Roasted Tomatoes and Black Bean Soup

Roasted vegetables impart a wonderfully sweet flavor and make a hearty soup when combined with beans and spices.


4 large firm, ripe, Florida tomatoes, cut into eight’s
1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled, and chopped
1 medium fennel bulb, chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
3 T. olive oil
1 T. thyme, or 1 t. dried
3 cups canned chicken broth
1 T. tomato paste
½ t. red pepper flakes
2 cups dried black beans, cooked, or 2 (15 oz.) cans
Salt, and freshly ground black pepper
6 green onions, sliced
1 cup yogurt


Makes 4 to 6 servings


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Remove vegetables and place in a heavy saucepan, set aside.

Add the chicken broth to the roasting pan and scrape up any browned bits, strain and add to the vegetables. Add beans, pepper flakes and tomato paste and cook over medium heat until flavors blend, about 30 minutes.

Combine tomatoes, onion, carrot, and fennel in a large roasting pan. Add garlic, oil and thyme. Stir to coat. Roast vegetables under broiler until browned and tender, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls and top with green onions and a dollop of yogurt.


Deluxe Cream of Tomato Soup


This soup has the real thing, fresh tomatoes and heavy cream, and you can taste the difference. On top of that, it’s a real breeze to prepare. Round it out with grilled cheese sandwiches, potato chips, and pickles, and you’ve got the makings for a surefire family favorite.


2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 celery ribs, finely chopped

4 large tomatoes, peeled, cored, seeded, and chopped (see note)

1 teaspoon sugar

2 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill weed or 1 teaspoon dried

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Melt the butter in a medium-size nonreactive saucepan. Add the onion and celery and sauté gently over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring often; do not brown. Stir in the tomatoes and sugar. Simmer, covered, for 6 to 8 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft.

Transfer the vegetables to a food processor and process to a smooth puree. Pour the puree back into the saucepan and stir in the remaining ingredients. Heat the soup through, correcting the seasoning. Serve hot.

NOTE: To peel the tomatoes, submerge them for 15 to 30 seconds in boiling water. Remove to a colander and rinse briefly under cold water. The skins will slip right off.


Serves 4 to 6 people


Salsa for Everyone

For this salsa you won’t need to run out and buy special ingredients, and it is mild enough for the whole family. Best of all it tastes great and you need only 5 minutes to whip it up, though the flavor mellows and becomes more complex if it sits overnight. Serve at room temperature for best flavor.


1 small red onion, coarsely chopped

1 medium green bell pepper, coarsely chopped

1 small bunch (8 to 10 sprigs) fresh parsley leaves

2 large or extra-large fresh tomatoes, cored

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


About 2 cups


Combine the onion, green pepper, and parsley in a food processor. Process for 10 seconds, scrape down the sides, and process again until the mixture is finely chopped.

Halve the tomatoes and squeeze out most of the juice and seeds. Chop the tomatoes coarsely, then add them to the processor. Pulse several times to make a textured sauce: little bits of onion and tomato should remain. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in the vinegar and lemon juice.

Put the cumin in a small saucepan and toast over low heat, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes, just until the cumin starts to smoke. Stir it into the salsa along with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until serving time. The salsa will keep for about 1 week in the refrigerator.

Note: For hotter version, substitute 1 seeded fresh jalapeno pepper for the green pepper. Also, if you prefer, use toasted cumin seed instead of ground cumin.