Main Courses

Tuscan Harvest Soup

makes 10 cups

2 cups chopped onion

1 tsp salt

2 tbl olive oil

4 garlic cloves, chopped

2 tsp ground fennel seed

1 cup celery, chopped

1 1/2 cup carrots, chopped

1 cup fennel bulb, chopped

2 cups green cabbage, chopped

2 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash

4 cups vegetable stock

1 cup water

1 15 oz can cannellini beans, drained

1/4 tsp black pepper

2 tbl minced thyme

1/4 cup chopped fennel leaves (or parsley)

3 tbl lemon juice

In a covered soup pot on medium-low heat, cook the onions and salt in the olive oil for about five minutes.  Add the garlic, ground fennel, and celery and cook for about three minutes.  Stir in the carrots and cook for about three minutes.  Add the chopped fennel bulb and cabbage, and cook for about five minutes.  Add the squash, vegetable broth, and water.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until the squash softens bur does not fall apart, five to ten minutes.

In a blender, puree 1 cup of the beans with 1 cup of the soup.  Stir the puree into the soup pot.  Add the remaining beans, black pepper, thyme, and fennel leaves.  Simmer, covered for about 10 minutes until all of the vegetables are tender and flavors have melded.

Just before serving, stir in lemon juice.  If desired, place a piece of toasted bread in individual soup bowl, and drizzle with a little olive oil.  Ladle the soup over the bread and drizzle a little more olive oil on top.







Summer Tomato Sauce

serves six

In Italy, they call this sauce Pommarola.  I call it easy and delicious:)

Be sure you use fresh, ripe tomatoes if you want the tastiest pasta sauce imaginable.

Interestingly, you throw everything in the pot from the beginning, instead of the usual technique of sauteing the odori (onion, carrot and celery) first. I think this recipe is a keeper!




2 1/2 lbs fresh, very ripe tomatoes

1 medium red onion, cleaned

1 large carrot, peeled

1 large celery rib

2 cloves garlic, peeled

5 sprigs Italian parsley, leaves only

5 large basil leaves

salt and pepper to taste

Cut tomatoes in quarters.  Cut the onion, carrot and celery into small pieces;  do not chop them.

Place all ingredients in a stock pot; do not add water or oil.  Simmer, covered, very slowly for 1 1/2 – 2 hours.

Pass everything through a food mill using disk with smallest holes.  If you do not have a food mill, reserve liquid and put vegetables through a food processor in small batches.  Return everything to stock pot.  Simmer until sauce thickens to your liking.

Enchiladas Verdes

I wanted to get some young friends to try vegetarian food, and they asked for Mexican.  If you went vegan, I bet it would be just as tasty without the cottage cheese and taco cheese topping.  I’d add a 14/5 oz can of fat-free black bean refried beans to replace the cottage cheese.

Serves 8


1 14/5 oz can diced fire-roasted tomatoes with green chilies, drained

1 14/5 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 24 oz container fat-free large-curd cottage cheese (small curd is ok)

1 cup shredded low-fat taco cheese blend, divided

1 tsp cumin

8 Wrap-itz or Trader Joe’s low carb wheat tortillas  (If you are not watching carbs, use any whole wheat tortilla)

1/2 cup prepared salsa verde


Place cottage cheese in strainer/colander and rinse with cold water.  Drain 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat 13×9 inch baking dish with cooking spray.  Combine cottage cheese, tomatoes, 1/2 cup shredded cheese and cumin in bowl.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  If you wanted to make them a bit more spicy, add some tabasco sauce.

Spoon 1/2 cup mixture down center of 1 tortilla.  Roll up tortilla, and place seam-side down in baking dish.  Repeat with remaining filling and tortillas.  Bake 20 minutes, or until enchiladas begin to crisp and brown on top.

Spoon salsa verde over enchiladas, and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese blend.  Bake 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly on top.  Let stand five minutes before serving.

Black Bean Chili

This recipe couldn’t be easier, and people love it. The interesting thing about preparing this chili is that you saute in water, not oil.  I didn’t think it would work, but surprisingly enough, it does.  Try it for yourself.  The recipe makes six cups.  Enjoy!


1/2 cup water

1 medium onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 small red bell pepper, diced fine

1 14.5 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes

2 15 oz cans black beans, including liquid

1 4 oz can diced green chiles

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder (optional)

1 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)

In large skillet or pot, heat the water.  Add onion, garlic and pepper.  Cook over high heat, stirring often, for about 5 minutes or until onion is translucent.  Add remaining ingredients and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes.

Lentils with Wine Glazed Vegetables

1 1/2 cups lentils, sorted and rinsed

1 bay leaf

2 teaspoon olive oil

salt and pepper

1 onion, cut into 1/2 in dice

1 large carrot, cut into 1/4 in dice

1 celery rib, cut into 1/4 in dice

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 tablespoon tomato paste

2/3 cup red wine

3 teaspoons Dijon mustart

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoon parsley

Put lentils in saucepan with 4 cups water.  Add salt (I don’t use much)and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer, cover and cook until lentils are tender but still hold texture, about 25-30 minutes.

In another, larger pot, heat oil.  Add onion, carrot, and celery. , season with a little salt, and cook on medium high heat., until veggies are browned, about ten minutes.  Add the garlic and tomato past, cook for one minute more, then add the wine.  Bring to a boil and then lower heat, and simmer, covered, until the liquid is thickened and the veggies are tender, about 10-15 minutes.

Stir in the mustard and add the cooked lentils, along with their broth.  Simmer until the sauce is mostly reduced, then stir in the remaining olive oil and season with pepper.  Ladle into bowls, and sprinkle parsley on top. Serve with whole grain bread/rolls.

option:  Add a can of fire roasted diced tomatoes.

Serves 4-6

Marin’s Vegetable and Pasta Soup

This soups is for my friend Marin, who was looking for a smaller recipe, serving one or two people.   My suggestion for those making recipes in smaller quantities is to get  most of your veggies from the salad bar at your local grocery.  This will cut down on waste, and as an added bonus, everything is already cut up:)

1 cup diced yellow onion

1 cup diced carrot

1 cup diced celery

2 teaspoon olive oil

4 teaspoons minced garlic(fresh is better than garlic from a jar)

5 cups vegetable broth (Trader Joe makes a good low sodium variety)

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon salt (omit if using regular vegetable broth)

1/2 teaspoon thyme

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 cup small pasta of choice (Dreamfield’s is a great low carb choice)

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/2 teaspoon dill weed

1/2 teaspoon curry powder

Heat olive oil

Add onions, carrots and celery and cook over medium heat, stirring often, for about two minutes.

Add garlic and continue to cook and stir for one minute.  Stir in four cups of broth, the bay leaf, salt thyme and pepper. Bring to a boil on high heat. Cover, reduce to simmer, and continue to cook for ten minutes.

Transfer one cup of the soup to a blender/food processor. Add the remaining cup of broth and process for one minute or until completely smooth.

Combine blended mixture to soup. Add pasta, parsley, dill weed, and curry.  Cook for ten minutes more, or until pasta is al dente.  Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

Pasta Primavera

This recipe makes 6 main course servings.

6 carrots, peeled

4 medium or 2 large zucchini

4 yellow squash

2 yellow bell peppers

2 red bell peppers

2 onions,thinly sliced

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tb dried Italian herbs

salt and pepper to taste

1 1/2 pounds penne pasta ( I use Dreamfields, a great tasting low carb pasta)

30 cherry tomatoes, halved (I left this out)

3/4 cup Parmesan cheese (I used a little less)

Preheat the oven to 450.  Cut the carrots, zucchini, squash and bell peppers into thin 2 inch-long strips.  On a large, heaving baking sheet, toss the vegetable strips, onion, oil, dried herbs, salt and pepper to coat.  Transfer half of the vegetable mixture to another large, heavy baking sheet, and arrange vegetables evenly over both sheets.  Bake, stirring after the first 10 minutes, until carrots are tender and the other vegetables begin to brown, about 20 minutes total.

While the veggies are cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to boil.   Add the penne and cook, stirring occasionally, until pasta is al dente (tender but still firm to the bite), about 8 minutes.  Drain, reserving two cups of the cooking liquid.  In a large bowl, toss the pasta with the cooked vegetables to combine.  Add the cherry tomatoes and enough of the reserved liquid to moisten.  Season the pasta with more salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer pasta to bowls.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.

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