Cooking 101 for guys- Quick & easy tomato soup with crispy pancetta
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You are gonna like this a lot.

6-8 servings, will freeze in batches no problem

prep- 10 minutes, cooking- 30 minutes total

Serve with a grill cheese or garlic toast.  The easiest way to make garlic toast? Make toast. Rub it 3 times with a cut slice of garlic. Voila!  Garlic toast for dipping in soup.


1 Tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil

2 onions (yellow or white), coarsely chopped

3 – 14 ounce cans of diced tomatoes (no added sugar)

1/2 cup tomato paste (thats about one small can)

2 cups chicken stock

1 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 cup orange juice

4 cloves of garlic, pressed or chopped

8 slices of Pancetta

sour cream- you can get low fat or non-dairy if you like

fresh chives

sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.



1. Heat a Tbsp of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Once the oil is warm, add the chopped onions and cook ( and stir occasionally) for about 4 minutes until the onions are soft. Add the garlic and cook and stir for about 1 more minute.  Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken stock, balsamic vinegar, and orange juice. Add a little salt and pepper at this time. Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat to low/med and partially cover with a lid. Cook for 30 minutes.

2. While soup is cooking, Heat a tiny bit of olive oil in a non stick fry pan at medium heat and spread it around well with a flipper or wooden spoon.  Add the Pancetta slices and cook for a minute or so on each side until crisp.  Remove from heat, cut into slices and set aside.

3.  When the 30 minutes are up, remove your soup from the heat and transfer to a blender in batches (I like to use a ladle) .  Don’t fill your blender to the top with hot soup.  About half way.  Before you turn it on, you want to make sure you are wearing an oven mitt and that you have a t-towel over top of the lid.  Press down firmly on the lid before you start that blender. The lid will try to pop a bit when you are blending hot soup.  You really don’t want hot soup in your face.  Blend the batches just until the onion pieces are getting blended.  No need for a perfectly uniform texture.  It’s better with a little rustic texture.

4. Ladle the soup into bowls, arrange pancetta pieces over the soup and using clean kitchen scissors, cut some fresh chives on top.  Spoon a bit of sour cream or ricotta into the soup, give a swirl and season to taste again with salt and pepper.

5. Serve with garlic toast or a grilled cheese or salad from the leftover veggies from my last recipe!

tips- If you make this for any woman, she will think you are a culinary genius.  And, if it’s summer, and you use around 13 FRESH, chopped tomatoes instead of the canned variety, she will say yes.

If you want to use bacon instead of Pancetta, I really don’t have a problem with that.


Turkey Mulligatawny Soup
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Leftover turkey- means turkey soup!

first make some stock from the leftovers-

Basic Turkey stock (makes 3 quarts)
1 turkey carcass from 12 pound turkey cut into 4 or 5 large pieces to fit in pot. (try to keep plenty of meat on the carcass when you freeze it for soup)
1 Large Onion, peeled and halved
1 Large carrot, peeled and halved
1 Large Celery Rib, chopped course
3 medium garlic cloves, unpeeled and smashed
2 cups dry white wine
1 bay leaf
5 sprigs fresh parsley
3 sprigs fresh thyme

1. Bring turkey carcass, onion, carrot, celery, garlic, wine, bay leaf, and 4 1/2 quarts water to boil in 12 quart stockpot over med/high heat, skimming fat that rises to surface. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered for 2 hours, continuing to skim surface as necessary. Add parsley and thyme; continue to simmer about 2 hours longer.
2. Strain stock through large mesh strainer into a large bowl, remove meat from strained solids, shred into bite size pieces and set aside. discard solids in strainer. cool stock slightly (20 minutes) spoon fat from surface. stock can be refrigerated covered for up to 2 days.

Next make some homemade madras curry powder-


8 tbsp coriander seeds
6 tbsp cumin seeds
4 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp whole cloves
2 tbsp tumeric
1 tbsp fennel seed
8 tbsp peppercorns
1 tbsp ground nutmeg
2 tbsp ground cardamom
2 tbsp ground ginger (powder not fresh)
1 tbsp ground cayenne pepper


1. In a dry skillet over very low heat, place the coriander, cumin, mustard & fennel seeds. Roast the seeds gently, shaking the pan occasionally, until they begin to pop. Add the cinnamon, peppercorns, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, turmeric, ginger & cayenne pepper.

2. Continue to heat & stir gently until the mixture is quite hot but not burnt. Grind in a mortar & pestle to a fine powder (or use a spice grinder). Pour into a clean, dry jar, seal, & let cool before using.




Turkey Mulligatawny Soup



1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

6 whole cloves, finely crushed

1 Tbsp madras curry powder

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

cayenne pepper to taste

1/4 cup unsalted butter

Turkey meat (cooked), cut into serving pieces

3 stalks celery, sliced thin

2 onions, chopped

2 large carrots, diced

1 leek, sliced thin (white only)

Turkey stock (2 1/2 quarts)

salt & fresh ground black pepper to taste

2/3 cup long grain rice

2 medium apples, peeled, cored and diced

1 cup plain yogurt

1 lemon, (juice of) to taste

2/3 cup whipping cream, warmed slightly

fresh cilantro for garnish,

slivered almonds for garnish



1. Combine the garlic and spices and set aside.

2. Melt some butter in a large skillet and lightly brown your turkey meat, set aside

3. Add a bit of fat to a large stock pot and add the celery, onion, carrot, leek and spice mixture, blend well, add a bit of stock and cook until veggies are nearly tender.  Stir in remaining stock and season with salt and pepper.

4. Cover and simmer 30 minutes.

5. Add rice to soup and cook for another 15 minutes. Add your cooked bite size turkey meat.

6. Blend in apples and yogurt, simmer for 10 minutes

7. Skim fat

8. Stir in lemon juice, then blend in cream. Adjust seasonings, serve with a garnish of almonds and cilantro.



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Leek Tarragon & Pea Soup
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Tastes more like leeks than peas for those of you who that matters :)


1 Tbsp Virgin Olive oil

2 Med. leeks, washed and sliced thin (just the white and light green please)

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups GF vegetable broth (mine was homemade)

3 cups fresh or thawed frozen peas

1 Tbsp tarragon leaves

salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste



1. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan on medium heat. Add leeks, and saute for 5 minutes or until soft.

2. Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute. Add the vegetable broth and 1 cup water. Bring to simmer and then let simmer for 15 minutes.

3. Add the peas, cook for just a minute.

4. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.

5. Use a blender to puree the soup along with the Tarragon leaves.

6. Liberally salt and pepper to taste.

7. Serve hot or cold!



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