Thrifty Thursdays: Roasted Red Pepper-Tomato Soup & Herb-Crusted Salmon with Roasted Asparagus

Today we had our first real thunderstorm of the season and it certainly came in with a bang. It was dark, cold, windy, and wet...all.day.long. Luckily, I was able to park myself on our giant, comfy couch and catch up on some blog-readin', web-surfin', and tv-watchin' (which was short-lived, considering our tv comes to us via a metal hanger and piece of wood) whilst in my pajamas. Un-luckily, it was my day off and I am battling a ferocious viral attack on my vital organs.

Nevertheless, I got myself up and into the kitchen to whip up this cozy, comfort-food feast for my hardworking hubby and I (humor my pity-card a little?). This tasty spread combines the powers of spices, veggies, omega-3s, and good ole' country cooking to create a flavor-filled and vitamin-packed feast that will clear your congestion and warm your soul. Cozy up with this yummy meal tonight! Bring it on, Spring!

Roasted Red Pepper-Tomato Soup 
Herb-Crusted Salmon with Roasted Asparagus *
$14 for 2

For the Soup:

1  14oz. can diced tomatoes
2c vegetable broth
1/2c red onion, chopped
1/2c red bell pepper, chopped
5 cloves garlic, sliced
1 stalk celery, sliced
2tbsp olive oil
2tbsp butter
1 tsp ginger paste
1tbsp flour
1/4c heavy cream
salt, pepper to taste
2tbsp basil, oregano, parsley chopped (plus more for garnish)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a shallow baking pan, toss onion, bell pepper, garlic with 2tbsp olive oil. Roast in oven for 10-15 minutes.
2. In a medium sauce pan, bring broth, tomatoes, ginger to a boil. Add celery, roasted mix, chopped herbs, flour, butter. simmer for 10mins. 
3. In a food processor/blender, pulse soup until smooth. Return to pot. Stir in cream, salt, pepper, to taste.
4. Garnish with fresh herbs. Serve hot!

For the Salmon:

2 4oz portions fresh, wild caught salmon fillet
1c bread crumbs
1/2 tsp each: garlic powder, dried oregano, sea salt, pepper
2tbsp olive oil
6-8 stalks asparagus

1. Mix herbs and bread crumbs, pour onto a plate or into a medium ziploc bag.
2. Coat fillets with olive oil, then dip in bread crumbs (or shake in bag to coat completely).
3. Place in a shallow baking pan, cook in oven (400degrees) for 12mins, or until flakes easily with fork.
4. Drizzle asparagus with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Cook for 12 mins.

* Also served with golden Buttery Biscuits (recipe posted earlier), yum!

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