Tour de Soup Series: #3 Zuppa Toscana

I would normally have a picture displaying my recent soup venture, but I’ll have to add it in at a later date. Let’s just say that this soup was in heavy rotation for months. Yes, it was that good, but I’ve had to take it out due to it’s frequent visits on the dinner table.

While I was trying to find a catchy title for my soup, I thought it would be fun to make it into a series. I am not much of a Tour de France aficionado, but I did learn that it is a 23-day event. What does that mean for you and me? It means that I unintentionally signed myself up for the challenge of coming up with 23 different soup recipes to share. After today’s post, this leaves me with 20 more soup recipes to share in the coming weeks. I will be stepping out of my comfort zone pho sho.

This week’s soup is zuppa toscana and is an easy soup to make. I rely mostly on the flavoring that comes from the sausage. If you decide to use hot Italian sausage, most of the heat washes away in the soup, so for those sensitive to spice, it is pretty mild. No need to add additional salt. This makes a great meal on its own or you can serve it as an appetizer. If you do happen to make this one, please feel free to post a picture in the comments box below. It would be greatly appreciated.

Tour de Soup Series: #1 Tomato Basil Soup

Staying at home with the family during this time of this global pandemic, continues to force me to step out of my comfort zone and into the realm of comfort foods. When it comes to dinner time, the favorites and regular staples are getting old i.e., spaghetti with meat sauce, tacos, baked chicken, and barbecued spare ribs. I get tired of having leftovers that no one will eat later. I have found it most effective when I make just enough so there is nothing left. Scarcity seems to work well for this family.

It has been a hot humid Florida summer, but nothing says summer like a cup of hot soup. I’m only half kidding. I love soup during hot or cold weather. On one particular humid summer night, Anthony and I were at a customer’s house where we were given a shot of Turkish coffee with a hint of orange. I found it particularly odd that we weren’t offered something to cool us down. He explained that hot drinks are supposed to cool you down. The particular science behind it I have since learned doesn’t work for those of us who live in a humid climate. All science aside, it wouldn’t change the fact that I enjoy making comfort foods year-around. I mean why not, right? Who says you can only eat pumpkin pie during Thanksgiving?

I should probably make summer soups, but this tomato basil soup is something you’ll want to add into your menu rotation. Even my picky eaters will have a bowl. It makes for a good Meatless Monday. Each spoonful is rich with flavor, especially with fresh basil. Please join me next week for next week’s Tour de Soup! Feel free to drop me a line to let me know your favorite soup.

Peach Cobbler and More…

If I can’t laugh at a situation, I would be crying.

As this pregnancy begins to wind down, I have gone into full on nesting mode. I am 33 weeks along. There are days when I felt like I lived in the kitchen, but I’m sure you are realizing now that this post isn’t just about peach cobbler.

We have lived in our current rental for over a year and a half, but it hasn’t really felt like home until now.

There have been so many changes since 2018. My kids and mother have had to adjust to having Anthony in their lives. The adjustment to Step dad and then being called Dad has been at times an intense process, but a loving one. He loves my children as his own and shows it daily. He goes above and beyond looking after their needs and their well-being. They will always go to him before me when they need to talk or need some advice. I am forever grateful for all that he does.

I have come to realizations time and time again that a marriage cannot simply be based on a religious preference or a hobby (for me it was running) it must come straight from the heart. I didn’t understand the true meaning of loving someone until he came into my life. He continues to teach me things every day.

During my first marriage, I was ridiculously and meticulously religious. Judgemental much? Yes, all the time! I was concerned about what others thought me, my husband and my children. Individually and together. I wanted my children to dress in clothes that matched (not to their liking) and with perfectly coiffed hair. Being a mother of 2 daughters, they weren’t having it. It resulted in them getting a bob haircut. Easy to clip back and to brush out. My dreams of having children with hair nicely braided or ponied was a thing of the past. They would dress how I wanted them to dress, but how they acted at times and how their hair would look when not freshly brushed was beyond my control. I thought people were judging everything on the surface, like the house I lived in and what we drove around in. It’s a funny wake up call when you realize that people weren’t all that concerned about you, but about themselves.

I used to laugh and a giggle at EVERYTHING (even things that aren’t meant to be funny), which psychologically speaking, says an individual who does that is really unhappy. I have always said if I couldn’t laugh at a situation I would be crying. That alone could not be further from the truth.

Anthony made me see how I really was. I was selfish, self-centered, short-tempered, and controlling. I’m sure that I still am all these things, but just less intense. Let’s just say I am more aware of my shortcomings. Not running and my addiction to it made me finally turn around and face my issues head on. Our road together has NOT been easy, but there’s no other person I would go through this life than with him.

Peach Cobbler Recipe

There are many variations to this family favorite. I have used, peaches, pears, and a frozen bag of triple berries (blueberries, raspberries and blackberries). When using canned fruit/frozen fruits with no additional sugar added. You can use a 1/2 Cup of sugar for every cup of canned/frozen fruit used. If using frozen fruit, place fruit and sugar in a small saucepan and heat until fruit is thawed and sugar is dissolved before pouring it over the batter.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 350 degrees for 45-55 min.

Ingredients:

8 tablespoons butter

1 Cup Sugar

1 1/2 Cup Flour

2 1/4 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 C. Milk

1- 29 ounce can sliced peaches in syrup

Cinnamon (to sprinkle on top)

Preheat oven to 350 F .

  1. In a 9″ x 13″ casserole dish place 8 tbsp in dish and put it in the oven while it’s preheating.
  2. Mix flour, baking powder and sugar and slowly whisk in milk.

2. Take out baking dish from oven and pour in batter.

3. Gently place peaches and syrup over the batter.

4. Sprinkle cinnamon and bake until top is golden brown. It took mine 55 minutes. Put on a dollop of whip cream or a scoop of ice cream and enjoy.