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: Beer Chili

Fall is here. Leaves are turning. And friends are near. Time for a homey and comfy recipe like Beer Chili, a meaty and spicy concoction, rounded out with beer, masa and sausage. 

Villeroy & Boch Home Elements Soup & Sandwich

Served in our Home Elements Soup Cup & Oversized Saucer.

 

Beer Chili

Ingredients
2 Tb. olive oil
1 lb. sirloin, diced (or ground beef)
1 lb. ground sausage
3 Tb. masa, (corn flour)
2 Tb. ancho chile powder
½ tsp. cayenne, optional
1 ½ Tb. cumin
1 Tb. dried oregano
1 large onion, small dice
1 red pepper, small dice
¾ cup minced carrot
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ tsp. salt
1-2 Tb. brown sugar
2- 28 oz. cans crushed or pureed tomatoes
2 -14 oz. cans kidney or pinto beans, drained
1 bottle of mild flavored beer
*Shredded cheese, sour cream and green onions to top the chili

Instructions
Heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, peppers, carrots and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes.
Next add the ground beef and sausage and cook until brown—8-10 minutes—breaking up all the meat clumps.
Add the masa, chile powder, cumin and oregano, cook another 3 minutes stirring regularly. Add the salt, sugar, tomatoes, beans, ¾ of the beer and scrape the bottom to deglaze.
Reduce and cook at least another 30 minutes—partially covered—until flavors are well combined and the chili has thickened. Stir occasionally.
Add a couple dashes of cayenne pepper for extra heat. Serve with favorite toppings and tortilla chips or cornbread!
Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 40 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 6
Recipe provided by A Spicy Perspective

 

Best served with Maple Bacon Corn Muffins from A Spicy Perspective

 

Lighten Up for the New Year: Comfort Food Made Healthier

With a new year, comes new hopes, goals, and resolutions. For most of us, eating healthier is on the top of the list. Food blogger Jennifer Leaf of SavoringTheThyme.com shows us a healthier way to indulge your sweet tooth by lightening up a classic comfort food.

Non-Stick Ceramicplus Bakeware

Pictured: Villeroy & Boch Home Elements Collection Bakeware

Coffee cake probably doesn’t strike you as a healthy choice. But eating healthier does not mean that you cannot enjoy your sweet tooth once in a while– particularly when you’re entertaining.  We all need some go-to recipes for guests that taste indulgent yet are healthier than the alternatives. Jennifer Leal of SavoringTheThyme.com shares some of her secrets for lighter comfort food as well as a “lighter coffee cake” recipe she developed especially for Villeroy & Boch fans.

When Jennifer makes baked goods, she tries to include less processed flour, lowers some of the fat content without increasing the sugar content and adds some fruit to increase the nutrients. One of her favorite recipes for entertaining company in the morning is coffee cake. Coffee cake usually means lots of sugar, sour cream and butter. In this recipe, she includes whole wheat pastry flour, less butter and substitutes nonfat yogurt for sour cream. Organic blueberries satisfy your sweet tooth while increasing the vitamins and nutrients in the dish.

Blueberry Coffee Cake
Your family and friends will love this lighter version of coffee cake, which has all the flavor of its high calorie counterpart.  

Villeroy & Boch Home Elements

Ingredients:
Cooking spray
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour or regular whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 Tablespoons canola oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup Organic plain nonfat Greek or regular yogurt
1.5 cup fresh organic blueberries (or thawed frozen blueberries)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray the 8 inch CeramicPlus baking dish with a light coating of cooking spray. (Villeroy & Boch CeramicPlus actually has a proprietary glaze that repels baked-on food. If you use cooking spray as well, clean-up is truly effortless with this non-stick bakeware.)

2. In a medium size bowl, combine both flours, baking soda and salt and whisk thoroughly. In a separate small bowl, combine the 3 tablespoons of brown sugar and cinnamon.

3. In a large bowl, beat the brown sugar, butter and oil until fluffy with a hand-mixer. If there are any of those pesky lumps in the brown sugar, use a fork to disperse them. Add 1 egg and beat until fully combined and repeat with the other egg. Add in the vanilla and yogurt and beat until combined.

4. Add half of the flour mixture to the moist batter; stir until just combined and repeat with the remaining flour mixture.

5. Spread half of the batter into the prepared pan. You may find the batter wants to slide around a bit but just keep spreading it around gently and it will stay put. Sprinkle the blueberries evenly over the batter, gently pressing them into the batter. Sprinkle 1/2 of the cinnamon-sugar mixture over the blueberries and then spoon the remaining batter into the pan and spread evenly.

6. Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture over the cake and bake until a for about 30 minutes. Test with a wooden toothpick and if not clean when removed, baked a few more minutes.

7. Allow to cool slightly and serve.

(Recipe and photos by Jennifer Leal of SavoringTheThyme.com)