Gratin Onion Soup with Tomatoes from Ricardo

Hi everybody!   It’s been a while since I’ve written here.  As a new resolution for the new year, I’ll try to write more often.  After all, I try so many wonderful recipes.  🙂

By the way, I wish you all an Happy New Year 2011! I wish you health.  After that, it’s easier to have something else.

Me and my son were sick from beginning of November through last week.  I just hope that he’s going to be better really soon.  He’s so fragile to catch a cold and viruses like that.


Last week, I bought the new magazine of Ricardo.  When I saw his recipe of gratin onion soup with tomatoes, I knew I had to try it real soon.  I’m so glad I did cause it’s really yummy.  Very different with the addition of grape tomatoes and port wine.

Gratin Onion Soup with Tomatoes from Ricardo

6 servings

  • 8 cups vidalia onions or 8 cups red onions, minced
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup port wine
  • 4 cups beef stock or 4 cups chicken stock (I used beef stock)
  • 14 ounces cherry tomatoes or 14 ounces diced tomatoes (I used fresh cherry tomatoes)
  • 6 slices baguette , lightly toasted
  • 1 1/2 cups gruyere cheese, grated
  • salt and pepper
  1. In a large saucepan, cook the onion slowly in butter until caramelized, about 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Deglaze with port wine. Add stock and tomatoes. Bring to boil and let simmer about 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper.
  2. Put the oven rack in the middle of oven. Preheat to broil.
  3. Put the soup in oven-proof bowls. Put slices of toasted bread on soup and sprinkle with cheese. Broil in oven until melted and golden.



Italian Sausage and Eggplant Soup

I made this soup 2 weeks ago and unfortunately I made only half the recipe.  It’s so good.  I should have made the whole recipe.

It’s a great filling soup.  It was perfect for lunch.

Italian Sausage and Eggplant Soup

  • 1 lb Italian sausage (I used spicy italian sausage)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium eggplant, peeled and diced
  • 8 large tomatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 3 medium zucchini, diced
  • 3 carrots, scraped and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 1 teaspoon salt (no salt for me)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 3/4 cup Burgundy wine
  • 1/2 cup elbow macaroni, uncooked
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground


  • Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  1. Brown the sausage in a large Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring until it crumbles; drain.
  2. Add the olive oil and onion. Cook over medium heat until the onion is getting tender. Add the garlic and continue to cook until tender.
  3. Add eggplant, cook, stirring constantly for 3 minutes. Add the tomato and the next 8 ingredients (up to the oregano leaves, stopping before the wine); bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered, for 2 hours. (Stir occasionally).
  4. Stir in wine, macaroni, and pepper; cook 15 to 20 minutes or until the pasta is done.
  5. Ladle soup into individual soup bowls. Top each serving with grated Parmesan cheese.


My son got 5 years old on October 24.  We celebrated him at the daycare on the Friday.

And on Saturday my boyfriend’s father invited us to celebrate him.  On this photo it’s my mom and me.

Recipes with fresh tomatoes

I have plenty of fresh tomatoes from my garden to use so I’m looking for different recipes.

I made a caprese salad yesterday.  Very simple and easy.  My boyfriend loved it.

I also made this cream of fresh tomato soup from the Barefoot Contessa that uses 4 lb of fresh tomatoes.  And it’s really yummy.

And last Friday night I made this Roasted Tomato Sauce.  So easy to do.  And the taste is great.  wow!  Next time I’ll double the recipe.

Roasted Tomato Sauce

6 servings

  • 1 lb tomato
  • 1/2 onion
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 450.
  2. Cut the tomatoes in half and dump them into a roasting pan or a baking sheet with sides.
  3. Chop up half an onion and a few cloves of garlic per pan, or more if you like, and dump that in too.
  4. Coarsely chop some fresh basil and add that.
  5. Stir this all together and spread it out evenly; crowded is fine but no more than a single layer.
  6. Drizzle on some olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
  7. Roast for 20 minutes or until the tomatoes collapse and the skins look browned and wrinkly. Let the pan cool and then scrape everything into a blender or food processor and puree. Use or freeze.

Some of my favorite food/drink photos

1. PMS Cure-All (Cocktail), 2. Brussels Sprouts & Apple Salad, 3. Lemon Squares with Cream Cheese – 90 calories, 4. Chop Soui from Ricardo, 5. Minestrone, 6. Halleluiah Waffles, 7. Stoli Spiced Pear Martini, 8. Maple Syrup Pie, 9. Hpnotiq Margarita, 10. Peanut Butter Maple Syrup, 11. Berks County Bread Machine Pizza Crust, 12. Baked Cranberry Nut Bread Oatmeal, 13. Millionaire’s Pie, 14. I’d Like a Baked Apple Right Now, 15. Avon Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, 16. Apple Peanut Butter Cookies, 17. Warm Strawberries in Strawberry Sauce for Ice Cream, 18. Eight Animals Bake-a-cake Pineapple Upside down Cake, 19. Kellymac’s Baked Grapefruit, 20. Spinach Salad With Warm Maple Dressing, 21. Tomato and Garlic Crouton Salad, 22. Marinated Chicken, 23. Grilled Cheese with a Twist, 24. Creamy Clouds over Tranquil Turquoise Seas, 25. White Sangria

** I noticed that if you want the recipe, it brings you to my page on Flickr.  But then I authorize friends and family to see my photos. So you’ll have to add me and then I add you as friends**

Healthy and Filling Soups

On Sunday I made two soups. One for me and one for my boyfriend. First let me present you the Black Bean Soup.

My boyfriend says it’s spicy. I used a medium salsa.

Black Bean Soup
From Guilt Free Cooking from Taste of Home cookbook

10 servings

  • 3/4 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 3 (14 1/2 ounce) cans chicken broth
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained (I used black beans, that I soaked overnight and cooked)
  • 1 (16 ounce) jar salsa (I used medium)
  • 1 cup cubed cooked chicken breast
  • 1 cup cooked long-grain rice
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin (I omitted it)
  1. In a large saucepan, saute celery, onion and garlic in oil until tender. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Heat through.
  2. Diabetic Exchanges : 1 1/2 meat 1 starch.


Now it’s time for my soup. In fact, in the description it’s mentionned that it’s more like a stew.  On my photo, you can see that it looks like a soup. But now it’s really thick.  I can almost eat it with a fork.  I love the taste.  It’s low in calories and there is plenty of fibers.  I love it.

Lentils are loaded with protein and fiber, can be kept on hand in the pantry, and cook quickly without presoaking, making lentil soup an excellent anytime meal. Peppery watercress perks up the flavor and adds vibrant color to this earthy soup.

Lentil Soup With Watercress
From Healthy Heart Cookbook from the American Medical Association

6 servings

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or canola oil
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 celery rib, diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 5 cups fat-free no-salt-added chicken broth or vegetable broth (or more)
  • 1 cup dried brown lentils, rinsed (I had green)
  • 1/3 cup medium-grind bulgur
  • 1 cup watercress leaf, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (I omitted it)
  1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and celery and sauté until the vegetables are tender, about 4 minutes. Add the tomato and oregano and cook for 3 minutes longer. Add the broth and 1 cup water and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the lentils. Return to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, then add the bulgur. Simmer until the lentils are soft but still intact, about 10 minutes longer. Add more broth if necessary, but the soup should be slightly thickened like a stew.
  3. Remove from the heat and stir in the watercress. Season with the salt and serve immediately.

Green Veggies Soup

This is another winning recipe from Ricardo.  Greens are good for our health?  Then this soup is perfect.  I don’t like broccoli but in this soup it’s yummy.  This is very simple.  For a complete meal Ricardo suggests to add chickpeas.  Great idea! I love to bring soups for my lunch at work.  But I need filling and low-cal soup.  Sure I don’t eat only that.  Today I had iceburg salad with raw chopped veggies (celery, carrots, green/red bell peppers), topped with italian dressing (5 cal/tablespoon).  I had a big bowl of this salad.

There is 2 tablespoon of pesto in this soup.  It makes it so tasty.

Green Veggies Soup
From Ricardo

4 servings

  • 1 cup green beans, cut in pieces of 1/2 inch
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 cup zucchini, diced
  • 3 green onions, finely chopped
  • 5 cups chicken stock (I used low-fat low-sodium)
  • 2 tablespoons pesto sauce
  • pepper
  • (I added 1 cup of chickpeas)
  1. In a saucepan, brown the green beans in oil about 4 minutes at medium heat. Add remaining veggies and keep cooking 1 minute.
  2. Add chicken stock and pesto. Bring to boil and let simmer until the broccoli is tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Add pepper.

Minestrone Soup

On Sunday I made this soup.  My boyfriend helped me to cook the veggies.  He was a big help.  This soup is really delicious and healthy.  So that’s great.  That’s my lunches for the week.  It’s filling.  I ate veggies and fruits on the sides.  And I have a complete filling meal.

Minestrone Soup
From Moosewood Cookbook but taken on RecipeZaar

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (I omitted it)
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 1 cup green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces (I used 2 small zucchini, roughly chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • fresh black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 medium bell pepper, diced (I used a green bell pepper)
  • 4 cups water (more if needed)
  • 1 (650 ml) jar good spaghetti sauce (meat free) (I used a meat free bolognese sauce, low-fat and high in fiber from President’s Choice Blue Menu
  • 1 cup chickpeas, cooked
  • 1 cup dry pasta (any shape) (I omitted the pasta)
  • 1/2 cup parsley, minced
  • parmesan cheese (use soy cheese if vegan) (I used the parmesan only for the photo, but for my lunch, I omit it to have less fat)
  1. Heat the olive oil in nonstick Dutch oven.
  2. Add onion, garlic and salt.
  3. Saute over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add celery, carrot, green beans and seasonings.
  5. Cover and cook overy very low heat 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add bell pepper, water and spaghetti sauce.
  7. Cover and simmer 15 minutes.
  8. Add beans and simmer another 5 minutes.
  9. Bring to a gentle boil.
  10. Add pasta.
  11. Stir and cook until pasta is done.
  12. Serve topped with parsley and parmesan.


I made a fillet of trout, topped with pesto and sun-dried tomatoes.  I really loved it.  Served with steamed veggies and brown basmati rice, it was really yummy.  Take a look at the photo.


If you want to have a chance to win a yoga mat, go there to enter the giveaway.  I would really like to win it.  It’s a thing I have to buy.