Tomato Soup and Arepas

Of course tomato soup is great with grilled cheese, but to change it up I decided to pair the soup with arepas.  I really never thought about making my own tomato soup and decided to give it a try.  This recipe is tasty and easy.  It is naturally gluten free.  Click on Arepas for that recipe.

Homemade Tomato Soup

Makes 4 to 6 servings

1 – 28oz can of whole tomatoes

1 – 12oz jar of roasted red peppers drained

1/4 cup of half and half

1 1/2 teaspoons of Kosher salt

1 teaspoon of sugar

1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground pepper

2 garlic cloves

1/4 cup of water

Put all ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth.  Pour into a medium sauce pan and heat on medium, stirring often for about 8 minutes or until hot.

 

 

 


Arepas – Naturally Gluten Free

Arepas are often served in South American restaurants and of course, are very popular in South American. They are easy to make at home.

Arepas are made from precooked corn flour and the one that I used is P.A.N.  It is marked GF and is found in many grocery stores. Bob’s Red Mill also makes a harina precocida which can be used. As always, check it carefully if you have Celiac.

This recipe makes slightly crispy thin arepas, which I like to use as a substitute for a dinner roll.  They can also be topped with cheese, tomatoes or black beans.  Arepas can also be made larger and stuffed like a sandwich.

I like to use plastic wrap to shape them and keep my hands clean.

1 cup arepa flour P.A.N.  (or any harina precocida)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups of boiling water

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

 

Combine flour and salt in a large bowl.

Add boiling water and stir

Cover and let stand for 5 minutes

*****

Put dough on a piece of plastic wrap and form a 2 inch thick disk.

Cut into 6 equal pieces and roll  each piece into a ball and flatten into a 3 inch disk – use plastic wrap to keep the dough from sticking on your hands

Heat a large skillet on medium high, coat with cooking spray and add a small amount of oil

Cool 5 minutes or more until arepas turn golden brown and form a crust

Move the arepas to a baking sheet coated with spray

Bake for 20 minutes

Enjoy!

I also used this recipe with Pulled Pork Arepas Appetizers.

 


Old Faithfuls

Black and Blue Salvia guaranitica.

Salvia coccinea

Black Eyed Susan

Butterfly Weed

Gulf Coast Penstemon

These plants are the backbone of my garden.  I can count on them every year. Many have been transplanted from my former house nearly 20 years ago and others are passalongs.  They have faithfully grown and multiplied for years and should continue to do so.

 


Camellias Still Blooming

My camellias have been having an outstanding year.  They have been blooming since the end of January.  I am so thrilled, I just had to take more pictures of them. The Red Velvet has more flowers than ever.  I think it helped that deer didn’t eat the shrub this year.

White by the Gate has had very little discoloration from fungus despite the rains this year.

I do not know what is different this year, but the Camellias have given me months of pleasure.  Professor Sargent has a few more buds to open.


Fantastic Fringe

Fringe Tree (Chionanthus virginicus) is a native to the southeast and because of that it is very easy to grow and virtually pest resistant.  Surprisingly, this one is still alive after being hit by a tree during Hurricane Ike. Its lightly scented fringe-like flowers remind me of shredded coconut when they fall to the ground.

This fantastic Fringe Tree is really worth adding to a Southern landscape.

 

 


Foraging for Volunteers

The Automatic Garden is full of plants that multiply in one way or another. The offspring does not always land in a bed.  A Polka Dot plant came up in the cobble stones among leaves and Elm tree seedlings.

I love to forage around my yard looking for volunteers.  This Black-eyed Susan is growing happily between the patio and grass.

It is always amazing how little soil is needed for a plant to germinate. A Columbine and Hardy Gloxinia are growing on this moss rock.

The Oenothera grandiflora preferred to grow in the grass and managed to survive several mowings.

I find plants cannot resist germinating in cracks.  There are at least 3 different kinds plants started here.  Over the last few weeks, I have been popping them up and replanting them where they belong.


Bluebonnet Surprise

I was not expecting to see Bluebonnets in my garden this year as I had the bed relandscaped and didn’t buy or plant any.  But a seed from the Texas State flower must have stayed behind and germinated.  A happy surprise.