Now that summer is here in my part of the world, the swimming pool is in full swing. I know that it is probably not summer hot in May where you live, but here is it about 85-86 degrees every day. The 90s will be here next month. This time of year, I like to invite friends over for swimming and either lunch or a BBQ supper. Lunch is a good idea because it can be served easily poolside and most of the food preparation can be done in advance. Seasonal soups are always a big hit with my friends. I usually like to prepare a sandwich or a salad that complements the soup. Here are some of my ideas for lunch that you can make for your family or for guests.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 leeks, white and light green sections, chopped
- 3 celery stalks, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 3 carrots, diced
- 1 red or orange bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
- 6 cups fresh corn kernels, divided
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
- Grated cheddar cheese, chopped chives or crumbled bacon, for garnish
Heat the butter in a Dutch oven or large soup pot. Add the leeks, celery, carrots, bell pepper and potatoes to the pot and saute for ten minutes until soft.
Add 3 cups of the corn, the vegetable broth, chili powder and the thyme. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for an hour. Remove the thyme branches.
Remove the pot from the heat and puree the contents with an immersion blender. Add the half and half, salt and pepper to taste and the remaining 3 cups of corn.
Return the pot to the heat and simmer the soup for about 30 minutes.
Serve in individual soup bowls with any or all of the garnishes.
Eggplant Parmesan Sandwiches
For each sandwich
- One 3-4 inch square of Eggplant Parmesan
- Recipe for Eggplant Parmesan: https://jovinacooksitalian.com/2016/05/18/what-to-cook-this-week/
- One slice mozzarella cheese, cut to fit the sandwich
- 1 ciabatta roll, sliced in half
Heat the oven to 350 F.
Place the eggplant on the bottom half of a ciabatta roll. Top with a slice of mozzarella cheese and the roll top.
Wrap the sandwich in foil and place on a baking tray. Bake the sandwich for 15 minutes or until hot and the cheese has melted.
Cut the sandwich in two and serve with Tuscan peppers and olives.
Fresh Tomato Basil Soup
- 4 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 cup chopped sweet onion
- 3/4 cup chopped celery
- 3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
- 6 oz can tomato paste
- 2 pounds plum tomatoes, cut into wedges
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup heavy cream or half & half
- Thinly sliced fresh basil for garnish
Combine the first 6 ingredients in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer 30 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat and puree the soup with an immersion blender. Stir in salt and pepper and the cream. Return the pot to low heat and warm the soup. Do not boil.
Serve in individual soup bowls with basil for a garnish.
- 1 refrigerated or frozen deep dish pie crust, at room temperature
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 ½ cups fresh shrimp, peeled, deveined and diced
- 1 teaspoon Old Bay (seafood) seasoning
- ½ cup jarred roasted red peppers, diced
- 2 tablespoons dry vermouth or white wine
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 1⁄2 cups grated cheddar cheese or your favorite cheese
- Hot sauce, a few dashes
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Fit the pastry into a 9 inch pie pan coated with cooking spray and flute the edges. Place the pan on a baking sheet.
Cook the shallots in the butter for 1-2 minutes over moderate heat until tender, but not browned.
Add the shrimp and stir gently for 1 minute. Sprinkle on the seafood seasoning.
Add the wine, raise the heat and boil for a minute. Allow to cool slightly. Stir in the roasted red peppers.
Beat the eggs in a mixing bowl with the cream, tomato paste and hot sauce. Gradually fold in the cooled shrimp mixture.
Spread 1 cup of the cheese on the bottom of the pie crust.
Pour the shrimp mixture into the pastry shell and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top.
Bake in the upper third of the oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until the pie has puffed and browned on the top.
Cool for 15 minutes before cutting.
May 23, 2016 at 7:44 am
Oh my goodness, your posts never ever fail to disappoint! Here in the UK it is a bad idea to own an outdoor pool because we only get around 20-30 sunny days a year, if that! The pool looks deliciously exciting, and the lunch ideas look tremendous. Eggplant parmesan sandwiches, yummy! 🙂
May 23, 2016 at 7:47 am
Thank you so much for your wonderful comment. I used to live in the northern part of the US and like you, we had limited sun and lots of cold days. We decided to change that. To me there is no sandwich better than one made with eggplant.
May 23, 2016 at 7:48 am
Haha, I might just have to move too! 🙂
May 23, 2016 at 7:49 am
Also I am so sorry, I meant “your posts never disappoint!”, it came out all wrong! 🙂
May 23, 2016 at 7:51 am
Don’t worry. I know what you meant.
Marisa Franca @ All Our Way
May 23, 2016 at 7:46 am
Oh boy!! I can be there in about six hours — if I knew where “there” is. (Hint! Hint!) Your dishes look 10 drool worthy points. I love the soups in there with the rest of the dishes. Great idea!! Have a wonderful day.
May 23, 2016 at 7:52 am
Any time you are ready, drop me an email and I’ll send you directions. Thanks so much Marisa.
May 23, 2016 at 9:33 am
Lucky you to have pool weather already! We’ve had a dreadfully slow start to the hot weather we expect by this time of year. Shrimp pie sounds wonderful.
May 23, 2016 at 9:37 am
Hope it warms up for you soon.
May 23, 2016 at 10:17 am
We’re warming up here in NJ too…and that shrimp pie looks delicious. N.
May 23, 2016 at 12:33 pm
No pool in my back yard, however the food looks awesome, maybe it will taste just as good sitting by the lake? We are finally enjoying mid to high 70’s here 🙂
May 23, 2016 at 1:00 pm
Definitely just as good by the lake.
May 23, 2016 at 1:10 pm
Yum. Those soups look delicious!!
May 23, 2016 at 4:17 pm
The tomato basil soup sounds lovely with eggplant parmesan. And I would love to try some of the shrimp pie!
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May 23, 2016 at 6:07 pm
Wow! I can’t believe you have your pool open already! I live in Southwest Michigan and its been hovering around 55 degrees all of May. We just broke 70 for the first time today. Of course I live one mile from the lake and that is keeping it very cool right now. Hopefully the warmer weather will be coming soon!
May 23, 2016 at 6:26 pm
I lived in MI for awhile and I know the weather is so unpredictable. Now, I live on the Gulf of Mexico where it is usually nice and warm.
For the Love of Cooking
May 24, 2016 at 12:16 pm
I would love each and every one of those recipes!
May 29, 2016 at 12:20 pm
The shrimp pie sound amazing. We have a family week at the beach coming up soon I have to see if I can work it into the menu!
May 29, 2016 at 3:04 pm
Your family will love it. It tastes so good. Thanks Linda.