Meatless Monday: Vegan Roasted Tomato Soup

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When I was a young, poor college student, soup often sounded like it’d be a money-saving dinner/meal option. This time of year, when the weather is cold and dreary, the trees have dropped the majority of their leaves, and certainly the bold colors of summer foods have faded, soup can have the potential of sounding appetizing. But even my poor college student self knew the truth: it takes real effort (or hunger) for me to be excited about soup. And even when I’m hungry, it’s probably at the bottom of my list of things I want to eat. I know it seems like the “right” thing to eat at this point in the year, but generally I cannot get into it.

One exception is possibly tomato soup. Probably because when I think of tomato soup, I instantly think of grilled cheese sandwiches. And I most certainly do enjoy a good grilled cheese! There’s something very kid-like about tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches… I still remember the massive pile of grilled cheese sandwiches my mom would make and neatly cut into rectangles, along with the heated canned Campbell’s Tomato Soup that accompanied them.

When I heard that we were going to get our first freeze for the late fall a couple weeks ago, I rushed to pick all the tomatoes I could from our garden. About 3/4 of them were still mostly green, but there were some nicely ripened red ones that I had neglected to pick sooner. I decided to roast those poor red tomatoes, since they are absolutely worth cooking down and enjoying, even if they’ve passed the preferred time to eat them raw.

This soup is tangy, earthy, surprisingly filling. You can add more broth if you prefer a soup that is less chunky. I like to stir in little spoonfuls of basil pesto, but that is entirely up to you! This soup is great on its own as well.

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Vegan Roasted Tomato Soup

Yields about 10 cups of soup.

Ingredients:
6 very large, ripe tomatoes
3 tablespoons good quality olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, peeled and diced
1 large anaheim pepper, stem removed, then sliced
2 medium yellow bell peppers, stems, seeds and ribs removed, then sliced
5 cloves garlic, peeled
3-4 cups No-Chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
1 teaspoon cane sugar
salt and pepper, to taste

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Directions:

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.

Slice the tomatoes into 1/2-inch thick rounds. Arrange on two large rimmed baking sheets. Drizzle with the olive oil, teaspoon of salt, pepper, thyme, and the ground coriander. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until fragrant, slightly crisp around the edges.

Remove from the oven and set them aside to cool. While the tomatoes are cooling, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a saucepan, over medium-high heat. Add the diced onion, anaheim and bell peppers, and garlic. Sauté just until everything begins to soften.

In a blender, combine the roasted tomatoes and the sautéed onion mixture. Blend until smooth and completely combined. Pour the pureed mixture into a large pot (I like my enamel cast iron dutch oven). Stir in the broth and sugar, then bring the heat up to medium. Warm the soup up until hot enough to serve. Add salt and pepper to your liking.

Leftovers freeze well, or can be canned and water-bath sealed for later use.

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Day to Day Life: Weeks 46 + 47

Here is a peek at the last couple weeks:

Ashland in the fall (before windy wet weather came in and rendered most of the trees leafless).

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On an impromptu hike with our buddy Janet on a day Silas didn’t have any school.

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Helping grade papers late one night.

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Sauce-making.

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Little Nugget.

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A thrown-together mess meal of deliciousness. Veggie chick’n stew with parmesan herb biscuits!

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Goodbyeee summer garden!

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Heading north in rainy fall weather, to the State Water Polo Tournament.

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The Ashland High School girls placed third in state. Miss Kenya Mickey about to make a goal.

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The Ashland High School boys also placed third in state. Vincent made an incredible number of blocks all weekend.

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This has been an incredible team all year!

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Bacon veggie cheeseburger night…

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Sometimes you need to get to the outskirts of town to appreciate Ashland…

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And certainly when you get back into town, you shouldn’t be shocked by sites like this guy, walking his three goats on a leash along with his dog.

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Bandera enchilada night with Vincent and his girlfriend. Also, so much tastier than appearance would probably lead you to believe…

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One large bottle, two baby bottles…

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Silas Henry also received a trophy at his football awards banquet after a tough, well earned season.

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This lovely girl asked me to take her senior pictures… Seeing as I had never done anything like that before, I was hesitant… but it was a lot of fun. And nowhere near as stressful as my crazy-brain thought it’d be.

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Pizza night.

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Flowers on our third wedding anniversary.

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Looking so old suddenly.

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Hi, Chicken.

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Homemade roasted tomato soup with optimum-cheese-stretch grilled cheese sammiches.

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I hope you’ve had an excellent couple of weeks!

Saturday Sites: Week Forty-Seven

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  1. This is/would be an EXCELLENT way to pass the time while stuck in traffic!

  2. Some key points in making the best grilled cheese sandwich! (And that mayonnaise trick is totally worth it.)

  3. I absolutely love gingerbread! These gluten-free chewy ginger molasses cookies sound right up my alley!

  4. Oh heyyyy. I’d like to eat ALL of these banana-type-things.

  5. I am certain… this is my new favorite song. And music video. WHAT.

  6. An excellent rundown of modern Thanksgiving etiquette!

  7. These may be the best life/food hacks I have come across so far.

  8. I’ve got my eyes on this pineapple pie

  9. My very OCD-like brain really appreciates this Thanksgiving prep timeline for the upcoming week!

  10. This short little article gives me some hope about my dancing abilities!

  11. Fish burger is my favorite type of burger… this one doesn’t look like it’d disappoint!

  12. This is one of my favorite HuffPost series to read.

  13. If I had, or made, a Thanksgiving meal that consisted purely of side dishes, I WOULD BE IN HEAVEN.

  14. This tofu ricotta intrigues me… and the butternut squash lasagna also sounds like a fun recipe to try.

  15. I’m pretty sure that this bread would go over very, very well around here!

  16. Here is a good reminder for the rest of the week

Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread

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I’m not usually one for sweet cravings. I’ll take a salty bag of potato chips over chocolate nearly any time the opportunity arises. However, one day a couple weeks ago, I woke up with a HUGE desire for cinnamon rolls. As in I almost rolled myself out of bed and immediately went into the kitchen in a near-panic on the hunt for yeast, flour, cinnamon, and sugar. Almost.

The more likely version of what followed after I awoke with this devouring, insatiable desire for cinnamon rolls, is my non-morning-type self lazily flopped my head over, pulled my hair up into a waaay-messy bun, trudged downstairs towards the kitchen, grunted lovingly at the two dogs waiting at the bottom of the staircase to bombard me with licks anywhere they could, said good morning to my husband, then poured an enormous cup of coffee. Cinnamon rolls became an afterthought.

Later in the day, however, I remembered Joy Wilson’s cinnamon sugar pull-apart bread recipe I had seen many times before, but hadn’t yet tried. The best part about a cinnamon roll is definitely the center. Its soft, ooey-gooey-ness, delicious caramel-y cinnamon-laced sugar. This bread, which you can pull apart in sheets, has the equivalent of the magical cinnamon roll center, but in larger quantities. The real trick though, is not eating the whole loaf of bread by yourself in one sitting. Good luck.

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Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread

Makes one 9x5x3-inch loaf pan.

Recipe slightly modified from Joy the Baker.

Ingredients:

For the Dough
3 tablespoons warm water (105-115 degrees F)
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 package)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 ounces unsalted butter
1/3 cup whole milk
1/4 cup water
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Filling
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
2 ounces unsalted butter, melted until browned

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Directions:

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the warm water, yeast, and sugar. Set aside until the mixture is bubbly and looks frothy. Stir in 2 cups of flour and the salt. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and then set them aside.

In a small saucepan, melt together the milk and butter, until the butter has just melted. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla extract. Let mixture stand for a minute or two, or until the temperature reduces to about 115 to 125 degrees F.

Pour the milk mixture into the flour/yeast mixture, stirring with a spatula or wooden spoon. Add the eggs and stir the mixture until the eggs are incorporated into the batter. The eggs will seem soupy and it’ll seem like the dough and the eggs aren’t going to come together… just keep stirring. Add 3/4 of the remaining cup of flour and stir with the spatula for about 2 minutes. The mixture will be sticky.

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Place the dough in a large, greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel. Place in a warm space and allow to rest until doubled in size, about 1 hour. While the dough rises, whisk together the sugar and cinnamon for the filling. Set aside. Melt 2 ounces of butter in a saucepan until browned. Set aside. Grease a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan then line with parchment paper, so any extra length hangs over the edges. Lightly spray or brush with oil, then set that aside too.

Deflate the risen dough and knead the remaining 1/4 cup of flour into the dough. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rest for 5 minutes. On a lightly floured work surface, use a rolling pin to roll the dough out. The dough should be about 12-inches wide and about 20-inches long. Use a pastry brush to spread melted butter across all of the dough. Sprinkle with all of the sugar and cinnamon mixture.

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Slice the dough vertically, into six equal-sized strips. Stack the strips on top of one another and slice the stack into six equal slices once again. You’ll have six stacks of six squares. Layer the dough squares in the loaf pan like a flip-book. Place a kitchen towel over the loaf pan and allow in a warm place for 30 to 45 minutes or until almost doubled in size.

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place loaf in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is very golden brown. The top may be lightly browned, but the center may still be raw. A nice, dark, golden brown will ensure that the center is cooked as well.

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Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 20 to 30 minutes. Run a butter knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the bread and invert onto a clean board. Place a cake stand or cake plate on top of the upside down loaf, and carefully invert so it’s right side up.

The bread is best served the day it’s made, but it can also we wrapped and kept at room temperature for up to 2 days.

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Saturday Sites: Week Forty-Six

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  1. Twenty-five stores and what they should be called. Numbers 14, 15, 16 — YES.

  2. Well, at the ripe old age of 29.4167, pretty much everything on this list is relative.

  3. Also on that note

  4. I enjoyed this read on how to maintain a food blog long-term.

  5. Italian chefs rate store bought dried pastas. Trader Joe’s for the win?!

  6. I’d love to ride on this bike path.

  7. THIS PASTA, YES, PLEASE, THAAANK YOU.

  8. Some classic characteristics of folks with an INFJ personality. That’s what I am.

  9. I am intrigued by these oats!

  10. Anyone have any thoughts on these baby names that are apparently on the rise?

  11. This teacher and his sense of humor are so damn good.

  12. There is a good possibility that these will show up in our house for Thanksgiving this year.

  13. I may or may not (and totally do) have a knack for doing this.

  14. For the last month, I’ve been craving cinnamon rolls every morning, first thing when I get up. It’s silly. THIS RECIPE IS MAKING ME SO HUNGRY.

  15. I’m certain that I’ve been awkward my entire life.

  16. These treats need an urgent place in my life.