Cat Cora's Recipe to Kick-Start Your Week!

Cat Cora's got a recipe to help you kick off a great week! It's an easy, delicious soup and corn-bread combo!

Her recipe for Chickpea and Roasted Pepper Soup will leave your guests amazed with your culinary genius! You'd never guess from its sultry taste or bright color that this is a from-the-cupboard-to-the-pot kind of soup. Called "rivithia" in Greece, it's eaten during the long fast before Easter, when meat isn't allowed.

You can pair the soup with Cat's no-fail recipe for White Cheddar Corn Bread that you can whip up in your food processor in no time at all. You can also use an electric mixer. The raw sugar adds a richer flavor, but you can use regular sugar with no problem.

Check out the recipes below!

Chickpea and Roasted Pepper Soup

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained
1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
4 cups homemade or store-bought chicken stock or vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
1 8-ounce jar roasted peppers, cut into thin strips, or 1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, and seeded The red pepper strips in a jar work well, so don't spend time roasting peppers if you don't have to.
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4-8 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped, for garnish (optional)

Directions:

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and saute, stirring constantly until lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 1 to 2 minutes to soften and bring out the fragrance. Add the chickpeas and rosemary, mixing well.

Pour in the stock, add the bay leaf, and reduce the heat to medium-low.

In a food processor or a blender, puree the contents of the jar of red bell pepper strips (or your own roasted red peppers). Add the red pepper puree to the soup and simmer for about one hour. Remove the bay leaf and add the salt and pepper before serving, and top with a sprinkle of parsley, if desired.

Serves 4 to 6.

White Cheddar Corn Bread

Ingredients:

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the baking dish
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 large egg, lightly beaten
½ teaspoon raw sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 scallion, chopped
½ cup grated white cheddar cheese
1 1/3 cups whole milk

Directions:

Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 400º F. Butter an 8-inch square baking dish and set aside.

In a food processor, combine the butter, cornmeal, flour, baking powder, egg, salt and sugar.

Process for 20 to 30 seconds, until blended. Add the scallion and the cheese and pulse machine for a few seconds just to combine. Pour the milk through the feed tube and process until blended well. Lift the lid of the processor and scrape the sides and bottom with a spatula to check for lumps. If you find any, replace the lid and pulse for another few seconds. You can also use an electric mixer to combine all the ingredients.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake for about 25 minutes. Watch the corn bread closely, and don't wait until it's brown on top to remove it from the oven. Cut into squares and serve immediately.

Serves 4 to 6.

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