Fall, Recipe Time, Soup's On

Spicy Tomato Soup

Spicy Tomato Soup with Smoked Cheddar Chicken Quesadillas | The Spicy Bee

Fall soups are where it’s at, especially when your tomatoes are starting to get to the point of no return. It only makes sense to have them added to a melty cheese sandwich or, better yet, SOUP. I grew up eating Campbell’s Tomato Soup out of a can–and while those memories are great, I strive to create something healthier that is:

a. High fructose corn syrup free
b. Lower preservative laden
c. Gluten-free (and dairy-free if you omit the manchego)
d. “Flavoring” free
e. Spicy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now now, what about canned tomatoes? Well, yes we could get into fisticuffs about the acidity of tomatoes and their negative affects on the lining of some cans (buy BPA free please!)…even AFTER all that, I still feel like it’s a step up from Campbell’s.

Better Tomato Soup than Campbell's - Homemade Spicy Tomato Soup | The Spicy Bee

Straight off the Campbell’s site. Find this at http://bit.ly/1rskR9o

I feel like once you realize the ease of this recipe, you may feel like I do. From what I can tell, this recipe will FREEZE beautifully too, so long as you do not add the coconut milk until after you re-thaw (so cool, cap, and toss into the freezer after the * below).

Spicy Tomato Soup

(Featuring Smoked Cheddar Spinach Quesadillas)

Spicy Tomato Soup with Smoked Cheddar Chicken Quesadillas | The Spicy Bee

Ingredients

  •  8-10 large, ripe tomatoes (may sub for 1 28oz can diced tomatoes)
  • 1 16oz jar/can tomato sauce
  • 1 fresh cayenne pepper
  • 1 small yellow pepper, deseeded
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 32oz container coconut milk (will be added to taste)
  • 3/4 c shredded manchego cheese
  • 1 ripe avocado

Method

In a blender, combine all tomato products, garlic, cayenne, and yellow pepper, and blend until smooth. Add the mixture to a large saucepan, and bring to a boil. Salt and pepper to taste; simmer for 20 minutes.* Check the spice after the simmer, and, if needed, add coconut milk to the mixture, whisking in 1/4 c at a time. Plate and top with avocado and manchego. This is also great topped with sour cream and your favorite tortilla chips. Soup should be creamy with a healthy kick! This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free (should you omit the cheese), and serves 4

My new combo is having this soup alongside a tried and true (albeit, messy) Smoked Cheddar and Spinach Quesadilla.

 This is my favorite recipe for a spicy tomato soup. What food did you grow up with that you long to make healthier?

Drinks, Fall, Sponsored Post

Cocktails with RAFT Syrups

RAFT Syrups Cocktail Recipes #Portland | The Spicy Bee

I’m always excited to get to know Portland local businesses and their product. I recently met and created cocktails with RAFT Syrups founders; two lovely ladies (Sook Goh & Roslynn Tellvik) who have developed a product, of which I’m already a huge fan. I mean, who doesn’t love natural soda syrups that will bring your soda water or cocktail to the next level?

RAFT Syrups Founders  #Portland | The Spicy Bee

via RAFTSyrups.com

You know my favorite was a bourbon-based cocktail. I hope you get a chance to enjoy this recipe by RAFT Syrups!

Fig Bourbon Cocktail

RAFT Syrups Cocktail Recipes #Portland | The Spicy Bee

Ingredients

2 oz. bourbon
1 fresh fig, cut in half
1 TBS RAFT Lemon Ginger syrup
1 tsp lemon juice
1 oz. sparkling water
ice

Method

In a cocktail shaker muddle fig and RAFT Lemon Ginger syrup into a paste. Fill shaker about halfway with ice cubes. Add bourbon and lemon juice. Shake for about 30 seconds. Strain into a cocktail coupe or other pretty glass. Top with sparkling water and garnish with a fig slice. If you’re feeling smoky, try RAFT Smoked Tea Vanilla in place of RAFT Lemon Ginger (One 5 oz. serving).

The flavors currently available are Hibiscus Lavender, Smoked Tea Vanilla, and Lemon Ginger. Bottles are normally 12.7 oz and available for about $19 each (although they also have a fun size for their giftpack that are 3.4oz–$29 for pack of 3). The syrups are created by a slow brewing process and once opened, it’s suggested you refrigerate them. They have a shelf life of up to a year and are relatively low sugar! Each tablespoon contains about 12g of sugar and 50 calories. What about a good Mojito/Nojito? Little known fact–a Mojito was my very first alcoholic beverage ever. I know, I’m also surprised. Adding the Hibiscus Syrup really creates a new profile I really love.

Hibiscus Mojito

RAFT Syrups Hibiscus Mojito  #Portland | The Spicy Bee

Ingredients

1.5 oz. of silver rum (omit to make a nojito)
2 TBS RAFT Hibiscus Lavender syrup
2 lime wedges
10 mint leaves + 1 mint sprig to garnish
sparkling water
crushed ice

Method

Add about 1/2 cup crushed ice to a 16 oz. glass. Squeeze lime wedges into the glass and drop them in. Add mint leaves. Muddle. Add about 1/2 cup more crushed ice to glass. Pour in rum. Top with sparkling water. Stir in RAFT Hibiscus Lavender and garnish with a sprig of mint (one 16 oz. serving).

Buy Local: PDX

If you’re looking to find some of the RAFT Syrups for yourself, you’re in luck! You can now purchase them through Hollywood Beverage (where I found it below!), Beam & Anchor, 1856, Hop & Vine, The Meadow, and New Deal Distillery.  Looking for RAFT Syrups in Seattle? They’re carried in the north as well! Check out Capco (West Seattle), Pacific Food Importers (SoDo), Sugar Pill (Capitol Hill), and Wine World (University District). Everywhere else? You can order ONLINE here. Make sure to sign up for their weekly recipe email and you will get 15% off your first order.

RAFT Syrups Cocktail Recipes #Portland | The Spicy Bee

I found all three flavors at Hollywood Beverage! Huzzah!

For more recipes, information, and ideas, check out RAFT Syrups’ site HERE.

Try some more new recipes!

Aubrie @ PDX Food Photographer | Pink Panther, Fig Bourbon (same), Raspberry Lavender, Toddy

Jenni @ A Well Crafted Party | Lemon Ginger Drop Cocktail

Fall, How-To, Uncategorized

How To: Easy Applesauce

Easy Applesauce How To | The Spicy Bee

Fall is here–fall is here! It’s time to go on long walks in the leaves, pick pumpkins, and bake with apples! We spent this last weekend just south of Portland near Salem at a few different apple orchards, and I have to say–it’s the closest I’ve been to feeling like I’m back home. We finally had success in finding some fresh apple donuts (pumpkin donuts too–YUM), and we came home with cider! Out here much of the apple cider is mass produced by a company based out of Hood River named Ryan’s. It’s quite different from the farms I went to at home that pressed their own cider daily. While, I have pressing my own cider on my bucket list, I was thrilled just to FIND good cider this year.

My favorite part of fall you ask!? All of it.

I should note though that I especially love apples. While my favorite variety is mostly based on what project it’s for, my go to for processing (for both taste and color) are Jonathan apples. I want to share a how-to that made me never want any other applesauce ever. It’s so easy–you will just laugh your way all the way to the freezer!

 How To: Easy Applesauce

Easy Applesauce How To | The Spicy Bee

Ingredients

  • 5lb Jonathan apples (or other tart apples)
  • (optional) 2-3 T lemon juice (or to taste)

Tools

  • Foodmill
  • Slotted spoon
  • Large pot
  • Large bowl
  • Widemouth quart jars
  • Apple corer
  • Knife

Method

Easy Applesauce How To | The Spicy Bee

Core the apples and cut them in half. Add them to a large pot of hot water and boil until they are soft, and the skins begin to separate (about 8-10 minutes of a rapid boil). Prep your foodmill by putting on the smallest grate and placing over a large bowl. Using a slotted spoon, move apples to your foodmill, running them through in a clockwise motion, working both the pulp through. You will note the skins will run up the side of the mill, so not much of the skin will actually be processed. Once all the apples have been processed, add in the lemon juice and stir to combine.

Easy Applesauce How To | The Spicy Bee

Transfer applesauce to quart jars, cool, and freeze. Recipe makes about 3 quarts.

That’s it!! It’s that easy! We love Jonathan apples best for applesauce, but I know of people who use a variety–so go crazy! Start with what you know and play. Your applesauce will keep for a year in the freezer. If you have trouble finding Jonathan apples,  as we have in the past, look for tart or cooking apples–don’t be afraid to experiment with small batches! There are many ways to make this recipe successfully :)

Easy applesauce really is where it’s at. What do you love to make in the fall?