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.

tomatosoup

Tips and Trick for Canned Tomato Soup Recipes

Tomatoes

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.

Sauces

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.

Bread

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.

Roux

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.

Cheese

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!

Pasta

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.

Vanilla

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

soup

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

soup2

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.

salmon2

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.

 

 

pancakes

Is It a Pie? Is It a Pizza? It’s Super Pancake!

If you are tired of your regular pancakes, then a super pancake is just what you need. And I am not talking about any pancake recipe, but a Nepalese specialty that not only you, but your kids will love as well (it’s called super pancake, after all!).

The Chataamari Pancake

pancakes

Nepal is famous for its cuisine, and these rice pancakes are no exception. The chataamari, also known as the Newari Pizza, can be eaten as it is, or served with meat and/or eggs on top. It is called a pizza for a reason, though, and it lies in the way this pancake is eaten and served – just like the American pizza. This rice crepe is a specialty of the Newars in Nepal, and it was traditionally served on special occasions and festivals. However, nowadays the cataamari grew in popularity and is not confined to Nepal only. It is now served as an appetizer, a snack or even as a main dish. But enough talking… let us see how can you prepare this rice pancake recipe in the convenience of your home.

Savory Rice Pancake Recipe

pancakes

Before going to the pancake recipe itself, you should know that these pancakes are not topped after they’ve been cooked. Rather, the topping is added in the process of cooking. And now, before you give up, maybe you can find a recipe that is more down your alley among these easy to prepare pancake recipes. But, I would advise you not to surrender, these are pretty easy to master. I promise J.

Ingredients for the pancake:

  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1/6 teaspoon salt

Ingredients for the topping:

  • 300 pounds of ground turkey
  • ¼ cup green peas
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon diced hot green pepper
  • 1 tablespoon diced tomato
  • 1 teaspoon garlic
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • Salt (to taste)

Instructions:

Follow these instructions carefully, because, as I have already mentioned, these pancakes are not prepared like the pancake recipes we are familiar with. For one, there is no flipping and two, the topping is added while the pancake is being cooked.

Get a deep dish and add the rice flour and the salt and mix with just enough water to get a thing texture, but bear in mind it shouldn’t be watery. In a separate dish add the topping ingredients and mix well. Preheat a flat pan over medium high heat and add the oil. Pour the batter into the hot pan and spread it to be as thin as possible. Add the meat mixture (or the egg) and cook for 7-8 minutes with the lid on. Do not flip. If you decide to enhance the flavor by adding cheese, then the right way to go about it, is to add the cheese seconds before you are to get the pan off the heat.

Note: You can replace the turkey with pork or use 150 pounds of each. You can also add eggs if you want, or skip the meat and go for eggs only. For a sweet variant, prepare the pancake with ricotta cheese and powdered sugar. Yum!

 

 

 

Pancakes

Pizza Pancakes! Awesomeness in Every Bite!

If you like pizza (who doesn’t) then the pizza pancakes are the right choice for you. This is the ultimate breakfast dish. With a pre-ready pancake mix and a few more ingredients, be ready to enjoy a mouthful of flavor in no time!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Original Bisquick mix
  • ½ cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 ¼ cups milk
  •  2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup pizza sauce
  • ½ cup sliced mini pepperoni
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

Instructions:

In a large bowl combine the Bisquick mix and the cornmeal. In a separate bowl beat the eggs and whisk the milk in. Stir the milk mixture into the Bisquick mixture until combined. Proceed to adding 2 tablespoons of chives. Heat a large nonstick skillet or griddle over medium heat and brush with some oil. Pour 3 tablespoons of the batter into a skillet to make the mini pancakes. Cook for around 2 minutes, or until the edges appear to be dry, flip the pancakes and cook for another minute or two. Set the oven to broil and place the cooked pancakes on parchment-lined cookie sheet. Pour some pizza sauce onto each pancake and sprinkle each one with cheese, pepperoni and a tablespoon of chives. Broil the pancakes for around 3 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Serve immediately.