Dinner, soups

Quick and Spicy Tomato soup

Lunch time at the office

We were away this past weekend visiting our friends in North Carolina and our flight home arrived just before 5 on Monday.  After eating great food all weekend and traveling we wanted something that was easy to make and also light. This recipe from our favorite Italian chef Giada fit the bill. Within a half hour we had a hot and hearty soup on the table.

As we move into the fall season we start to crave hearty comfort foods. For the reason we try to keep our pantry stocked with basic essentials.  The less trips to the store the better.  This recipe had all of the essentials and made enough to bring into work for lunch.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 – 26 oz jar marinara sauce
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans chicken broth
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup pastina pasta (or any small pasta)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Warm the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, onion, and garlic and saute until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the jar of marinara sauce, chicken broth, cannellini beans, red pepper flakes, pasta, salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes. Ladle into bowls and serve.

soups

Dinner Club Assignment

A couple of weeks ago our dinner club got together after a long hiatus at Giada and her hubby across the street. The menu was reminiscent of their first dinner club dinner with a taste of Italy.  Our recipe was for soup that was a combination of each of their mothers recipe.  I feel honored to have been able to make this family recipe.
Our dinner club has been going on for a number of years with just one couple switch out.  We have tried a variety of recipes, cuisines and culinary explorations.  If I look back over the recipes it is hard to find just one favorite.  I guess I have to go with what our foodie friends said when I asked them to pick their favorite dinner – the first dinner each couple made.  For us it was  family favorite-marinated prime rib, for foodie friends it was their Thai dinner, Farm Boy and our southern artist friends would be the Creole Chicken and grits, and for Giada and her hubby a Spinach Lasagna with Sicilian Veal Rolls.  
This dinner featured a goat cheese and oil appetizer, homemade Ravioli from Melina’s fresh pasta, short ribs and polenta and Ricotta pie to go along with our authentic Escarole soup.  
Escarole soup with mini meatballs
(Serves 8 to 10)
For mini meatballs:
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
3/4 cups grated pecorino cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tblsp dried parsley or Italian seasoning
2 to 3 cloves minced garlic
1 medium yellow onion, minced
1 small bunch parsley, minced
1 egg beaten
Salt and pepper to taste
For soup:
2 heads of escarole, core removed and torn into small pieces
8 to 10 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup olive oil
Small onion minced
2 cloves minced garlic
Make mini meatballs: mix all the listed ingredients in a bowl and form into s,
Mall size meatballs.  Chill for about 1 hour.
Heat olive oil in Dutch oven pot over medium heat, add garlic and onions, cook until lightly brown, taking care not to burn garlic.  Add escarole and cook until wilted, about 10 minutes.  Add chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium/low and add meatballs.  Allow meatballs to simmer until cooked, about 20 to 25 minutes, depending upon size.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
And now scenes from our dinner……
Appetizer
Dessert
Main Course
Dressed dessert
Mrs Foodie!
My Wonderful Husband!