Roasted Tomato Bisque with Roasted Garlic Saffron Aoili and French Bread Rusks and Olive Tapenade


1-15oz.Tomato Puree

1 small can Tomato paste

1 cup sliced Sun dried Tomatoes in olive oil

1 1/2 lbs. Roma or grape tomatoes, Roasted in 375 degree oven, toss halved tomatoes and seeded (no need to halve/seed grape tomatoes) in olive oil salt and pepper, to taste . Bake until caramelized.

4 tablespoons butter 1/4 cup olive oil

1 large onion , chopped

5 cloves garlic, minced

2 stalks celery, diced

2 carrots, peeled and diced

2 leeks, white part only, sliced

2 parsnips peeled and diced

1 quart chicken or vegetable stock

1 large sprig Fresh thyme

2 cups fresh basil, chiffonade-reserve a few leaves for garnish

salt/pepper, to taste

2 oz. balsamic vinegar

In large soup pot, saute onions and leeks until translucent with butter and olive oil. Add the garlic, carrots, parsnips, celery and saute until just tender. Pour in chicken stock and add thyme sprig and simmer until vegetable are soft. Add all tomatoes , balsamic vinegar and basil, simmer for 1 hour. Salt and pepper to taste and remove thyme stems. With a blender , blend soup until thin. Return to pot and keep heated.

Olive tapenade

I don’t measure anything for this recipe. This is the list of what I use. Mix and add your favorites.

Marinated Artichokes, drained


whole garlic cloves

Pine nuts, toasted

Mixed olives such as kalamata, black , green etc..

Parmesan cheese




roasted red peppers

Olive oil

I place all the above in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add as much olive oil to create nice consistency.

Saffron Aioli

1 head roasted garlic

1/2 tsp saffron or tumeric

3/4 cup sour cream

2/4 cup mayonnaise

Squeeze out roasted garlic from head and blend into all the ingredients, blend well.

1 baguette, sliced and toasted

Ladle soup into bowls and top with Saffron Aioli  and place rusks spread with tapenade around edge of bowl.

Spinach and Chorizo Stuffed Bell Peppers over Steamed Barley and Roasted Tomatoes

Spinach and Chorizo Stuffed Bell Peppers over Steamed Barley and Roasted Tomatoes


  • 6 bell peppers, tops cut off and seeded, Use red and yellow bell peppers
  • 1 pound chorizo sausage
  • 1 stalk celery, minced
  • 1 carrot, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • chopped fresh parsley
  • chopped fresh basil
  • 1 1/2 cups steamed cooked barley
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/3 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

  1. In a large skillet, cook chorizo until almost brown. Drain fat. Stir in celery, carrots, onions, and garlic. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in tomatoes, spinach, Worcestershire sauce, parsley, basil, steamed cooked barley, and water. Cover, and simmer until rice is cooked, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and mix in Monterey Jack, Cheddar, and Mozzarella cheeses.
  2. Place peppers upright on a baking sheet. Stuff each pepper with the chorizo mixture. Sprinkle extra cheese on top.
  3.  Sprinkle top with seasoned bread crumbs .Cover with foil.
  4. Bake in preheated oven about 30 minutes.

Steamed Barley with Roasted Tomatoes

2 cups uncooked Barely

2 pints grape tomatoes

Olive oil

Balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup thinly slice scallions

1 clove garlic, finely minced

1/2 chopped parsley

Steam the barley as directed on the package using a stock for the liquid

Toss tomatoes in olive oil and roast at 375 degrees until tomatoes begin to caramelize.

Toss the roasted tomatoes with their juices, cooked barley, onions , parsley and garlic together. Salt and pepper to taste and add enough balsamic vinegar to taste.

Use as a bed for the cooked stuffed peppers.

My Boys Favorite Spaghetti Sauce

Boys Favorite Spaghetti Sauce


1 lb. ground beef

1 onion, diced

1 cup celery, diced

1 bell peppers, diced

2 peeled carrots, grated

10 oz. sliced cremini mushrooms

1 head roasted garlic

Red wine for deglazing pan

1 small can tomato paste

14 oz. bottle ketchup

1(16 oz.) diced fire roasted tomatoes

1 tsp. season salt

2 tablespoons chili powder

Pasta water, if needed

Brown the ground beef.  Add the onions, celery, bell peppers, and carrots and saute until tender. Pour in a small amount of wine to deglaze the pan. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer on low for 30 minutes. Add pasta water if sauce needs thinned.