Who doesn’t love tomato soup?  We discovered a fresh new take on this favorite at More Fruit Please.  She has created an enticing recipe for Tomato, Basil and Cheddar Soup that (thanks to a special ingredient) is both creamy and healthy!

Okay, you’ve got our attention!

 

Please click here to visit More Fruit Please and see the instructions that we followed!

 

Reviewer #1 – Sheri

Mission: Fall always makes me want to cook. Usually it’s the comfort foods that I really crave. When I saw this recipe it was a MUST. I wanted to try it. I have never made a puree type soup. I pretty much stick to making chicken soup in various ways or making my turkey chili.

 

Details:

I followed the easy to read recipe from More Fruit Please.

It was truly very simple. Saute some onions and garlic, add two cans of diced tomatoes and some vegetable broth, add the basil and other seasonings, and let it all simmer. Add in the Greek yogurt and some shredded cheddar and puree with an Immersion Blender.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

The big tip I have to offer you…do not ribbon the basil. Chop it very finely or it gets all caught up in the Immersion Blender.

Pros:

It was an easy recipe and the flavors together were fantastic.

Cons:

I personally wasn’t too in love with the texture. I can’t figure it out.

Conclusion:

This soup was really easy and inexpensive to make. It was definitely a more flavorful tomato soup. There was just something about the texture. I don’t know if it was the yogurt or the shredded cheddar. It just wasn’t as creamy as I imagined it was going to be. It still went well with my grilled cheese.

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Kristy

Mission: Cold weather brings out my love of soups so I felt this was a perfect recipe to try for the chilly winter months coming ahead! Added bonus, tomato soup is Mike’s favorite!

Details:

I broke out my handy dandy Oster Blender for this recipe!  Ok, I have to admit…I personally haven’t used it for its food processing capabilities, not even for this project. I had my friend, Heather, over for dinner and she used her amazing chef skills to puree!

The soup curdled with the Greek yogurt!  Sounds gross, right? I went into a panic, the soup wasn’t looking pretty!  Have no fear since once you blend the soup, there will be no more signs that things went array!

Oops, 2 cups of cheese were added! With two cooks in the kitchen something will go wrong, right!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I have goggled for you why the soup curdled and how to prevent it!  From reading, I think it was from adding the yogurt too quickly or maybe because it was too cold, so two options poor the yogurt in slowly or let it sit to room temperature before adding.

Suggestion, a hand held Immersion Blender may be best to prevent a mess as Heather had to blend the soup in batches.

Pros:

Very quick and easy! Yummy!

Cons:

Curdle…ugh, I can’t even handle the word!

Conclusion:

I loved this soup!  Mike is my tomato soup connoisseur! He was a fan but commented it was bit too cheesy!  Next time, just one cup of cheese!  Heather’s comment was that it needed a little tomato paste to give it a bit more tomato flavor…I think less cheese may do the trick!

When you are chilled this winter, this is the perfect soup to warm you up!  I paired the soup with grilled chicken and salad…I thought it all looked too yummy to not share!

I would also recommend pairing the soup with a cheesy sourdough grilled cheese for a perfect winter meal!

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Sarah

Mission:  I absolutely love soup – and tomato soup at that! This recipe sounded easy and didn’t sound like it had an excessive amount of ingredients, which to me is always a good sign. I also had some yummy canned tomatoes from my mom’s Iowa garden that I had been looking to add to a recipe.

Details:

This recipe sounded really straight forward from the get-go and I had many of the ingredients already on-hand, which is a huge plus in my book.

I was able to use up some of my FAGE plain Greek yogurt and had pre-shredded cheddar cheese ready to go in addition to many of the other ingredients.

I sautéed the onions and garlic and continued to follow the recipe as directed. Each step was very straight-forward and easy. The process was simple and quick and came together with ease.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I used as many ingredients as I had on-hand – one less trip to the grocery store is always awesome in my eyes. Not having to load up my crew to just leave the house is a huge benefit.

I love using fresh summer produce! I was able to use my Mom’s canned Iowa tomatoes as well as fresh basil from my own garden.

Pros:

Super easy to prep and make and had pretty good flavor.

Cons:

Because I used my mom’s canned tomatoes, I think there may have been more natural water already, so I feel I could have skipped adding in the vegetable stock all together as the soup was more watery than I had desired.

I feel the onions and garlic could have been cooked longer to soften them more and bring out more of their flavor before moving on to the next step.

In addition, I stupidly forgot that I have a Magic Bullet, so I kept the soup “chunky” in style vs. blending it smooth. I love soup with texture, so I was totally fine with that, but my only complaint is that the Greek yogurt did not ever really fully melt/smooth into the soup.

Conclusion:

Super easy recipe and a great way to use some fresh produce! I enjoyed it, but am not sure I’ll be making it again as it just wasn’t my favorite soup ever.

 

 

 

 

The lovely Tomato, Basil and Cheddar Soup and it’s photo by More Fruit Please


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Six Sisters’ Stuff tempt us with a recipe for Chili’s Copycat Salsa!

Our mouths were watering just thinking about this delicious snack!

 

Please click here to visit Six Sisters’ Stuff and see the recipe that we followed!

 

Reviewer #1 – Maren

Mission:  I love Chili’s Salsa!  These instructions were super easy to follow.  I feel confident that even “College Maren” could have handled this recipe!  I did refer to the forwarding blog, Six Sisters’ Stuff, for more specific info on the jalapeno situation.

Details:

  • I wasn’t paying attention to the recipe and did not drain the tomatoes – ooops!  I think that this actually made the consistency looser though, which is what I was hoping for.  For my jalapenos, I used a full [4 oz] can of Ortega Japapenos, lightly drained.
  • The lime juice that I added was frozen ahead of time thanks to a pin that I saw on Pinterest!  That trick is great if you like to cook with lime juice, or add it to your drinks!  I actually used onion that I had chopped and froze a week or two earlier too.  I’m just discovering the miracle of “freezing.”

Tips & Tricks Learned:

The most important lesson learned from this experience, the ingredients absolutely DO NOT FIT into a Cuisinart Mini Prep.  I was too lazy to get out my full sized Cuisinart, and that was clearly the incorrect choice.

After my salsa explosion, I scooped out [and off the counter] half of the overflowing salsa and continued in half batches until I got a smooth, pureed consistency.  I then reflected upon how things would have gone differently had I just gotten out the G. D. Cuisinart.

Pros:

SUPER Easy and delicious!  Had some serious kick, but wasn’t too hot.  Works well in recipes and on it’s own.

Cons:

Requires a blender or food processor, both of which are heavy and in hard-to-get-at locations in my kitchen and therefore never get used.

Conclusion:

This salsa was ridiculously easy to make!  I fed it to my salsa-loving husband and he said, “It tastes like chili.  It’s good.”  Translation, “I taste the cumin.  I like it.”

Don’t be scared by his comment!  We partake in a chili cook-off with our college friends each fall.  In an overly competitive panic to submit the BEST chili, it is not uncommon for me to make several different kinds in the month preceding the event and feed them to my husband until he can hardly stand hearing the word “chili.”  Therefore, as we approach our fourth year, my husband has eaten more cumin…I mean chili, than the average Joe.  I didn’t think that it was overly cumin-y at all.

Since it’s just my honey and me in our home, I froze half of the salsa for another day!  Thawed it out and used it to make some chicken – it was great!  I also like knowing that there isn’t any weird shit in it that I don’t know about.  Love this salsa!

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Sheri

Mission:  I’ve spent many wonderful evenings catching up with girlfriends over a bowl of chips, Chili’s Salsa, and iced-cold Coronas. Now we all have kids and our get togethers are rare occasions. How great would it be to invite the girls over for some Copycat Chili’s salsa and chat time?

I referred to the Six Sisters’ Stuff blog for a copycat recipe, and it looked surprisingly easy.

Details:

I was at first a little saddened that there would be very limited chopping or dicing, and no fresh ingredients, but then again the recipe was SUPER easy and I had an entire batch of salsa done and to the table in five minutes. You literally just put the ingredients into a blender or food processor and press the button. It’s ridiculously simple.

I chose to use the blender because my food processor is too small. I tossed in the whole tomatoes, canned jalapenos, and onion. I added the salt, sugar, cumin, and lime juice then just hit the button briefly. DONE.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

1.) Wash your hands immediately after touching jalapenos. Do. Not. Touch. Your. Eyes!

2.) A blender might not be the right choice. Complete puree. You would have thought I used tomato sauce instead of whole tomatoes.

Pros:

This can be put together so fast! So, so fast. You can have this all done and cleaned up in a matter of ten minutes. The flavor is pretty darn close to Chili’s salsa.

Cons:

It is definitely on the soupy puree side, and I prefer a chunky salsa. I don’t recall Chili’s salsa being so soup like.

 

Conclusion:

If you can use a can-opener and press a button YOU can make this salsa. I personally thought there was a little more cumin than I remember Chili’s salsa tasting like. I would adjust that a bit next time. I also don’t remember Chili’s salsa being so soupy, but that was most likely my mistake for using the blender. I’ll just have to add some ice and vodka and have a spicy bloody mary instead.

 

 

The lovely photo of Chili’s Copycat Salsa taken by Six Sisters’ Stuff


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