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Weekday dinner inspiration: Mushroom Leek Soup with Garlic Croutons, and more

Mon | Meatless meal

Dinner inspiration comes from lots of places and especially the Internet, which is swimming with food photos and recipes. Mushroom Leek Soup With Garlic Croutons (recipe below) comes from, the blog of Kate Wheeler of Los Angeles. I'd like to say it'll warm you on a chilly night but we seem to be getting fewer of those as we head into spring. Nevertheless, try this recipe which includes lots of nutritious ingredients.

Tues | Easy does it

Spicy Meatball Stew is served over whole wheat bow-ties, and made easy by using frozen meatballs. Heat a big sauce pot and add a tablespoon or so of olive oil. Saute a diced jalapeno pepper and 1 diced green pepper for about 5 minutes. Add a large can of diced tomatoes and a cup of frozen corn. Stir in about two dozen frozen meatballs, slightly thawed. Let the mixture simmer for at least 10 minutes and make the noodles.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

You'll only need four ingredients to make Chicken Enchilada Cake and one of them is 2 cups shredded cooked chicken. The others are 8 (8-inch) flour tortillas, 2 (10-ounce) cans of enchilada sauce and ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and spritz a round cake pan with nonstick spray. Make layers: tortilla, sauce, chicken and cheese. Bake for about 20 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Thurs | Roll 'em up

Oven-Baked Chicken and Asparagus Rolls are delicious served with a side of rice pilaf and a salad. To make the chicken, first mix together a few tablespoons of mayo and Dijon mustard plus some fresh lemon juice and set aside. Simmer trimmed asparagus spears for a couple minutes, and flatten boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Layer chicken with a slice of mozzarella and two, well-drained asparagus spears. Roll and secure with toothpicks. Brush with mayo mixture and roll in bread crumbs. Bake for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Fri | California eggs

When you see that a dish has a Left Coast leaning, that almost always means it include avocados, maybe even sprouts. So sure enough, I am incorporating diced avocado in my California Green Omelet. The filling is crumbled bacon, avocado, sliced scallions and pepper Jack cheese. Serve with big slices of melon and whole wheat toast. If you're lousy at folding omelets, make a frittata with the same ingredients.

Janet K. Keeler can be reached at or (727) 893-8586. Follow her on Twitter at @roadeats.


Mushroom Leek Soup With Garlic Croutons

For the soup:

8 ounces cremini mushrooms

1 medium leek

1 fennel bulb

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 small handfuls fresh spinach leaves

5 cups chicken broth

For the garlic croutons:

1 head garlic

1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil

Several slices of baguette

Parmesan cheese for garnish

To make the soup, slice the mushrooms, clean and slice the leek, discarding the dark green, and thinly slice the fennel bulb.

In a medium Dutch oven or soup pot, saute the sliced fennel, mushrooms and leek in the olive oil over medium heat until they are beginning to soften but not color. Add the spinach and saute until wilted.

Add the chicken broth, put the lid on your pot and simmer over low heat for about 25 minutes or until the vegetables are thoroughly soft (the fennel will take the longest). Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until completely smooth. (Or you can puree it in batches in the blender and then return to the soup pot.)

To make the garlic croutons, meanwhile, preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Rub the papery outside off the head of garlic and slice a bit off the top. Place in a square of tin foil, drizzle with half the olive oil and wrap the head up into the tin foil in a package.

Arrange the baguette slices on a cookie sheet and brush each cut side with the remaining oil. Roast the garlic in its package for about 45 minutes, placing the baguette in the same slow oven for 15 minutes of the process or until the slices are crisp. The garlic should be golden brown and meltingly soft.

To serve, spread each slice of baguette with a clove of the roasted garlic. Float a couple of the garlic croutons on each bowl of soup and top with grated Parmesan cheese.

Serves 4.


Weekday dinner inspiration: Mushroom Leek Soup with Garlic Croutons, and more

02/19/13 [Last modified: Monday, February 18, 2013 12:31pm]
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