I seem to be on a kick. I've managed to get myself to the gym five out of the past eight days, and for me, that's amazing! The funny thing about it is it's getting easier. It used to feel so hard, first to find the time, and then to find the motivation to move for 30+ minutes when I was ready to just crash on the couch for a few hours. I couldn't be happier. I want fitness to be a part of my daily life, but the past several months it's been so hard.
When I got home from the gym, I got to work making one of my favorite soups. It was originally from Cooking Light magazine, but I've changed a few things.
Tomato Soup with Parmesan Toasts
1 medium-sized onion, chopped
1 fennel bulb, chopped
A couple cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 can diced tomatoes, with their juice
4 cups vegetable broth
bread of your choice, sliced (I used a whole wheat french bread thing from Trader Joes, but you could use a baguette or french bread or whatever you prefer)
Shredded parmesan cheese (I actually used Trader Joes' quatro formaggio...LOOOOOVE that stuff!)
Thyme (fresh or dried...I used dried because that's all I had)
Fresh basil leaves
Heat your olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and garlic. Cook for about 3 minutes or until onions start to soften. Add the fennel and cook for another 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and the broth and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat and let simmer for 35-40 minutes. As I say, the longer you can deal, the better it will taste.
Meanwhile, spread your sliced bread on a baking sheet (I lined mine with foil first because it makes it easier to clean that way) and cover each with a pinch of cheese. Broil in the oven until the cheese melts. But watch it! It's easy to burn them.
Transfer half of the soup into a blender and blend until smooth...I like mine with a little bit of chunk left to it. I'll leave that part up to your discretion. Then do the other half. But make sure your blender can vent or the heat will make the lid pop and make a big mess (I have a Ninja blender with a little flip lid pour spout, so that works for me. If you have a regular blender, you could take the little circle out in the middle and cover it with a dish towel).
Sprinkle soup with basil and serve a cup of soup with a couple of toasts.
Now it's off to bed I go with the love of my life! Night!