Garden Fresh Tomato Soup

What’s better than fresh tomato soup using everything that is in season right now! This soup is stuffed full of garden product plus a secret ingredient that throws the flavour over the top!

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Happy Monday everyone! Can you believe that July is already over halfway done? This year we have been really really focused on enjoying the summer and for me, that also means trying to cook as seasonally and locally as possible!

The one thing that I love about summer is tomatoes - seriously they are one of those things that I could eat any time of the day. As a kid, my favourite thing to do was to run to the garden, pick fresh, ripe tomatoes and have them as a snack. Seriously, you can’t beat vine ripen tomatoes.

So last week when I had an overabundance of ripe tomatoes there was only one thing to do - make a bowl of beautiful, fresh tomato soup. The best part about this recipe is that it’s stuffed full of vegetables, is super rich and creamy, yet it has absolutely no dairy. I mean really, can you get much better than that?

I also love that this recipe has a full zucchini in it because if you grow zucchini, you most likely have an overabundance of it plus, it adds great nutritional value without changing the flavour of the soup. In my opinion, zucchini is one of the best ways to sneak vegetables into so many different things, so if you can do it why not right!

So next time your tomato all come ripe at once or your craving a delicious soup whip up a batch, it's quick, easy, and meets all your tomato soup needs!

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prep time 15 minutes

cook time 55 minutes

total time 1 hour 10 minutes

servings 4

Ingredients

1 medium onion

1 tsp olive oil

2 small carrots

4 cloves of garlic

1 small zucchini

8 cups tomatoes

4 cups chicken stock

1 tsp Worcestershire

1 tsp oregano

2 tbsp balsamic

1/4 cup pesto

1 can unsweetened coconut milk

salt + pepper

Instructions

In a large stock pot place chopped onion and olive oil and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat stirring often. Add in chopped carrots, zucchini and whole cloves of garlic and sauté for 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Add in chopped fresh tomatoes and cook another 10 minutes or until tomatoes start to break down then add in chicken stock, Worcestershire, oregano and balsamic and simmer another 15 minutes.

Carefully pour the soup into a high-powered blender and blend until smooth (or alternatively use an immersion blender to puree the soup).

Return the pureed soup to the blender then add in pesto, coconut milk and season with salt + pepper to taste. Simmer for 10 minutes then serve.

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Roasted Garlic Pesto Spaghettini with Pan Fried Oyster Mushrooms + Crispy Pancetta

If you're a pesto lover, you will LOVE this version! Roasting the garlic mellows out the flavour and gives depth to this easy, fresh pasta dish!

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Happy Thursday and Happy last day of February everyone! Spring is just around the corner, and I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait!

So when I think about spring I think of light, fresh meals that don’t require a ton of time in the kitchen. This pesto pasta is a great way to get ready for sunnier weather because even though its pasta it’s still fresh and doesn’t feel heavy.

I don’t know about you, but I love pesto! With the addition of roasted garlic, this pesto has a more mellow, less sharp flavour.

There are many ways to roast garlic, but in this recipe, I slow roasted in oil. I did this for 1 reason - I didn't have any tinfoil. But, in the end, it turned out to be the best "mistake" I have made in a while. Since we all know pesto needs olive oil, you can use the oil you cook your garlic in and add even more flavour to your dish.

Now, don’t be afraid of the amount of garlic that is in the recipe. It’s a lot, and if it was raw, it would be so incredibly overpowering. But since it’s cooked the flavour is mellow and sweet.

Lastly, I had beautiful oyster mushrooms that I found at the farmers market, but if you can’t find them or they are not readily available where you live, white mushrooms work just as well.

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prep time 20 minutes

cook time 40 minutes

total time 1 hour

servings 4

Ingredients

1 full head of garlic

1/4 cup olive oil

2 cups fresh basil leaves

1/4 cup grated parmesan

1/4 cup walnuts + more to garnish

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1/2 tsp salt + 2 tsp for pasta water

5 oz pancetta

3 cups oyster mushrooms (or any mushrooms you have)

3/4 lb spaghettini

Instructions

In a small saucepan combine peeled garlic cloves and olive oil, cook over medium heat until the edges of garlic begin to bubble. Reduce heat and allow garlic to simmer for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Be sure to turn your garlic ever 2-3 minutes so that it does not burn. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

In a food processor combine basil, parmesan, walnuts, garlic and oil. Blend until smooth then add in lemon juice and salt and blend for 30 more seconds. Taste the pesto and add additional lemon juice and salt if necessary.

In a large saucepan add in pancetta and fry for 4-5 minutes or until crispy. Remove pancetta from the pot and place in a small bowl, drain all but 1 tbsp of the pancetta grease and set aside. To the pot add chopped mushrooms and fry until all of the liquid is gone, and the mushrooms are golden brown. Add the mushrooms to the bowl with the pancetta.

Fill the same large saucepan 3/4 full with water, add in salt and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling add in pasta and cook according to the directions on the package, drain then place pasta back in the pot.

To the pasta add in pancetta, mushrooms and pesto. Stir well then serve immediately. Garnish with chopped walnuts.

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