How often do we get a recipe from a real chef?

Michelle Collier sez: “Always start your week with a positive thought.....and being positive that you hate Mondays does not count!”


Even though it’s not really soup weather, just turn your AC down low and enjoy this special soup by Rockdale’s own “Celebrity Chef,” Dennis Earley.

Dennis is a 1991 Rockdale High School graduate and is currently working in Dallas for the OMNI hotel group and spent the last four years as the Executive Chef at the Ft. Worth Convention Center. He is the son of James and Michelle Earley of Rockdale and he and his wife, Melanie and their two children, Hayden and Ella, now live in Arlington.

His past experience includes a multi-year stint at the Dallas Market Center as Sous Chef with Aramark and two years as Sous Chef with his mentor Andrew Ormsby at Tucker’s in Dallas.

Dennis spent some time this year on a tour of the Napa Valley in a continuing education session.

Now how often do we have a recipe from an authentic chef?

Dennis Earley’s Tuscan Tomato Soup

1-10-3/4 ounce can tomato
3 whole fresh tomatoes, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 tablespoon basil, coursely
1 teaspoon oregano, coarselychopped

1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup red wine
1 tablesoon hot pepper sauce
4 cups chicken stock (or 2
14.5 oz. cans chicken broth.

In a saucepan, saute’ onion in olive oil until translucent. Add all other ingredients and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Serves 6. Garnish with Italian cheeses and croutons, if desired.

Dennis says he uses the Palmers seasoning in the jar if fresh herbs are not available. These can be found in the produce section at Brookshire Bros.

I do have the fresh herbs right now and we have really enjoyed this soup this summer with the fresh tomatoes. It’s wonderful with just a grilled cheese or pimiento cheese sandwich or just garlic bread. Do try it.


When I got this recipe from my neighbors, James and Michelle, James was working on a project. He told me he had promised the grandchildren, Hayden and Ella, a playhouse and when he was trying to figure out how to get it to their home in Arlington, he remembered that he used to build deer stands that would fold up for transporting to the lease.

“The kids don’t know it, but what they are actually getting is a deer stand,” he laughed.

But I’ll bet that Michelle makes him build the world’s cutest deer stand — it won’t be painted with camoflouge and I’ll bet they love it!

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2010-07-15 digital edition

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