and most important: preparing tomato soup recipes is a breeze!

What Should the Best Tomato Soup Include


Well besides the very obvious ingredient – tomatoes, your soup should also contain a liquid (this can be either water or broth). If you think about it, tomatoes contain plenty of water themselves, but to prepare a soup you would need a tiny bit more liquid. For this reason, you can choose anything from vegetable stocks to chicken stocks and light beef stocks even. Next, you can’t forget the herbs and flavorings. Regardless of whether you opt for basil, oregano, or veggies like garlic, onions, and carrots, make sure you use fresh ingredients. The soup will warm the herbs just enough for them to release lovely aromas that will make your kitchen smell like heaven and your tomato soup to be as delicious as ever.

What Type of Tomatoes to Use in your Tomato Soup Recipe

As I have already said, the right tomatoes are crucial for a tasty tomato soup. And while the blog post Ever wondered how to make a perfectly light tomato soup to enjoy this spring? Here’s how! contains plenty of useful information on everything connected to tomato soup, I couldn’t seem to find what types of canned tomatoes are the best for a tasty tomato soup. If you ask me, diced canned tomatoes are better than their whole cousins. The canned variety comes with basil leaves added into it, plus the tomatoes are peeled. Diced tomatoes are a better choice because they will dissolve more easily.

How to Achieve a Perfectly Creamy Vegan Tomato Soup


If you are a vegan, then the logical way to go about preparing a tomato soup is with a vegetable broth. However, you will need some kind of thickener to make your soup creamy. To achieve this creaminess, you could either opt for nutritional yeast (make sure you whisk and heat it in water) or arrowroot powder. If you opt for the latter, you will have to mix it with a cold liquid (either tap water or a non-dairy milk variant) and whisk it prior to adding to your soup.

The Best Way to Add Flavor to Your Tomato Soup Recipe

As I have already mentioned, chicken or beef stock are both very tasty options, but the latter is my favorite. However, there are plenty of other ways to bring your regular tomato soup up a notch. Say, by adding a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce. The anchovies this sauce consists of will strangely give the soup a meaty flavor instead of a fishy one J. Or if you are one of those who “like it hot”, adding a sauce like salsa to your favorite tomato soup recipe will render amazing results every time. Lastly, you can add pesto but only after the soup has been prepared. Add a tablespoon of pesto into each individual serving and enjoy a flavorful soup.


Salmon and Potatoes

Simple Salmon Recipes – Fried, Baked, Steamed, Grilled and Poached

I am not much of a fish eater, but when it comes to salmon recipes, I often have a change of heart. There is something about this fish that makes my mouth water.

Maybe it’s the fact that salmon is one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. Its numerous vitamins and minerals, as well as the high level of omega-3 fatty acids, are sure to keep your heart and brain in great shape, but also protect you against diseases like cancer. Hey, even the new US Dietary Guidelines recommend eating two servings of this fish a week!

Or maybe it’s the numerous ways of preparation and serving that prevent you from getting bored of salmon – fried, baked, grilled, in a salad, in a sandwich, a cake…salmon is called the ‘king of fish’ for a good reason!

Salmon with Rice

What Type of Salmon is the Best?

Before we move on to my favorite salmon recipes, a few important tips regarding the type of salmon you should use.

Opt for wild salmon whenever you can. Farmed fish can be treated with antibiotics or, in some cases, with pigments to make their flesh more orange.

Fresh meat is always a better choice than frozen, and you can find it in markets from June to September. However, frozen salmon is good for up to four months in the freezer and very convenient to use anytime you want, whereas canned wild salmon is the most economical choice. Just make sure to choose cans that say BPA-free.

As a general rule, when choosing salmon, go for the one that is orange in color. Orange-colored salmon flesh, provided that we are not talking about artificial pigmentation, is packed with carotenoids that are very good for you. Also, when it comes to salmon, the fattier is the better because the fats in question here are omega-3 fats.

Fried Salmon Recipe

Fried salmon is crispy on the outside and pink on the inside. In order to achieve this perfection, start by NOT removing the skin – it protects the fish from overcooking. Cook with the skin-side down almost the whole time and press with a spatula to prevent the fish from curling, as well as to add extra crispiness. The fish is done when it changes the color from orange to pink.

Serve with the skin side up, along with a salad made of whole wheat couscous, steamed bell pepper, parsley, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

Salmon and Potatoes

Baked Salmon Recipe

Baking the salmon is much easier and a lot healthier than frying it. Season the fish with a little salt and pepper, then place skin-side down on a lightly greased baking dish or pan. Alternatively, you can wrap the fish in foil. This method gives you an opportunity to flavor the salmon with various ingredients like herbs, lemon juice, ginger, garlic, parmesan cheese, asparagus, or various glazes! Bake in the oven at 400 degrees F for about 15 minutes (there is no need to turn).

An even faster method is broiling. Turn the oven to broil, season the fish and place it on a sheet pan, placed on the top rack of the oven, about 3 inches from the broiler. It should be done after 3 minutes or so.

The third option is to combine pan-frying and baking. If you decide to go with this method, use an oven-proof skillet so that you do all the cooking in it and minimize the mess. Sizzle the fish for about 3 minutes with the skin-side down in oil or butter, then transfer it to the oven, heated to 275 degrees F, and cook for 20-25 minutes. Return the pan to the stovetop and cook for 3 more minutes to make the fish crispy.

Steamed Salmon Recipe

The process of steaming salmon is rather longer and includes three steps – curing, drying and smoking. Start by curing the fish by mixing together salt, chilis, bay leaves, thyme, minced onion and garlic in water. Cover the fish with this brine and place it in the fridge. Let it stand there for at least four hours and maximum 48 hours. More than 48 hours of brining will make the fish too salty.

Dry the fish by patting it dry with a paper towel and let it sit for 2-3 hours or, better yet, overnight in the refrigerator to dry completely. You’ll know it is good to cook when it has shiny skin on top.

When smoking the salmon, be careful that the smoker isn’t set to a very high temperature because this will result in a very dry final product. However, if this happens, you can ‘save’ your disastrously smoked fish by including it in a very simple and easy recipe called Smoked Salmon Ball, where its dryness will be masked effectively.

Cut the fish and combine it with cream cheese, minced onion, lemon juice, chopped parsley, horseradish (previously prepared), liquid smoke, garlic powder, and salt in a large bowl. Stir until well incorporated, then transfer the mixture onto a big, shallow plate. Shape it into a ball with a spatula, then garnish with chopped pecans all over the top.


Grilled Salmon Recipes

Grilled salmon is perfect for warm days! Smoky flavor and minimum mess are the biggest upsides of this method. You can grill whole fish fillets or cut the fish into cubes and place them on wooden skewers, alternating with lemon slices, then season with salt and pepper. Grill each side for about 5 minutes and serve with a basil-based dip on the side.

Poached Salmon Recipe

Poaching keeps the calorie and fat count low. In addition, it is the best way to prepare your salmon recipe if you are planning to include it in salmon cakes. Simmer the fish filets in water flavored with salt, peppercorns, and bay leaf. Alternatively, you can use stock or white wine instead of water. Wait for the liquid to come to a boil, then add the fish. Cover the pan and cook for 20-25 minutes.

To make salmon cakes, combine poached salmon with mashed potatoes, milk, chopped parsley, salt, and pepper. Form the mixture into patties. Coat them in flour, dip them in egg, then coat with breadcrumbs. Place the patties on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, until golden brown.



banana bread

How to Save Money Using Old Bananas

If your fridge is full of forgotten overripe bananas don’t be quick to throw them away. Believe it or not you can still eat them. Check out these quick and easy ideas taken from MyGreatRecipes to get the most of your unused bananas.

1.Banana bread

The first and most obvious choice when you want to reuse too ripe bananas is to make the classic banana bread. If you can’t prepare the banana bread right away put the bananas in the fridge. Let your imagination fly with these easy banana bread recipes- from peach coconut or blueberry coconut, double or triple chocolate to healthy banana bread, it’s all there!


2.Banana bread smoothie

The combinations with bananas when it comes to smoothies are numberless. Smoothie is a great healthy breakfast for you and your kids and it really doesn’t take too much time. For the real smoothie lovers here comes a fresh new sweet and creamy delight-the banana bread smoothie. You only need four ingredients and a blender. Freeze the bananas beforehand to get exquisite milk-shake taste.

3.Banana muffins

Muffins can be great as breakfast or a snack. The ripper the bananas are, the better the muffins. And the bananas are sweet enough so you don’t have to use too much of other sweeteners. Just a little bit of brown sugar will do. Besides the classic versions there are also delicious gluten-free, dairy-free or even vegan versions so you don’t have to feel guilty if you eat several of them even in the middle of the nightJ

banana bread pudding

4.Banana bread pudding

You know you can make amazing puddings with ripe bananas. Add milk, sugar, eggs and vanilla and whisk. The preparation takes a few minutes. Piece of cake! But..wait for it…you can also make e a banana bread pudding. Take some stale French bread (or cinnamon bagels), cover it with banana pudding and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Bake for about 30-35 minutes and voila! The heavenly dessert is ready.

5.Chocolate-covered banana pops

Here is a great summer treat that you kids will absolutely love. It doesn’t matter if the bananas are not so good looking because there will be chocolate to cover them and make them beautiful again. Put the bananas on popsicle sticks, freeze them overnight and dip them in melted chocolate. You can put sprinkles, m&m’s or nuts on top. Enjoy your home-made ice cream!

6.Banana bread pancakes

The pancakes marry the banana bread to create a wonderful sweet fusion. Made of very ripe mashed bananas and chopped pecans, that represent the classic banana bread, and combined with pancake mix, buttermilk and nuts, these banana bread pancakes are full of proteins. Add some honey or maple syrup and fruit (sliced bananas, of course, or blueberries, or any fruit of your choice) on top. There is a secret tip for extra fluffiness: add baking powder to the pancake mix.


If you still have overripe bananas in your fridge after this (which I doubtJ), I would recommend Pinterest as a go to place when it comes to overripe banana recipes.


millet pancakes

Marvelous Healthy Millet Pancakes

Millet is not only for the birds, if that was your first thought. It is actually quite tasty and combines with almost any other food. Plus, it is rich in fibers, minerals and enzymes that are good for you. It can be cooked creamy like mashed potatoes or fluffier like rice and when fried it becomes crunchy. So when you use it in pancakes the result will be slightly crunchy, delicious and super healthy pancakes.


1 cup millet

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

2 tbsp Greek yogurt

1 1/2 tsp coconut oil


In a medium sauce pan, pour water and bring it to simmer. Add the millet and cook it for about 10-15 minutes. Drain well and add the baking powder and baking soda. Mix in a blender for about 30 seconds until creamy.

In another bowl beat the egg, milk, yogurt and coconut oil. Add this mixture to the millet mixture and whisk until just combined but don’t over-mix. If the batter seems a bit runny add 1-2 tablespoons millet flour or regular flour.

Heat a griddle over medium heat and grease it lightly. Pour ½ cup measures per pancake onto the griddle. Cook until the surface begins to bubble. Flip and cook for 1-2 minutes more until golden brown.

Nutrition info

Per serving: Calories: 328, Total Fat: 9 g, Sat. Fat: 3 g, Carbs: 47 g, Fiber: 6 g, Sugars: 10 g, Protein: 13 g, Sodium: 425 mg, Cholesterol: 105 mg


eggnog pancakes

Yummy Eggnog Pancakes

Christmas or not, I love a glass of creamy eggnog. There’s something in its flavor that makes it hard for me not to drink it all. If you are a fellow eggnog lover, than I am sure you will love these pancakes. The recipe is so simple, even a novice cook can make it, and in 20 minutes too!

Yields: 4


2 cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt 1

Dash freshly-ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups eggnog

An egg

2 teaspoons sesame oil

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

8 ounces maple syrup

Whipped cream

A pinch of cinnamon


In a large bowl sift the flour, and combine it with the baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl add the egg, the eggnog, the vanilla, and the sesame oil. Once you are done with the wet ingredients go ahead and pour them into the dry mixture. Beat everything together until smooth. Heat a griddle at 375°F, and grease it with oil, as soon as it’s hot, using a scoop pour ¼ cupful batter onto the griddle. Around 2 minutes later, or until you see bubbles appearing on the surface, the pancake is ready to be flipped. Cook for 2 more minutes. Repeat the process until you’ve gone out of batter. Serve with maple syrup, a dollop of whipped cream, and sprinkle with some cinnamon. Yum!

cannoli pancakes

Yummy Cannoli Pancakes

If you can’t get enough of the Italian cannoli, but you are too lazy to make the shells, don’t worry, this is a recipe that combines the best of both worlds. These pancakes consist of the regular cannoli filling, only you don’t have to go to the trouble of making the shells, you can make pancakes instead! The final result is a tasty and creamy cannoli pancake bite.


Cannoli Filling:

1 pound ricotta

½ cup heavy cream

½ cup powdered sugar

1 cup chocolate chips

2 teaspoons almond extract

Pancake Batter:

1 cup prepared cannoli filling

½  cup whole milk

2 egg yolks

2 egg whites

2 tablespoons sour cream

¾ cup flour

½  tablespoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

¼  teaspoon salt


The Cannoli Filling:

In a mixing bowl whip the cream and fold in the ricotta until you get a creamy mixture. Add the almond extract, sugar and chocolate chips in.

The Pancakes:

In a large bowl, pour the cannoli filling, and whisk it together with the egg yolks and sour cream. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and stir till just incorporated. (Make sure not to over mix) Pour the milk in. In a glass or metal bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gently add the egg whites into the batter. Heat a griddle over medium heat, using a spoon put a small amount of batter for each pancake onto the hot griddle and cook about 3-4 minutes per side. Serve with a dollop of cannoli filling on top of the pancakes and dust with powdered sugar.


cinnamon roll pancakes

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes with Cinnamon Icing

Bored with your breakfast routine? These cozy, delicious pancakes are sure to shake up your breakfast routine!

This recipe is an ideal fusion of one of my favorite desserts and pancakes. These pancakes keep the perfect cinnamon taste, which is so good with a cup of coffee in the morning, but are much faster and easier to prepare than the actual cinnamon rolls. Serve them with a special easy home-made cinnamon icing on top.


1½ cups flour

3 tablespoons sugar

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 cup milk

¼ cup butter

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Ingredients for the cinnamon icing:

1 tablespoon milk

2 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Mix the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk the milk, eggs, melted butter and vanilla extract. Add the wet ingredients in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined, but still slightly lumpy.

Heat a lightly greased non-sticking pan over medium heat. Pour a ¼ cup of the batter for each pancake. Cook for about 3 minutes until golden brown. Turn the pancake and keep cooking for 2 more minutes. Make the icing combining the milk, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla extract. Pour over the pancakes.


blueberries and pancakes

Pancakes to Detoxify Your Body

Regardless of whether you are cautious about what you eat and drink, there is certainly a time when you want to indulge in things that are not really good for you.

Whether you are looking for a way to overcome regular hangovers, or you just want to detoxify your body from the everyday unhealthy diet you are on, there is one thing you should be consuming: Blueberries.

And while eating fresh blueberries is probably the safest way to go, there are also many different ways you can incorporate these berries in your day to day diet.

My personal favorite?

Blueberries and Pancakes!

It’s no secret I love pancakes and I am constantly looking for ways to improve the regular recipe or kick it up a notch, and the place where I search for the best American pancakes  and my newest cooking companion, is a new cooking app. Click here to see what I am talking about.

First things first, let’s say a word or two about blueberries and their features and health benefits.

Blueberries, like other berries, get their color from anthocyanins.

As it turns out, these pigments are not only the main source blueberries get their color from, but they are responsible for the many health benefits attributed to blueberries.

Blueberries are the best antioxidants on earth! They play a crucial role in regulating our blood sugar levels, as well as guarding our cardiovascular system in general. Need I say more?

Now that we’ve established that these berries are packed with good-for-you features, let’s see how can we combine them with America’s favorite: pancakes.

  • Prepare the regular pancake batter or your favorite pancakes and top them with fresh blueberries.
  • Fold fresh or frozen whole blueberries into the batter.
  • Blend blueberries together with the other ingredients.

Easy Detox Pancakes

blueberry pancakes

While I love all of the above-mentioned ways of incorporating blueberries in my pancakes, if I had to choose a favorite, it would be the last one.

The Blender Blueberry Pancakes are my all-time favorite recipe because of five things:

* Preparing these beauties is easy as ABC.

* They get a bluish color that I LOVE.

* They are super delicious.

* They are incredibly healthy!

* They allow for as many different toppings as you want.

But, just in case you want to upgrade the recipe, try and fold in whole blueberries as well. This way you will double the amount of blueberries added, thus doubling their beneficial effects.

The final result will be a stack of delicious, cloud-like bluish pancakes that are filled with nutrients that are good for you. Not to mention every pancake bite will additionally be improved by the presence of whole berries.

If you are a pancake lover, then I tell you, you will instantly fall in love with the combination of them and blueberries. On top of it all, you will be doing your body the favor of detoxifying it by simultaneously enjoying a scrumptious protein infused meal.



lemon essential oil pancakes

Why and How to Use Essential Oils in Pancake Recipes

Have you ever used essential oils in pancake recipes? I used to think that essential oils were used only for therapeutic, beauty, and medicinal purposes. You know, like the ones you put in your bath tub to relax or smear on your face to soothe the skin. Now I know better. Essential oils are perfect food flavorings, especially for sweet treats like pancakes.

Why You Should Use Essential Oils in Pancakes

First of all, it is much easier to add a drop or two of an intensely flavored oil instead of chopping, slicing and preparing exotic ingredients that are more difficult to find in grocery stores.

Second, these oils are organic compounds extracted from plants and have impressive healing properties. Here is a part of them:

  • Fight cold and flu
  • Relax muscles
  • Heal skin problems and reduce wrinkles
  • Relieve pain
  • Balance hormones
  • Improve digestion
  • Reduce cellulite

How to Use Essential Oils in Pancakes

essential oil pancakes

In order to consume essential oils safely, you should be aware that these oils are different than the plants they were extracted from, i.e. they are much more concentrated and stronger in taste. That’s why a drop or two into the pancake batter will suffice. As a basic simple rule: one drop = one teaspoon of standard herbal or spicy flavoring.

It is also vital that you use certified organic oils (find them in health food stores) to be sure they do not contain any chemicals.

Another important thing to know is that not all essential oils are suitable for cooking. Oils that have a low smoking point cannot be cooked. They usually change the taste or lose all the crucial nutrients when cooked, or they simply evaporate. To avoid evaporation dilute them in the oil you usually use (I recommend olive or coconut oil as healthier options). That way the oil will be dispersed thoroughly into the pancake batter. I chose a few less frequently used flavoring oils for pancakes that are completely safe for cooking.

Essential Oils Pancake Recipes

maple syrup

Peppermint health benefits: energy boost, pain relief, enhanced athletic performance.

The cool and refreshing taste of peppermint pairs beautifully with dark chocolate. Add ¼ cup of unsweetened cocoa and ½ cup of chocolate chips (you can add white chips) and, of course, a drop of peppermint oil.

Bergamot health benefits: anti-stress and anti-anxiety benefits.

Bergamot oil has a slightly citrusy flavor and pairs well with mild ingredients. Add it to pancakes made with soft cheese in the base (cream cheese, cottage cheese or ricotta). Serve with cranberry sauce on top.

Cardamom health benefits: aids digestion and is a powerful antioxidant.

Contribute the warmth of cardamom to these tender pancakes, with a little chew obtained by adding rolled oats and dried apricots to the batter, as well as a slight crunch from chopped almonds, both in the batter and on top.

Thyme health benefits: enhances the immune system, fights bacteria.

The savory taste of thyme will add a surprising twist to your sweet delight. Add it to soft and fluffy lemon-ricotta pancakes and serve with a blueberry jam or blueberry sauce on top.

Besides these more exotic flavorings, you can also opt for the more usual ones, like ginger and cinnamon in the form of an essential oil. Buy them in kits that combine various oils, such as anise, coriander, thieves, and more, to add fresh new tastes to the good old pancakes.