Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup (gluten free, paleo, and dairy free) // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

My husband and I ran the KC half marathon this past Saturday. One of the best things about running in the early morning is getting to see the city wake up as the sun rises. You see a view that is typically missed while enjoying the coziness of bed. Chilly morning runs sound so much better, right? I’ll tell ya, that the early morning air was perfectly crisp for me. Plus the trees were all in full amazing bloom of color like they saved all their peak beauty just for us!

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup (gluten free, paleo, and dairy free) // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

It’s crazy to realize that five years ago I completed the full marathon. *shudder* I will say that I definitely enjoy running half marathons MUCH better than full marathons….obvi. The full marathon is a torturous journey that I’m glad I did once…and will likely never repeat.  (Similar to trying to drink a pint of vinegar on a dare….great to do once, but never again.  Am I right?)

For some reason, I really like running half marathons. It’s a decent length of race to push my training and fitness level a little higher, while not ruining my life or body. Usually. This past training season I pulled a calf muscle three weeks ago but since I gave myself three weeks off from running, I was able to bust out the race. Needless to say, after running 13.1 miles this weekend, I’m in super recovery mode. Give me carbs, give me nutrients….more importantly, give me ice cream!

On Sunday, I did a lot of stretching, drank plenty of water, and worked in my yard enjoying the fall day. I also harvested the end of season crops and late bloomer tomatoes and peppers. I wasn’t sure what to do with my bounty until I remembered this delicious Smoky Red Pepper Soup in one of my favorite new cookbooks, Vibrant Food by Kimberly Hasselbrink. I decided to adapt the soup a bit and roast the peppers and tomatoes in the oven together and whip up this nutrient-dense soup to aide my recovery. Winner winner.

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup (gluten free, paleo, and dairy free) // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup (gluten free, paleo, and dairy free) // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

This soup is the easiest thing I’ve done all weekend.  It is so easy since all of the vegetables are roasted together on a single baking sheet under a broiler.  Then all of the roasted vegetables are then pureed with spices in either a high speed blender or in a stockpot using an immersion blender. So easy I could sleep and do this. Maybe I am.

The broiler gives a great smoky flavor to the tomatoes and peppers. It is also spiced with both smoked paprika and chipotle powder which add extra smoky punch of flavor.  If you are sensitive to spice or serving this to lil tikes, then I would recommend skipping the chipotle powder since it is a bit spicy.  This is perfect as a main meal with a dollop of greek yogurt or served as a first course with this kale salad with garlic tahini dressing or this Peruvian Roasted Chicken.

Oooh….or grilled cheeeeeeese pleeeeeease.  Sorry folks. As you can tell I’m in carbo load mode.  I’ll get back to being a green machine tomorrow.

You don’t have to run a half or full marathon to deserve this soup. It’s easy, light, and provides your body the nutrients it needs to get through these fall days. Get on it!

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup (gluten free, paleo, and dairy free) // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup (Gluten Free and Dairy Free)

  • Servings: about 10 cups
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 4 medium sweet red bell peppers (about 2 pounds), quartered with seeds/membranes removed
  • 3 whole cloves of garlic (skins on)
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 2 pounds of whole tomatoes (about 8 Roma tomatoes or 4 larger tomatoes)
  • 4 cups of vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder (optional if you don’t like spicy dishes)
  • Optional toppings: plain greek yogurt, fresh cilantro, roasted pumpkin seeds

Instructions

  1. Preheat the broiler. Place oven rack in the upper portion of the oven about 6 to 8 inches from broiler.
  2. Place cut peppers skin side up, whole roma tomatoes, whole garlic, and quartered onions in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the oven on the top rack. Broil the veggies, watching carefully, for about 10 to 15 minutes until the pepper and tomato skins are mostly blackened on top.
  3. When the peppers are cool enough to touch, remove the pepper skins by running them under running water. Peel and remove the skin from the garlic as well.
  4. In a large dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat, heat the roasted vegetables, vegetable broth, salt, and spices.  Puree the soup smooth using an immersion blender. This step also can be performed using a high speed blender or food processor.
  5. Serve soup topped with greek yogurt, chopped cilantro, and toasted pumpkin seeds.

Note – Recipe adapted from Kimberley Hasselbrink’s Vibrant Food.

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Beet, Fennel, Grapefruit and Avocado Salad

Beet, Fennel, Grapefruit, and Avocado Salad / Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Hi. It’s spring…nearly summer. And do you know what that means? VEGGIES! Fresh amazing veggies. They are sprouting up everywhere in my garden. Beets and carrots and spinach and kale and cilantro and cucumbers and tomatoes! I can’t wait.

This weekend I enjoyed renewing my Saturday ritual of going to the Farmer’s Market bright and early and drooling over the produce and transplants that the local farmers had brought.  It makes salad making an adventure. Not your boring ol’ iceberg here…no spring rocket, and baby leaf kale, and beautiful sorel! Throw in some herbs, roasted beets, and avocado…yaaaaa, NOW you have heaven.

Beet, Fennel, Grapefruit, and Avocado Salad / Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Beet, Fennel, Grapefruit, and Avocado Salad / Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Beet, Fennel, Grapefruit, and Avocado Salad

Inspired by Pinch of Yum and my Blood Orange and Avocado Salad

Salad Ingredients

  • 1 large beet
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 cups of raw kale, washed, destemmed and cut into 1-inch pieces (or spring lettuce mix)
  • 1 grapefruit, peeled and cut into sections
  • 1 cucumber, cut into thin slices
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 cup of crumbled feta

Dressing Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar (or lemon juice or lime juice)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon grapefruit juice (reserved from cutting up grapefruit for salad)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or with nonstick spray. Wash the beet thoroughly and scrub the outside very well. Remove the top and bottom of the beet. Cut in half and continue to cut up the beet until you obtain even 1-inch cubes. Place into a large bowl and drizzle with about 1/2-tablespoon of olive oil and salt and pepper. Place beet cubes onto one of the prepared baking sheets. Place in the oven and bake for 35 to 45 minutes.
  2. Wash the fennel bulb thoroughly. Remove the bottom root portion. Slice longways into even 1/4-inch width slices. Place in a clean bowl and drizzle with 1/2-tablesppon of olive and salt and pepper. Place the fennel slices onto the second prepared baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake for 20 to 30 minutes.
  3. When the fennel and beets are done roasting, remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Set aside. Can be made up to 2 days ahead of time and kept refrigerated.
  4. Wash kale and massage with hands in a large bowl. Gently toss in the grapefruit pieces, cucumber, cilantro, and dill.
  5. Combine dressing ingredients into a small bowl and whisk until combined. Just before ready to serve, pour dressing ingredients over the kale, grapefruit, and cucumber. Add roasted beets and fennel and toss all ingredients together gently so as not to stain everything red.
  6. When you are ready to serve the salad, add the avocados and gently combine everything because the avocados will melt and mush quickly into the salad. Top with any additional herbs, walnuts, and feta.

Creamy Roasted Parsnip, Cauliflower, and Fennel Soup (Gluten Free, Vegan, and Paleo-Friendly)

Roasted Parsnip, Cauliflower, and Fennel Soup / Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

I have a divided house when it comes to silky smooth soups that only contain vegetables and no cream. Pureed smooth, they show off the amazing flavor of just the vegetables without anything masking their natural deliciousness. I love them…a lot. They are creamy without being loaded with cream. They are smooth and comforting and light. I want them in my belly.

The other person in this house does not like them because, well…they are creamy without being loaded with cream and they are smooth and light and in his words, “like baby food”. He wants heartiness. He wants carbs. He wants meat. He wants cream. He wants butter. He wants bacon. Do I live with Paula Dean?

Roasted Parsnip, Cauliflower, and Fennel Soup / Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Roasted Parsnip, Cauliflower, and Fennel Soup / Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

And I craaaave creamy soups that have NO cream but are just ALL vegetables. I love smooth and creamy tomato soup, or carrot soup, or butternut squash soup. And every time I make them, my poor hubs has to eat this nourishing amazing bowl of yumminess and smile and leave ALL the leftovers for me. GOOD. Best lunches EVER. He can have his can of tuna and weird packages of sardines for lunch. Meanwhile, I will enjoy my creamy roasted soups and everyone at work will smell them and say “whoa…what are you having?”. In a good way. At least, that’s how it plays out in my head.

I stumbled on this Parsnip and Apple soup the other day on the most beautiful blog called Golubka Kitchen and I instantly began drooling. I couldn’t get the soup out of my brain box. I adapted it to roast the parsnips and I swapped out the potatoes for cauliflower. I found fennel on sale at the store and so I through it in as well to round out the awesome white soup. I recommend saving some of the fennel fronds and some thyme for topping these delicious bowls of comfort. The soup is also yummy with a good drizzle of olive oil.

Roasted Parsnip, Cauliflower, and Fennel Soup / Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Roasted Parsnip, Cauliflower, and Fennel Soup / Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

So despite knowing that I have a divided house on smooth and creamy dreamless soups, I MADE it. and I loooooved it. I recommend you do the same, because then you will have a few days worth of amazing lunches and they get stuck with canned tuna.

Creamy Roasted Parsnip, Cauliflower, and Fennel Soup (Vegan, Gluten Free, and Paleo-Friendly)

Adapted from Golubka Kitchen

Serves 4 as a side or 2 as a main dish

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch rounds
  • 1/2 large head of cauliflower, roughly chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 large fennel bulb, sliced into 1/2-inch wide slices
  • 2 medium apples, peeled, cored, and cut into eighths
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (plus more for drizzling on finished soup bowls)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (plus more for seasoning)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (plus more for garnish)
  • 3 to 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Toppings: thyme leaves, olive oil, yogurt, quinoa

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Spray a roasting pan with nonstick spray or line with parchment paper.
  2. Place chopped parsnips, cauliflower florets, fennel slices, apple slices, and garlic cloves in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and salt. Toss to coat evenly and then spread evenly on baking sheet. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, tossing at 15 minutes.
  3. Remove from oven. Place half of vegetables into a blender or food processor along with half of the chicken stock, cumin, and thyme. Blend well for 2 to 3 minutes until the mixture is smooth. Transfer the pureed mixture to a medium stock pot. Blend next batch of roasted vegetables and remaining chicken stock for 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer remaining soup puree to stock pot.
  4. Heat soup in stockpot over medium heat. Bring to a simmer. Add additional liquid if soup is too thick. Adjust seasonings as needed.
  5. Distribute evenly into bowls and top with a drizzle of olive oil and thyme leaves. I added some quinoa to mine for a more substantial dinner.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Soup - Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

This week is a time to give thanks and to be with those that mean the most to us. It is my favorite holiday. No pretenses. No gifts that weren’t good enough. No wrong sizes.

Just family, friends, food, and laughter.

My grandmother had seven children. However, I can’t imagine birthing 1 child, much less SEVEN, but my wonder-woman of a grandmother did it.  My father was the fifth. And getting together with all of my aunts and uncles is a tradition that I look forward to every year.  When I was a kid, I loved the large gatherings because I was an only child until I was 11. I had always wanted a sister or a brother. A gaggle of over 30 people enjoying each others company (sometimes), telling stories, and eating together was like heaven to me. Sure there was sometimes drama, but as a kid that all didn’t matter to me. Family mattered.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Soup - Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Soup - Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Needless to say our family gathering for Thanksgiving is large and fun. The house is warm, but the company is warmer.

On Wednesday night, my aunt hosts “Soup Night”. It’s an easy night with hot soups cooking on the stove as guests trickle in for the big event.  Although Thursday is the day to showcase the TURKEY, Wednesday night is the big Paaaaarhtaaaahy.

The beer flows freely.

The wine glasses are poured large.

The stories get loud, the laughter gets even louder, and the guitars strum.

All the while, the soup stays hot.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Soup - Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

We ladle another bowl. We pour another drink. We toast to those that have passed. We tell stories of previous Thanksgivings.  We argue about the pronunciation of words and mathematical concepts and whether the seed of an avocado really keeps guacamole from turning brown or not.

All the while the soup continues to stay hot.

That is why soup is the perfect party food. You can mingle and be a great host/hostess and not worry about the food getting cold or over cooked or not being ready at the right time. Everyone can serve themselves and you get to serve yourself another tasty beverage!

This Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple soup is particularly “soup”er easy.  Roast all the vegetables at once, blend the veggies with broth using an immersion blender or food processor.  Aaaaand…wait for it…. Your done. Basically. Just keep it heated. Ok. NOW you are done. There.

Breath. Do some stretches.

Now GO HUG SOMEONE! And get them a drink too! Sheeesh.

I hope you and your loved ones have a wonderful, safe, and memorable turkey day.

Cheers to you and yours.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Soup - Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

(Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Paleo Friendly)

Ingredients

  • 1 3 to 4 pound butternut squash, peeled, deseeded, and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 small red onion, cut into chunks
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 cloves of garlic (in the skin)
  • 2 sweet apples, cored and diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic (in the skin)
  • 4 to 6 cups of low sodium vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Prepare two shallow roasting pans by spraying with nonstick spray or lining with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the cubed butternut squash and onion with the olive oil and salt. Place in a single layer on a roasting pan. Place in the oven and roast for 40 to 45 minutes, stirring every once and awhile until the squash are cooked through.
  3. With 20 minutes left on the butternut squash, place the apples on a roasting pan with the garlic cloves and into the oven on a separate oven rack.
  4. Remove cooked vegetables from the oven. Remove the skins from the garlic and discard. Place the vegetables and spices into a dutch oven or large pot with 5 cups of vegetable or chicken broth. Using a blender, a food processor, or an immersion blender, puree the soup in several batches, adding more liquid (broth or water) if necessary. Return the soup to the pot and heat over medium heat until simmering. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries and Pecans

So let me tell you a story about a notorious vegetable called Mr Brussel.

Mr Brussel was bulky and brawny. A bad boy in the vegetable kingdom. Not many people liked him. He kind of had multiple personalities or at least was pretty moody.  Some days he was bitter. Other days he was bland. But generally, most of the time he was smothered and tired and wilted and just overcooked. Bleh.

DSC_0167

Then one day Mr Brussel went to the Roasting Pan, a new pub.  He had heard stories of this place changing other veggies, but he thought that it was a myth.  Rumors stirred about Madame Cauli Flower and her infamous roasted makeover.

So Mr Brussel decided to give it a shot.

He went in. He stayed awhile. He lingered. He rested. He was massaged in some olive oil. He got braised and roasted.

Then when he got out of the Roasting Pan, something amazing happened. He was sweet and delicious and caramelized. He was a changed veggie. He was the Ryan Gosling of vegetables…well, maybe not THAT far…but close.

DSC_0172

The moral of the story, people?  Turn Mr Brussels from bleh to BAM by:

  • cutting those tiny cabbage-like veggies into quarter segments,
  • drizzling with olive oil,
  • sprinkling with salt and pepper, and
  • roasting in an oven!

That’s it. Oh the magic of the great Roasting Pan.

DSC_0179

For this recipe, I tossed my roasted brussels sprouts with cranberries, pecans, and a balsamic drizzle.  But don’t stop there. There are plenty of other ways to prepare these….maybe bacon? roasted garlic? parmesan? Harissa?  Yes!  Branch out. Give Mr Brussels another try. He won’t disappoint you.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries and Pecans (adapted from Whole Foods Market recipes)

Serves 6 as a side

Ingredients

  • 1 lb of fresh brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper each
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.  Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil.  
  2. In a medium bowl, toss the brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spoon the brussels sprouts in a single layer onto  the roasting pan.  Roast for 30 minutes. Stir the brussels sprouts. Add the pecans and cranberries onto the roasting pan. Add the pan back into the oven and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Stir well until brussels sprouts are well cooked.
  3. Remove from oven and toss with balsamic vinegar.