Groovy Green Recipes

Popular Recipes From the Groovy Green Kitchen Series:

Sweet Red Pepper and Salsa Soup with Toaster Oven Focaccia

Sweet Red Pepper and Salsa Soup

A flavorful, brilliantly- colored cream soup. Perfect for any meal, even an elegant, company dinner. Serves 4-6. 
Note: Sweet red peppers have a lot of water in them and will add to the total volume of this soup as they cook. 

3 T. olive oil
4 large sweet red peppers, coarsely diced
1 large sweet onion, coarsely diced
2-4 cloves of garlic, minced (to taste)
½- 1 T. crushed dried thyme leaves (to taste)
¼- ½ teas. freshly ground- pepper (to taste)
¼- ½ teas. sea salt (to taste, optional)
1 T. cornstarch
4 T. tomato salsa (mild or medium)
3 C. vegetable soup stock
½ C. light or regular sour cream

Garnish: Finely chopped fresh parsley

In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over MEDIUM-HIGH heat. Add red peppers, onion and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes. Stir in spices. Cover, reduce heat to MEDIUM and steam for 5 minutes to release flavours. Transfer to slow cooker. 

Stir in cornstarch, dredging all vegetables evenly. Add all remaining ingredients except sour cream. 

Cook on HIGH for 3 hours or LOW for 6 hours, adding sour cream for last 10 minutes of cooking time on HIGH. 

Remove from heat and allow soup to cool slightly. Using an immersion blender, puree to desired consistency. Reheat slightly if required. Garnish and serve. 

Toaster-Oven Focaccia (with choice of toppings)

A wonderful addition with almost any kind of soup or stew dinner and so much better and fresher than the pricey, store-bought varieties. Focaccia bread has a wonderful, chewy texture with a slightly crisp crust. Great for sandwiches too. 
Bakes perfectly in a large toaster-oven or use a conventional range if desired.

1 C. warm water
2 teas. Traditional dry yeast
1 teas. raw sugar
1 1/2- 2 C. unbleached white flour
½ teas. sea salt
 Extra-virgin olive oil

In a large bowl, combine warm water, yeast and sugar. Stir to combine, cover and set aside for 15-20 minutes until yeast is completely dissolved and foamy.

Combine flour (start with 1 C.) and salt and gradually add to the first mixture to form a soft dough. Add more flour as required.

Knead on a floured board for about 5 minutes until dough forms a smooth ball. 
Wash and dry mixing bowl previously used, grease thoroughly with olive oil and place dough into bowl, turning over to oil all sides. Cover with a damp tea towel and allow to rise for about 1 hour, until doubled in volume.

Punch down dough and knead for 1 minute.

Lightly oil (use olive oil) a 9 ½ x 11” or 8 x 12” metal baking pan (with a rim).
Spread dough out on pan to outer edges, keeping thickness throughout as even as possible.
Top with desired toppings (see below) and allow to rise (uncovered) in a warm place for 30-40 minutes, until doubled.

10 minutes before end of rising time, preheat oven to 450F for toaster-oven or conventional range, on convection setting if available and with oven rack at lowest position. Bake 10-12 minutes until slightly golden on top. Reduce heat to 425F after first 5 minutes, if browning too fast. 


Basic: Drizzle dough with 3 T. olive oil and sprinkle with medium-grind sea salt (to taste) before rising.

Basic Savory: Drizzle dough with 3 T. olive oil and sprinkle with medium-grind sea salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste) before rising.

Cheesy-Italian: Drizzle dough with 3 T. olive oil and sprinkle with 1 C. finely grated fresh Parmesan cheese, 1 teas. Mrs. Dash Original Blend seasoning and 2 teas. crushed dried oregano leaves or Italian seasoning blend, before rising.

Sunny Paris: Drizzle dough with 3 T. olive oil and sprinkle with 1-2 T. Sunny Paris salt-free seasoning from the Spice House (a wonderful and unique flavor blend!) Featured in the photo above.

Pesto: Spread 4 T. basil pesto over dough before rising.

Greek: Drizzle dough with 3 T. olive oil and top with 1 teas. crushed dried thyme leaves, 2 teas. crushed dried oregano leaves and 1 C. thinly-sliced green or black olives.

Whole Grain: Substitute 1 C. whole wheat flour for 1 C. of the unbleached white flour. 

Apple Harvest Curried Soup

This is one of my all-time, favorite autumn soups; when apples are at their peak and priced right too. The addition of curry powder and yogurt or sour cream adds a distinctive tang to the mix! Flavorful and colorful too. Serves 4.

-5 large apples (red, sweet varieties), peeled and chopped
-2 T. fresh lemon juice
-3 T. butter or good quality, non-whipped margarine
-1 medium (preferably sweet) onion, diced
-1-2 T. curry powder ( to taste )
(Hint: if using Madras curry powder, use half the amount; it’s very HOT)
-2-3 teas. crushed, dried thyme leaves (to taste)
-¼ - ½ teas. freshly-ground black pepper (to taste)
-5 C. vegetable soup stock
-1 T. cornstarch mixed with 4 T. cold water
-½ C. plain yogurt (Greek or regular-type) or regular, low-fat or vegan sour cream

-Optional garnishes: finely chopped fresh parsley or a drizzle of yogurt or sour cream

In a large bowl, combine apples and lemon juice and set aside.

In a large soup pot, melt butter over MEDIUM heat. Immediately add onion and sauté for 1 minute. Add apples with lemon juice and continue to sauté for 2 additional minutes. 
Add spices and herbs and stir to combine all ingredients thoroughly. Cover and steam over MEDIUM-LOW heat for 5 minutes to release flavors.

Add the vegetable soup stock, cover and bring to a boil. 
Reduce heat to LOW and simmer for 20 minutes or until apples are soft but not mushy.

Add cornstarch mixed with water and bring back to a boil. Simmer for 2 minutes over LOW heat, until slightly thickened. 

Add yogurt or sour cream and continue to simmer for 1-2 minutes additional minutes, just to heat through. 

Remove from heat and puree to desired consistency. (I like to leave this one a bit chunky!) 
Adjust seasonings if required. Garnish and serve. 

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