Marge Perry Newsday columnist Marge Perry

Marge Perry, Newsday's weekly 3 Simple columnist, also writes, broadcasts, teaches and speaks about cooking, food and nutrition. In her long-standing capacity as a Newsday columnist, Contributing Editor for Cooking Light, author of the blog A Sweet and Savory Life, restaurant critic, recent columnist for several leading magazines (Better Homes & Gardens, Prevention); regular contributor to many magazines, (including Self, More, Coastal Living, and Relish) and frequent guest on television and radio, Perry is an accessible and authoritative guide for anyone who cooks, eats and travels.

In addition to Dinner Tonight, the cookbook based on her daily Newsday column, Ms. Perry has contributed recipes and text to nearly 20 other food and nutrition books. Her articles have been syndicated internationally in magazines and books, and her recipes have appeared on the Television Food Network and numerous television news segments.

Perry teaches cooking and food writing at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City, food writing at mediabistro.com, and is a guest lecturer at the culinary management graduate school at New York University. Her extensive involvement with the food industry ranges from writing and reporting about cooking and nutrition, chefs, restaurants, growers, producers and manufacturers; restaurant reviewing; menu consulting; consumer trend analysis; and volunteering to bring food and cooking/nutrition know-how to those in need. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Libby Hillman Award for Culinary Excellence and the Food Writers’ Symposium scholarship and the Association of Food Journalists Award for Best Food Essay for an ode to her mother and strawberry-frosted cupcakes.

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VEGETABLE CHICKPEA SOUP

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)

2 ribs celery, chopped

2 medium carrots, cut in 1⁄4-inch dice

2 cloves garlic, minced

1⁄2 teaspoon dried crushed rosemary

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1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano

1⁄2 teaspoon dried thyme

1 pound sweet potato, peeled and cut in 1⁄2-inch dice

8 plum tomatoes (about 2 pounds), chopped

4 cups unsalted vegetable broth

12 ounces zucchini, cut in 1⁄2-inch pieces

1 (15-ounce) can low-sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed

3⁄4 teaspoon salt

 

1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium high. Add the onion, celery, carrots, garlic, rosemary, oregano and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, until somewhat softened, about 5 minutes.

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2. Add the sweet potato, tomatoes and broth and bring to a boil; immediately reduce to a simmer and cook until the tomatoes break down and the potato begins to soften, about 12 minutes. Add the zucchini and chickpeas and cook 10 minutes. Transfer 4 cups of the soup to a blender or food processor and puree; add back to the soup, stir well and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 297 calories, 10 g protein, 55 g carbohydrates, 13 g fiber, 6 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 652 mg sodium

TIP: To give your vegetable soup a creamier, richer base, puree one-third to one-half the cooked soup and stir it back in.

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HEARTY LENTIL-DITALINI SOUP

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1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)

1 green bell pepper, cut in 1⁄4-inch dice

2 ribs celery, chopped

2 carrots, cut in 1⁄4-inch dice

1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin

1⁄2 teaspoon ground coriander

1 cup lentils

2 (14.5-ounce) cans petite diced tomatoes

1 cup ditalini pasta

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper

 

1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium high. Add the onion, green pepper, celery, carrots, cumin and coriander and cook, stirring occasionally, until somewhat softened, about 5 minutes. Add the lentils and 6 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer gently until the lentils are nearly cooked, about 25 minutes. Add the tomatoes and return to a boil; stir in the ditalini and cook until the pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes. Season with the salt and pepper and serve. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 353 calories, 18 g protein, 69 g carbohydrates, 10 g fiber, 1 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 511 mg sodium

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SMOKEY SHERRIED BLACK BEAN SOUP

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)

5 cloves garlic, minced

2 ribs celery, chopped

2 carrots, cut in 1⁄4-inch dice

1 jalapeño pepper, minced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1⁄2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1⁄2 cup sherry

3 (15-ounce) cans low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed

4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄2 cup light sour cream

1 teaspoon lime juice (plus optional wedges)

Pinch cayenne

 

1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium high. Add the onion, garlic, celery, carrots, jalapeño, cumin and paprika and cook, stirring occasionally, until somewhat softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the sherry and cook until it is nearly evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add the beans, broth, salt and 4 cups water and simmer 15 minutes.

2. Remove 2 cups of the soup from the pot and puree; return to the pot, stir and cook another 2 minutes until the soup is heated through.

3. Combine the sour cream, lime juice and cayenne and dollop over the soup just before serving. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 330 calories, 15 g protein, 48 g carbohydrates, 17 g fiber, 6 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 735 mg sodium