Recipe: Roasted Red Pepper Soup

When is the last time you ate soup with your hands?

First, get out a spoon. This soup is good and we know you won’t want to wait.
Second, remember the resolution to prepare healthier meals for you and your family in 2012?
Third, continue this mission with pride and joy. Repeat as necessary.

This yummy, healthy (and beautiful) Roasted Red Pepper Soup is sure to keep you on track. We like that it’s low fat, low carb, low sodium and full of fantastic flavor. This is great for a family dinner and pairs wonderfully with salad, crostini, quinoa muffin and just about anything else! We recommend doubling the recipe so you can have this as a healthy option in your fridge…ready to go. It will heat up easily and is great as a lunch or snack. Plus, it’s loaded with vitamin C…sure to ward off those winter blues. Now, got spoon in hand?

 

Villeroy & Boch Roasted Red Pepper Soup

Shown: Home Elements Soup Cup & Oversized Saucer

 

Recipe: Roasted Red Pepper Soup

Ingredients
• 3 lbs. red bell peppers, halved and cleaned (8-10)
• 5 cloves garlic, in peel
• 2 cups chopped onion
• 2 Tb. olive oil
• 2 large sprigs fresh thyme (1 Tb. leaves)
• 2 bay leaves
• 4 cups chicken stock (or vegetable broth)
• 1 tsp. hot sauce
• ½ tsp. salt
• ½ tsp. ground pepper
• 1-2 Tb. rice vinegar

Instructions
1. Half the peppers and remove all seeds and membranes. Press them flat with your hand and lay them on a foil lined, rimmed baking sheet. Place the garlic cloves on the baking sheet.
2. Set the oven on broil and raise the rack to the upper position. Broil the red peppers and garlic for 15 minutes.
3. Once the skin has blackened, remove from the oven and place in a large zip bag to steam. (10 minutes)
4. Preheat a large pot to medium heat. Add the oil, thyme, bay leaves, and onions. Cook for 10 minutes, until onions are soft.
5. Add the broth, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Squeeze the garlic cloves out of the peels into the pot.
6. Then peel the charred skin off each pepper half and place it in the pot.
7. Reduce the heat, cover and cook another 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Then, using a hand-held immersion blender or standard blender, blend until smooth. *If using a blender, BE SURE TO remove the plug on the lid and cover with a kitchen towel—this with allow the heat to vent without a big mess!
8. Add the vinegar and salt again if needed.
9. Serve with extra thyme leaves.
10. (optional) Thin out a little plain Greek yogurt with milk to make a fancy swirl on top.

Preparation time: 25 minute(s)
Cooking time: 45 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 6
Recipe provided by A Spicy Perspective

Recipe: Brie and Pear Tart

We don’t have a hard-and-fast rule over here that all of our recipes have to be easy. They just have to be delicious. But, “easy” gets bonus points for sure. And this Brie and Pear Tart will have you raking in bonus points left and right.

This seasonal savory tart is creamy and crunchy, sweet and flakey. This is a 30 minutes or less weeknight dinner, simply serve with a salad. And it is certainly elegant enough for guests…you want them to feel like you really “went for it” don’t you? And if you are feeding a large crowd, go ahead and slice into slivers and serve as an appetizer with pear soup shooters. The only problem now is that you’ve raised the bar…and bonus points won’t come by quite so easily. Then again, you could just keep making this over and over again.

Brie and Pear Tart

Brie and Pear Tart Recipe

Pattern shown: Aureus

 

Recipe: Brie and Pear Tart

Ingredients

  • 1 roll out refrigerated pie crust (or make from scratch)
  • 1 wedge of Ile De France Brie, about ½ lb.
  • 3-4 ripe pears
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 ½ Tb. Pear Brandy (or pear schnapps)
  • Salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Roll out the piecrust and carefully fit it down into the tart pan—making sure not to stretch the dough. Fold the excess dough inward and press into the ridges of the pan.
  3. Slice the brie into thin strips. Cover the bottom of the tart with the brie and press around evenly.
  4. Cut pears into super-thin slices. Overlap them around the exterior of the tart pan, leaving a whole in the middle.
  5. Then stand the slices up and press into the exposed brie, creating the shape of a rose. Continue to bend and overlap the pears all the way to the center. It will take very thin slices to curl in the middle.
  6. Mix the brown sugar and pear brandy in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the top of the pears; then sprinkle with salt.
  7. Bake for 30-40 minutes—until the brie is bubbling up and the crust in golden.
  8. Sit for 10 minutes before extracting it from the tart pan and cutting.

Preparation time: 20 minute(s)
Cooking time: 35 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 8
Recipe provided by A Spicy Perspective

Isabelle von Boch: Healthy Halloween

Growing up in Germany, we didn’t celebrate Halloween. While raising my children in California, I embraced Halloween traditions and started a few healthy traditions of my own too!

I am very conscious of what I serve my family and try to offer them healthy food. But at Halloween, healthy eating can be a challenge…especially with all the trick or treat candy.

Rather than giving out candy to trick or treaters, I stock up on healthy alternatives to Halloween candy like stickers, colorful pencils, decorative pencil erasers, glow-in-the-dark bracelets, Silly Bandz, mini raisin boxes and fruit leathers.

Halloween is just the beginning of the sugar season. And I know that a party doesn’t always seem fun unless sweets are involved. Afterall, Halloween and chocolate just go hand-in-hand. For a healthy alternative to traditional chocolate cupcakes, I prepare the chocolate cupcakes from Jessica Seinfeld’s Deceptively Delicious cookbook. These cupcakes are made with avocado instead of oil and butter, but they’ll still satisfy your sweet tooth! Instead of heavy frosting, try a yogurt glaze. It’s a healthier option.

You are probably going to have to make the cupcakes in advance, to ensure the secret ingredients don’t get discovered. Frosting is always the fun part and a great time to get your kids involved. I still call them healthy cupcakes because of the yogurt frosting. That way, your kids are proud to join you in your quest for healthy eating, and still left a little fooled as to just how healthy they are.

Isabelle von BochVilleroy & Boch Flow Plate