Roasted Tomato Soup

There is nothing that brings out the deliciousness of vegetables quite like roasting them.  I’ve yet to find a roasted vegetable that I didn’t like.  When I start roasting vegetables, I just open up my fridge and pantry to look for things to roast, just so I can get everything done for the week in one shot (although it usually lasts more like 2 days).  Matt has been under the weather this week, so when he asked for tomato soup, I thought, well, I can make that!

I had some cherry tomatoes, an onion, baby carrots and the sweet mini peppers (all from Costco, these vegetables seem to last, unlike others that I have bought in bulk from there…).  I drizzled some olive oil on them, and roasted them until they were a little charred and the tomatoes burst.  Place them in the Vitamix (blender, or use immersion blender) with a couple cups of  chicken stock, add seasonings and yogurt, cream, or parmesan cheese if you like!

Roasted Tomato Soup Recipe

(adapted from Steamy Kitchen


1 lb cherry tomatoes
1 onion, cut into 1/2″ slices
4 sweet mini bell peppers, seeded, cut in half
1 cup baby carrots
olive oil
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (plus additional cheese for garnishing)
few tablespoons of heavy cream or creme fraiche (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 375F. Arrange all vegetables on baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil all over. Roast for 20 minutes. (mine always takes way longer- just keep checking every five minutes or so, till the tomatoes burst and the veggies are a little charred. If you are impatient like me, and can check them frequently, turn the heat up towards the end and put oven on broil)

For immersion blender:
Roughly chop all vegetables. Add all vegetables, smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt, pepper, vegetable broth and grated cheese to pot large enough so that when you use your immersion blender, it doesn’t splatter all over the place. Blend in pot until you get a nice puree. Bring to simmer, taste and adjust seasoning.

For  Blendtec:
Add all ingredients to blender and set on your “Soup” setting. Taste and adjust seasoning.

For vitamix or standard blender:
Add all ingredients to blender, blend until smooth puree. Taste and adjust seasoning. Pour into pot and heat to serve.

Garnish with additional parmesan cheese, a turn of the pepper mill and serve with crusty bread, or rosemary focaccia.

Roasted Tomato Soup with Roasted Rosemary Potatoes and Rosemary Focaccia

Rosemary Focaccia… Casanova Dreamin’

In last week’s delivery from Kula Fields, I got a papaya, bananas, lettuce, tomatoes, zucchini and some rosemary.  My all time favorite food involving rosemary is the focaccia bread that is served at Casanova while you are waiting for your entree to arrive.  It’s hot, toasty on the outside and chewy on the inside, and served with a dipping bowl of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  The pizza there is heavenly, but i would almost go up there just to eat the focaccia.  Recently, i’ve been working on making it at home, with the help of my bread maker.   It saves me a drive up to Makawao!


Rosemary Focaccia Recipe- Bread Machine

for the dough

  • scant 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cups while flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon yeast


  • 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped onion


  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt


  1. make the dough according to your bread machine’s instructions, on dough setting
  2. remove dough when cycle complete, place on floured surface, gently mix in the mix-ins
  3. set in lightly oiled 10-11 inch round cake or pizza pan (mine is 8 or 9 inches, and it comes out fine in 20 min)
  4. shape into a ball, then flatten to size of pan. put in pan and cover with oiled plastic wrap and let rise again for 20 min.
  5. make deep dimples in the dough with your fingers,  cover again and rise for 10-15 min
  6. preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  7. drizzle olive oil and add toppings.
  8. bake for 20-25 min

Rosemary Focaccia with Veggie Latkas


The focaccia is pictured with the Veggie Latka, but I’m not sharing the recipe here.  Why not?  Because it was a pain in the butt to make, and it really wasn’t that tasty.  I’m not sure why I thought that mixing shredded potatoes, zucchini and carrots with bread crumbs and frying would make them tasty, but they really weren’t.  I’m sure you could doctor them up with some spices, but if I’m going to do that, I might as well make the zucchini crab cakes (they don’t have crab, but if you use Old Bay it tastes like it does!).  The recipe is from Parenting magazine, and I tried to find it online so I could at least put the link, but of course I can’t find it . (why would they put a recipe online if they put it in the magazine?) Regardless, just use the standard latka recipe and replace 1/4 of the potato with 1 shredded zucchini and 1 shredded carrot.  The real point is, though, that I’m surprised a parenting magazine would have a recipe that is so difficult and time lengthy to prepare (at least with a teething baby screaming and pulling at your leg the whole time).

Chocolate Salty Balls

I’m normally an avid baker, but with two kids I’m a bit short on time these days. So, I’ve been playing around with some balls. I’ve seen some attractive looking balls recently on Pinterest, and wanted to share today’s winning recipe. Last week, I made the energy balls from Gimme Some Oven, but they didn’t have the ‘no bake cookie’ taste as promised, and something in them made the roof of my mouth feel gritty.   Admittedly, I may have over done it on the toasted coconut, they also had a lot of flax seed.

Today, I tried the Date and Peanut Ball recipe from 7spice, which was remarkably easy, not messy to make, quick, and really, really tasty.  They have a nice chocolate/peanut butter flavor and almost creamy consistency, with the added crunchiness of the nuts.  They are almost like a cross between a baked good and a candy.

Peanut and Date Energy Balls

makes about 12-13  1.5″ balls

  • 1 C dry roasted peanuts
  • 10-12 medjool dates, pitted,  roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (i used special dark)
  • 1 tbsp creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt (omit if using salted peanuts)

Directions (if using Vitamix)*

  1. Place peanuts in vitamix and blend on low-med speed until crumbly with some larger pieces.
  2. Empty into a bowl. Blend dates until very sticky and become a gooey mass.
  3. Add dates to peanuts, then add the rest of the ingredients, and mix together with your hands until blended and forms one big ball.*
  4. Using a melon baller or ice cream scoop, or spoon, make some balls!
  5. Keep in air-tight container and refrigerate

*If using a regular food processor, you can probably do step 3 in the processor and blend, instead of your hands.  I had no luck with this step in the vitamix… there are limitations to that machine!

Ingredients for Peanut Date Balls

Everything purchased for balls at Costco, except the cocoa powderDoes this make you think of Chef from South Park?