Heirloom Tomato Soup

This soup from Patricia Wells is by far my favorite tomato soup. It comes together in less than 10 minutes, be sure to chill it well before serving.

1½ lb ripe heirloom tomatoes, cored and quartered (do not peel)
½ c tomato paste
2 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp ground piment d’Espelette or other ground mild chile pepper
2 TBSP sherry-wine vinegar

Combine all the ingredients in a a blender or a food processor. Add 1-2/3 cups water and puree to a smooth liquid. Taste for seasoning.

Serves 4 – 6.

Polenta with Mushrooms


This is from Ottolenghi’s Plenty and like every other recipe in his book it is perfect, and I don’t mess with perfection.

4 tbsp olive oil
4 c mixed mushrooms, cleaned
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp tarragon, chopped
1 tbsp thyme, chopped
1 tbsp truffle oil
Salt and pepper
2 1/2 cvegetable stock
1/2 c polenta
1/2 c Parmesan, grated
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp rosemary, chopped
1 tbsp chervil, chopped
4 oz taleggio, cut into thin slices

In a frying pan, heat half the oil. When it is very hot, fry half the mushrooms – try not to move them much so you get golden-brown patches on their surface. Remove from the pan, reheat the remaining oil and repeat with the rest of the mushrooms. Off the heat, return all the mushrooms to the pan, add the garlic, tarragon, thyme and truffle oil, season, and keep warm.

Preheat broiler to its highest setting. Bring the stock to a boil, slowly stir in the polenta, reduce the heat to minimum and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. The polenta is ready when it leaves the sides of the pan but is still runny (instant polenta won’t take more than five minutes; the real stuff will take up to 50).

When the polenta is ready, stir in the Parmesan, butter, rosemary and half the chervil, and season. Pile on to an ovenproof serving dish and top with taleggio. Place under a grill until the cheese bubbles, remove, top with the mushrooms and their juices, and serve garnished with chopped chervil.

Serves 4.

Broccoli Beef Stir Fry


This recipe is from Skinny Taste and it’s much healthier that take out!

2 tsp cornstarch
3 tbsp + 2 tsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tsp rice wine
4 tsp sesame oil
1 lb. sirloin steak, trimmed of fat, thinly sliced against the grain
¼ tsp kosher salt
4 c broccoli florets
4 medium scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces; white & greens separated
1 tbsp minced garlic
½ tsp minced fresh ginger
2 tbsp packed dark brown sugar
1 tbsp oyster sauce
Toasted sesame seeeds

In a shallow glass container, whisk together the cornstarch 2 tsp soy sauce, rice wine and 1 tsp sesame oil.

Sprinkle the salt over the steak. Add the steak to the marinade, turn to coat, and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the broccoli and cook until bright green and tender-crisp, 45 seconds to 1 minute. Drain and immediately rinse with cold water to stop the broccoli from cooking further.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add 1 tsp sesame oil and half of the steak. Cook 30 seconds on each side, without stirring as it’s cooking. Transfer to a plate and repeat with another 1 tsp sesame oil and the rest of the steak.

Heat the remaining 1 tsp sesame oil add scallions, garlic and ginger. Cook for 30 seconds.

Add the broccoli, brown sugar, remaining 3 TBSP soy sauce and oyster sauce. Cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds.

Add the beef and cook for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and stir in the scallion greens.

Serve over brown rice and spinkle with sesame seeds.