Tomato And Basil Soup with Smoked Gouda Panini


With a blizzard blowing outside, nothing feels better than a soup to warm my body and soul. I could have fixed a potato soup, but I wanted something yummy and light on my stomach. Luckily I had a can left from those yummy italian tomatoes.

Though I really was looking forward eating this soup, my children were less than thrilled so I decided to fix some Panini for them.

Ingredients for a soup and Panini for 4 people;

  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion sliced and diced thinly
  • 1 can of italian tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp of basil chopped thinly
  • 2 tbsp of brown sugar
  • 2 cups of vegetable broth or more if you wish to make the soup thinner
  • pepper and salt to taste

Ingredients for 6 Panini:

  • 1 whole French bread sliced thinly
  • 1 block of aged sharp cheddar grated
  • 1 block of smoked gouda grated
  • 1/4 cup of garlic minced from a can ( or fresh).
  1. In a large pot, warm up the olive oil and when the olive oil is hot, saute the onion until it is soft and translucent.
  2. Add the basil and saute it as well.image
  3. Then add the diced tomatoes, sugar, pepper and broth and stir.
  4. Bring the mixture to boil and when it has, turn the heat down and cook for 15 minutes.image
  5. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary.
  6. While the soup is cooking, prepare the Paninis.
  7. Slice the bread very thinly.image
  8. Spread some garlic paste over every other slice of bread, then sprinkle the mixture of cheese on that same bread. Sprinkle pepper.image
  9. Place a slice of bread over the cheese and cook the panini either into a Panini press or onto a silpat for 5-8 minutes in  a warm oven of 400.
  10. Repeat until you have cooked all the paninis.
  11. Serve warm with the tomato soup. Yum!!!!image

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Saute Scallops over Coarse Apple Compote

What do you think about when your mind wanders? Me, food. I think about food. I think about things that would taste good. I think about recipes, and how things would taste when combined with various ingredients. Today I was dreaming of scallops. I was dreaming of scallops sauteed in hazelnut oil, topped with roasted hazelnut and carrot puree. So when I got home today, I set up everything to fix that dinner I had thought of all day long…. except that I did not have the main ingredient: Hazelnut oil. Grrrr…. What to do now… My carrot puree was already prepared. I guess I could have simply added sauteed scallops to it, but this would have not satisfied me. So instead I set put to prepare a total different dish. Sauteed Scallops over a bed of apple compote.

Ingredients for 1 person: 1 apple cored, peeled and sliced, 4-5 scallops, 1 tbsp of brown sugar, 1 tbsp of butter salt and pepper to taste.

In a small frying pan, melt the butter. When the butter is sizzling, add the broken hazelnuts and saute them for  a few minutes just enough to toast them. Remove them from the pan, and set them aside. In the same frying pan, melt 1 tbsp of butter and when the butter is sizzling again, add the apples and saute them. Add 1 tbsp of brown sugar and stir well. Cook for 5 minutes stirring constantly to avoid the caramel to burn. When the apples are turning golden and getting softer, remove them from the pan and set them aside. In the same frying pan, add 1 tsp of butter and melt it. When it  sizzles, add the scallops and saute the scallops for 2 minutes on each side. Et Voila!

To serve spoon the apple confit on the plate and place the scallops on top. Add a few hazelnuts over the scallops and devour!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!