Tomato Soup

Ingredients:
3 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 (28-ounce) canned plum tomatoes, with their juice
4 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 quart chicken stock or water

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss together the tomatoes, 1/4 cup olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the tomatoes in 1 layer on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes.

In an 8-quart stockpot over medium heat, sautee the onions and garlic with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the butter, and red pepper flakes for 10 minutes, until the onions start to brown. Add the canned tomatoes, basil, thyme, and chicken stock. Add the oven-roasted tomatoes, including the liquid on the baking sheet. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Use an immersion blender to puree. Taste for seasonings. Serve hot or cold.

from the Barefoot Contessa

Spicy Greens and White Bean Stew

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 anchovies, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 slices bacon, finely diced
1 sweet onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound of uncooked white beans, soaked for at least 4 hours or overnight
6 cups water
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 parmesan cheese rind
1 bunch of kale, stems removed and chopped (about 3 cups)
1 bunch of flat-leaf spinach (about 2 cups)
2 cups of arugula greens, chopped
shave parmesan for topping
a crusty baguette for serving

Directions:
Heat a large stock pot over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the anchovies and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper flakes, stirring well, and saute until the anchovies melt into the oil. Add in the bacon, onion, salt, pepper and paprika and toss to coat. Cook until the bacon crisps and the onion softens, about 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute. Add in the soaked beans, water, stock and parmesan rind. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are falling apart, most of the water is absorbed and the mixture is thick and creamy. I simmered mine covered for about 1.5 hours, then took the lid off for the remaining time. If at any time the stew seems to be drying out, add more water or stock.

Use a potato mashed and smash some of the beans to give the mixture a thicker consistency. If it seems too thick, you can add a bit of water or stock – however much you’d like to get to the consistency you desire. Stir in the kale, spinach and arugula. Toss in the remaining pepper flakes. Cook over low heat, stirring until the greens are wilted, about 5 minutes. Taste and season as desired, adding more pepper flakes, salt and pepper if you’d like.

Serve immediately with shaved parmesan some crusty bread!

Peach Caprese Salad

Ingredients:
Dressing:
Juice and zest of 1 lime
1 tablespoon champagne or white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon honey
½ teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Salad:
2 (4-ounce) balls fresh, water-packed mozzarella
4 ripe peaches, unpeeled, each cut into 8 wedges
½ cup fresh basil leaves

Directions:
To prepare dressing, combine lime juice, zest, vinegar, water, honey, and salt. Slowly whisk in olive oil and set aside.
Cut cheese into 1-inch pieces and gently toss with peaches and basil leaves.

Whisk mint into dressing and toss about 2 tablespoons (or more to taste) with salad. Season with freshly cracked pepper and serve.

7 Layer Greek Dip

Ingredients:
1 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened (I used low-fat) NOTE: use plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp. dill weed or Greek seasoning (salt free–go for a mix that just has herbs)
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 1/2 c. hummus
1 c. seeded, diced cucumbers
1 c. seeded, diced cherry tomatoes
1/2 c. chopped Kalamata olives
1/3 c. chopped green onions (about 3 green onions completely chopped)
1/2 c. crumbled Feta cheese
1/8-1/4 c. minced fresh parsley

With an electric mixer, combine the cream cheese, seasoning, garlic, and lemon juice until light and fluffy. Spread in the bottom of a pie plate or a small, shallow baking dish. Then spread a layer of hummus. In order, create layers by sprinkling the cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, onions, Feta cheese, and parsley.

Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours. Serve with pita chips, fresh vegetables, and/or flatbread