recipe || roasted tomato soup

Do you know what inspires me? Someone who has a dream tucked into their heart, something they probably keep quietly to themselves for a time, praying about it, asking the Lord to give directions and clarity as to if and when the steps for that dream ought to begin. Then, one day, they whisper it to their spouse or dear friend or parent and say, "what do you think about it?" And over time they began to share it with a few more people, asking for prayer, asking for help or added inspiration until, finally, it is time to start fitting the pieces of that dream together.

The hard work begins the putting feet to the dream. How exciting and exhausting it must be, how vulnerable and hopeful that person must feel. But how sweet to be on a journey of learning to trust the Lord all the more; to see what He will do with it, whether it is to grow and flourish, or whether it doesn't come to really ever "be" at all and it is something that must be let go. Either way, He pushes and prods, stretches and grows, encourages and comforts. After all, He knows those private dreams we hold better than we really do, and He knows how He is going to us them, for our sake and His.

I've thought about all these things many times as I've followed The Yellow Table blog. Anna, the lovely one behind said blog, relayed her journey a while ago as she created and wrote and published her first cookbook, The Yellow Table. It was fascinating to read about that journey and incredible to see her work ethic and her passion behind putting together those pages. A story like that catches my eye, it sparks my creativity, and it absolutely makes me feel all the things.

And then she goes and cooks so beautifully! This roasted tomato soup of hers is our favorite favorite of all the tomato soup recipes we've tried. I love the balance of her soup, and the grilled cheese recipe she has in her book to accompany this soup marks the yummy box with a good, hearty check.

Eat, my friends, and be satisfied.

Roasted Tomato-Basil Soup

Ingredients and Recipe on the blog: The Yellow Table.

Buy her cookbook. It is so well done, truly a soothing cookbook for me to flip through. It is a favorite to keep on my Magnolia cookbook stand as the cover is lovely and reminds me, every time I glance over at it, to always be looking for opportunity to gather people around my own table. There's something magical about the way food and conversations meld together. I love what it does.

I hope this week is off to a delicious start for you, lovelies. Happy Monday.

 

recipe || chicken gnocchi soup

Good Morning, you lovelies.

Happy Monday to you!

I will not lie to you, this morning has not started off in the most bright and sunshine-y of ways in our little home. It was a less than stellar night with the furry member of our family and when I did sleep I was dreaming of large amounts of stink-bugs (which I hate!!) dangling from our ceiling in a surprisingly organized pyramid formation. And then our Little's start to the day immediately began with tears and disobedience, requiring heart talks from two groggy, sleep-deprived parents. 

On mornings like this there lies a strong temptation to be resigned to "hard" for the rest of the day and throw the towel in right at the start. How many times I've done that, not even fighting to think rightly or be patient or choose joy because "it's just going to be one of those days." Let's parse that statement for all the sinful responses that are there, goodness. 

Praise Jesus, there's that glorious "but." That "but" that is ours in Christ Jesus, "because of His great love with which He loved us." Throwing in the towel isn't the only option, with which reminder He gently prompted my heart with this morning. After tearfully hugging J goodbye for the day, fighting the urge to grab him around the legs and beg him to stay home, I trudged back to our bedroom. As I tidied the bed, with a still struggling 5 year old in the next room, tears flowed as I just begged the Lord for His help. And the verse that came to mind was one of my favorites:

"But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."

There it is, that wonderful, glorious "but." That reminder that His love never ceases, His mercies never end, His faithfulness is great! Even if the day is full of "hard" I have hope. I have every reason to fight for those right thoughts though I just want a pity party, to pursue that patience that is dangling by a thread, and to choose that joy even when the tears fall. And that can be done, not through my individual weary efforts, but because of His sufficient grace, because of that strength that is make perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).

Days like these are edged with such beauty, when I get outside of myself to see it, because they are pictures of a good Father who lovingly brings me to the end of myself and says, "Be content with weaknesses. For when you are weak, then you are strong."

So we are laying our tears and our weariness and our sleeplessness at His feet and choosing to see His work, to recognize His loving ways, and to "leave all resultings, do the next thing." 

So, dear ones, I hope that you have a lovely day, resting in the truest things about you. And here's a cozy recipe to write into your dinner menu this week. It's especially perfect on a rainy day. 

Chicken Gnocchi Soup

1 medium onion, chopped

2 large carrots, peeled and grated*

4 stalks celery, chopped

6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

1 rotisserie chicken + 1 cup reserved broth from bottom of the chicken container**

7 cups water

8 chicken bullion cubes

1 (16 ounce) package potato gnocchi

4 cups half and half

1 1/2 cups spinach, chopped

1 teaspoon thyme

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1 tablespoons sugar

1/4 cup cold water

5 tablespoons cornstarch

salt and pepper

2 tablespoons butter

Directions

Get your onion and garlic peeled and chopped, your carrots peeled and grated and your celery chopped. Heat a large pot up over medium high heat. Pour 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil in it. When the oil is hot toss your chopped veggies into the pan. Cook them over medium high heat, stirring occasionally for about 5-8 minutes or until the onions are translucent.

Take the rotisserie chicken out of the package and set it on a plate. Pour the broth that is left in the bottom of the chicken package into a large measuring cup. You should have about 1 cup of broth from the pan. Pull the skin off of the chicken, and take the meat off of the bones. Chop it up with a sharp knife. When your veggies are done cooking pour the broth from the chicken and 7 cups of hot water into the pot. Add 8 chicken bullion cubes and give it a nice stir. Add the chopped chicken and bring at the soup to a boil.

Open the package of gnocchi and pour it into the pot. Let the soup come to a boil again and allow the gnocchi to cook for about 3-4 minutes. The gnocchi will be cooked through when they float to the top of the broth. It should happen pretty fast. Chop up about 1 1/2 cups of spinach and toss it into the pot. Pour in 4 cups of half and half, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, 1 tablespoon sugar and 2 tablespoons of butter. Stir it around a bit and let it come to a boil. 

In a small bowl combine 1/4 cup cold water and 5 tablespoons of cornstarch. Mix it well and pour it into the soup pot. Bring the soup to a boil, while you stir. It will thicken as the soup reaches a boil. Taste it and season it to your liking with salt and pepper. 

Enjoy, my friends, in all its coziness!

Original recipe via Pinterest

*I don't peel the carrots, I chop them. Go crazy.

**I use a rotisserie chicken or chicken breasts that I've baked with olive oil, salt, and pepper. And I always use chicken broth from its own container. 

***I half the recipe for J and I. It makes plenty!

recipe | shrimp scampi

There are those dishes that you just want to tack on the menu plan every single week. This is one of those; fully hubby and friend approved and will cause you to keep ripping off "just one more" piece of bread so that you can soak up more of the goodness.

It's such a good summer dish; it is fresh and bright and just really happy. Even with the cream it is not overly heavy. So you must make it before the summer officially comes to an end. However, know that in this house, at least, it will make an appearance in all seasons.

Shrimp Scampi with Cherry Tomatoes

3 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt

1 pound bucatini, spaghetti or fettucine

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 shallots, minced

1 pound cherry tomatoes, sliced

1 tablespoon paprika (I left this out)

1 teaspoon chile flakes

1 cup white wine

1 cup heavy cream

1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

3 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, chopped

Directions

Fill a high-sided skillet set over high heat with water. Add 3 tablespoons of the salt and bring to a boil. Add the pasta, and gently stir using tongs to make sure the pasta doesn't stick to itself. Cook the pasta for 12 to 14 minutes, and then drain.

In a large skillet set over medium heat, add the oil. When hot, add the garlic, shallots, tomatoes and the remaining 1/2 tablespoon salt. Salute until the onions are translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the paprika and chile flakes, and salute for 1 to 2 minutes. Pour in the wine, scraping up any bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer. Add the cream and return to a simmer for 1 minute. Add the shrimp and cover with the sauce. Cook, stirring to make sure the shrimp cooks through, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the chives and parsley, and toss to mix. Serve the shrimp and sauce over the pasta.

Enjoy, my friends!

recipe courtesy of Tia Mowry at Home