Quick And Easy Homemade Croutons

Quick And Easy Homemade Croutons. The end of summer is nearing and what better way to finish it out than with a flavorful salad straight from the garden. My Panzanella salad with a dijon vinaigrette is fantastic. It’s tangy and sweet with lots of crunchy vegetables and of course Croutons! Panzanella is a traditional Italian “bread salad.” For the full recipe on how to make it click the link. Now, these crispy croutons are so easy to make and so much better than the bagged stuff. You can use them in your next soup or salad recipe and create something magical. Just chop, cube and brown in the oven, and about fifteen minutes later you’ll have golden chewy and crispy croutons! Try it with cornbread for a yummy alternative. What’s your favorite way to eat croutons? Comment below.

 

Enjoy!

Xo- Ayesha

Quick And Easy Homemade Croutons

Quick And Easy Homemade Croutons

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
One long baguette, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 6 cups)
One teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, optional

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl add bread cubes, salt, and garlic powder. Drizzle with olive oil over the bread and combine well until coated and the bread absorbs olive oil.

Spread cubes of bread onto a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until golden all around. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Easy And Creamy Tomato Soup

Easy And Creamy Tomato Soup. Now nothing says soup better than creamy tomato soup. And in my case tomato soup and grilled cheese. A childhood staple. A very no-fuss soup recipe that will be your go to over the store bought stuff. And while I love fresh tomatoes using canned is just as good. My pantry is stocked with a variety of canned tomatoes. It’s my go-to staple when I’m making a quick pasta sauce or soup. Onion, garlic, basil, and a little heavy cream create this rich and flavor-packed soup. Comfort food in a bowl. I hope your family enjoys it as much as mine did. Share your comments below.

Xo- Ayesha

 

 

Easy And Creamy Tomato Soup

Two tablespoons unsalted butter
One tablespoon olive oil
One medium sized onion, roughly chopped.
One 28oz can whole peeled tomatoes
Two cloves garlic smashed.
Four basil leaves, roughly chopped. (Plus more for garnish)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
Kosher salt and pepper to taste.

Heat a large dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat and melt butter. Add roughly chopped onion, garlic, salt and saute until translucent. Add in tomato, stock, cream, basil, and sugar. And bring the soup to a boil before reducing the heat and allowing it to simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Use an immersion blender (Great tool to have when making soups and very inexpensive) or regular blender to puree soup until smooth. Return to the pot and season with more salt and pepper to taste. Top with freshly chopped basil and enjoy. I would suggest pairing it with a grilled cheese sandwich!

*Tip* Use a towel over your blender when blending the hot soup. You can also wait for the soup to cool off and reheat it after mixing if you’re worried about working with hot soup.

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

Curried Butternut Squash Soup. Who doesn’t love a warm and comforting bowl of soup on a chilly day? (Or any day in my case) This soup is incredibly easy to throw together. You can easily omit the curry if your not a fan of that flavor. The rich and sweet flavor of the butternut squash is infused with cream, garlic, onion, brown sugar and curry! Just the right balance. A warm filling and flavorful soup that’s perfect for fall and winter. What is your favorite way to cook butternut squash? Leave a comment below.

Enjoy

Xo- Ayesha

 

 

 

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

One tablespoon olive oil
One small white onion, sliced
Two garlic cloves, minced
One butternut squash, 6 cups cubed. (Feel free to use the pre-cubed packaged fresh squash)
2 cups vegetable stock
1 1/2 cups heavy cream (Can substitute half and half or coconut milk)
1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
Pinch cinnamon
2 Tablespoons creme fraiche, plus more for serving. (greek yogurt can be substituted)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup pepitas (Optional)

*Tip* You can also freeze this for up to a month!

 

Heat oil in a dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat.

Once the pan is hot add onion and garlic, cook until the onion is softened about 2-3 minutes.

Add in your butternut squash. Stir well and add in seasonings along with a pinch of salt and pepper. You can season some more at the end.

Add in your cream, stock, and sugar. Stir well.

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Or until your squash is fork tender.

Carefully transfer your soup to a blender. You can also use an immersion blender straight in the pot.

Add in two tablespoons of creme fraiche. Puree until smooth.

Return to pot and adjust your seasonings. Continue to cook over low heat for another 3-4 minutes.

Remove from heat and serve with your desired garnishes!

 

Jalapeno Cornbread Croutons

Happy Monday everyone! Today I wanted to share a basic cornbread recipe that transforms into a delicious topping for your next favorite soup, salad and more. Jalapeno cornbread croutons! I just throw a little jalapeño into the cornbread mixture a little heat. But you can omit that step if you are not a fan of it. You can even make your cornbread a couple of days ahead of time. Its then cubed and baked off until crisp croutons are created. Crispy and buttery with a touch of heat. An irresistible combination. The croutons while crisp on the outside are nice and chewy inside. I’ve used these to top Caesar salads, chowders and of course my game day chili! what do you like to eat with cornbread? Share below.

Enjoy,

Xo-Ayesha

Jalapeno Cornbread Croutons

2 cups jalapeno cornbread, cubed.
2 Tablespoons butter, melted.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Add croutons to a large bowl.

Drizzle with butter and toss.

On a large rimmed baking sheet evenly distribute croutons.

Bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.

Serve warm over soup, salad, or chili.

Basic Cornbread

1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
One tablespoon baking powder
One teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/3 cup canola oil
One large egg, lightly beaten.
One tablespoon jalapeno, finely diced. (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl combine all of your dry ingredients and mix well.

In a small bowl add milk, oil, egg and mix well.

Add wet mixture to dry and combine well. You can now add your jalapeño if you choose to.

Pour into a buttered pan or cast iron skillet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until pick comes out clean.

 

 

Chicken Soup

Hello Everyone!

Happy hump day!!! As I told you all a couple of days ago, I was battling a nasty cold/flu after returning from our long trip to China. I wasn’t in the mood for anything heavy or fancy and wanted something to warm my soul (no pun intended 😉 ). Just a nice meal that I could make quickly and digest easy. BINGO, chicken soup. I didn’t want anything out of the can, so I went online and researched a couple of homemade options. I came across Pioneer Woman’s version and fell in love. It was quick, simple and looked delicious.

I found enough energy to get myself to the grocery store and run a couple of errands at my local target, then hauled it back home to make my soup! Even put the bay leaf right in the middle of the chicken like the Pioneer Woman told me too (see photo). It was yummy. I kid you not I woke up yesterday morning feeling 1,000 times better, like a new woman! A little more Ariel and a little less Ursula (I get mean when I’m super sick, sorry husband!) I did a little research and found that chicken soup could quite possibly help relieve a cold! Here’s why…

*The broth acts as an anti-inflammatory by stoping the movement of neutrophils- immune system cells that participate in the body’s inflammatory response

*The broth speeds up the movement of mucus, possibly helping relieve congestion and limiting the amount of time viruses are in contact with the nose lining.

HA! How cool is that?!

Any who…. Here is a link to the Pioneer Woman’s recipe as well as my own photos from my cooking process. Note that I added freshly chopped parsley, leaks and scallion to mine.  I also added in some fresh pasta right when the soup was done!  It added some nice texture.

Let me know what you think. Enjoy!

P.s- Be sure to subscribe to my blog by email on the right! It’ll send you an email notification every time I post something new.

www.thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2011/12/chunky-chicken-soup/

 

Cabbage Soup W/Meatballs (Don’t knock it until you try it )

This is my version of Paula Deen’s Cabbage Soup. After making the original recipe, I found that it need some changes (in my opinion). This recipe takes a little bit of preparation, but it is well worth it. Give it a try and tell me what you think. I literally just finished licking the bottom of my soup bowl (no, seriously). Enjoy!

DSC01053

Meatballs: 
2lbs ground turkey

1 cup of uncooked rice

1 tablespoon of salt

1  teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon of cumin

1/4 onion minced

2 tablespoons of worcestershire sauce

Soup: 

3 cloves garlic minced

3 tablespoons of olive oil

1/2 a yellow onion diced

1 6oz can of tomato paste

1/2 cup of brown sugar

1/2 cup of ketchup

28 oz can of whole tomatoes with juice

1 medium cabbage sliced

1 cup of beef broth(stock)

1/2 cup of water

Salt and Pepper to taste

1/2 cup of monterey jack (cheddar will work as well)

1/2 cup of raisins

Directions

Combine all of the meatball ingredients into a bowl and mix together (USE YOUR HANDS PEOPLE!). Form into walnut sized balls and set aside! Time to make the soup!… In a large stock pot heat your oil over medium high heat, add your garlic and onions and sweat the onions until they are translucent (about a min or two). Then add your tomato paste, whole tomatoes w/ the juice, ketchup, brown sugar, salt and pepper and bring to a fast simmer. This should take about 8 to mins.  Transfer your soup mix into the blender and blend on low for about 30 seconds (or until the whole tomatoes are crushed). Transfer back into the pot and add in your cabbage simmering on medium low heat for another 10 mins (Until cabbage has reduced in size). Now add in the beef stock and water to thin the soup (you can play around with the consistency ). Add in the meatballs and continue to simmer for 20 to 25 mins. This gives the rice enough time to cook as well as the meat. Add in the raisins and cheese when the soup is done cooking but still hot! I garnished mine with avocado, but a nice crusty french or sourdough bread would go great too!

I hope you enjoy this soup as much as I did today!