TJ’s Lazy, Kicked-Up Tomato and Red Bell Pepper Soup

I don’t get sick often, but when I do it kicks my ass.  During my infirmity I find it hard to eat, let alone cook. If I have to cook while sick, I want it to take as little time as possible and not accrue many dishes at the end.  This is why I take a break from preparing my food from scratch and employ the help of Trader Joe.  I like Trader Joe’s because they do not have artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. They also have a very nice selection of organic foods.

With this (sort of) recipe, I took one of their pre-packaged soups and made it even better.


1 container Trader Joe’s Low-Sodium Tomato and Red Bell Pepper Soup

Dollop of Trader Joe’s Organic 0% Fat Greek Yogurt

1 T. Chopped Trader Joe’s Chives

about 1/4 tsp or to taste Trader Joe’s Jalapeño Hot Sauce


  1. Heat the soup according to the directions on the container.
  2. When proper soup temperature is achieved, ladle soup into bowls.
  3. Garnish with a dollop of greek yogurt topped with the chives.
  4. Lightly drizzle hot sauce. (This will make it look fancy and it makes me feel a little less sick)

Enjoy and be well!


Crockpot Vegetarian Borscht

Crockpot Vegetarian Borscht

Crockpot Vegetarian Borscht


2 bunches red beets

3/4 lb red potatoes

1 large yellow onion

4 cups vegetarian broth

1 plum tomato (seeded)

3 cups green cabbage (shredded finely)

1/4 cup fresh dill, with extra reserved for garnish

1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar

2 Tablespoons lemon juice

Lemon wedges for garnish

Non-Fat Greek yogurt, optional (I always use this instead of sour cream, but you can use whichever you like… or not at all)


1. Remove tops from and peel beets. If the beets are larger than two inches, halve them.

2. In the following order place beets, potato, onion, tomato, and broth into the crockpot.

3. Cook on high heat for 4 hours or low heat for 8 hours.

4. Using a blender or food processor, blend the soup until smooth. Please do this in small batches and take care not to burn yourself. The soup will be quite hot.  Put the processed soup back into the crockpot and mix in the cabbage.

5. Cook in the crockpot on high for an additional 45 minutes.

6. Add the 1/4 cup dill, red wine vinegar and lemon juice.

7. Serve with a dollop of the non-fat Greek yogurt and a sprig of dill.