Since the opening of its first Souplantation in 1978 in San Diego, California, Garden Fresh Restaurant Corporation has expanded to 61 salad buffet restaurants with locations in Southern California, where they are known as Souplantation, and in Northern California and ten other states, where they are known as Sweet Tomatoes. Differing in name only, the restaurants are known for their abundance of fresh, great tasting salad selections, soups, bakery items, pastas and desserts in a self-serve format, set in a casual dining atmosphere.



Tomato Cheddar Soup

Hale & Hearty Restaurant Copycat Recipe

Serves 6-8

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium sized yellow onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 cans whole peeled tomatoes
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
fresh thyme
1 cup whole milk, cream or half and half
2 cups sharp or extra sharp cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, heat 3 cups chicken stock. I prefer homemade of course but whatever is easiest. In a medium sized saute pan, add 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter. Add celery, onion, garlic and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until lightly browned. You can also add flour here, which will ultimately make the soup a bit more thick.

Add the sauteed vegetables to the broth. Next add 2 cans of tomatoes including the juice and the thyme, stirring well. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and let simmer for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

After about 25 minutes, remove the thyme stem and puree the soup mixture with a blender. Make sure to do this in several batches to guarantee the soup is well blended. Return to the pot and add milk and cheese, and heat until the cheese is melted well. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with cheese before serving.

Beef Stew

Hale and Hearty Restaurant Copycat Recipe

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (14.5 oz.) can low sodium beef broth
1 (14.5 oz.) can stewed tomatoes
1 celery rib, sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed, divided use
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
1/2 teaspoon crushed dried basil
4 medium white potatoes, well-scrubbed and diced
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1 cup loose pack frozen peas
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
2 tablespoons tomato paste

Heat oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat. Add beef and season with pepper. Brown meat on all sides. Stir in broth, tomatoes, celery, half the garlic, bay leaf, salt, fennel and basil. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 1 1/4 hours.

Remove and discard bay leaf. Add potatoes, onions and carrots. Cover and continue cooking over low heat until vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes. Add peas during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
Just before serving, stir in parsley, tomato paste and remaining garlic. Makes 6 servings.

New Menu Items at Hale and Hearty

Hale and Hearty New Items:

  • Seafood Fra Diavolo over Basil Orzo Simmer: Lobster, crab, clams and scallops cooked in broth and served over orzo seasoned with basil oil
  • Chicken Tagine over Moroccan Couscous Simmer: North African stew of chicken spiced with garlic, onions, cinnamon, cumin, saffron, lemon oil, paprika, Madras curry powder, cloves, salt and pepper; root vegetables, lentils and apricots served over couscous made with carrots, roasted red peppers and dried cranberries

Availability: At least until the beginning of March 2016

Mexican Goddess Kale Salad

Chop't Creative Salad Company Recipe

1 1/2 cups kale
1/4 cup black beans
1/2 cup chopped tomatos
2 teaspoons flax seeds

1/2 ripe avocado
1 cup cilantro
juice from 1 lime
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons water
1 clove roasted garlic
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded
salt to taste

Dressing: Add all the ingredients, except salt, to a food processor and process until smooth. Then add a pinch of salt, blend again, and taste test until you get the flavor just right.

Salad: Add a small amount of dressing to the salad ingredients, mixed it up well, and placed a few extra cilantro leaves on top for good measure. The dressing was nice and thick, but didn’t weigh the kale down, making it perfect for packing at lunch.

Chop't's Meyer Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

Chop't Creative Salad Company Recipe

1 ball jar or recycled jam jar
3 parts extra virgin olive oil
1 part fresh squeezed Meyer lemon juice
zest of 1 Meyer lemon
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Add all your ingredients to a jar, cover and then shake, shake, shake for perfectly emulsified dressing. No bowl, no whisk, and if you use a nice jar, you can even serve from it. Make one day in advance and store in the fridge to really blend the flavors together.

7 Summits Grain Salad

Chop't Creative Salad Company Recipe

4-6 servings, as an entree

Quinoa, Lentil, and Millet Blend:
3 cups quinoa, any color or a combination of colors
1 1/2 cups Beluga lentils
1 1/2 cups millet
1/2 cup parsley, stems removed
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, more if desired
1 tablespoon kosher salt, more if desired
2 teaspoons fresh cracked pepper, more if desired

Butternut Squash:
4 cups butternut squash, peeled and seeds removed
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt, more if desired
1 tablespoon fresh cracked pepper, more if desired

Charred Onions:
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced thin
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

To Complete the Dish:
1/4 cup shredded Pecorino cheese, more if desired
1/2 cup Dijon or zesty mustard based vinaigrette, your favorite recipe
2-3 cups tender baby greens, choose your favorite blend

Quinoa, Lentil, and Millet Blend: Cook the quinoa, lentils, and millet per package directions. Cool, combine, and set aside. Roughly chop parsley leaves and add to cooled grains, seeds, and legumes along with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Mix thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate until needed. This can be done in advance the night before.

Roasted Butternut Squash: Peel and de-seed squash. Dice into medium chucks and season with salt, fresh cracked pepper, and olive oil. Roast in a preheated 400 degree oven until your squash is fork tender and beginning to caramelize around the edges. Set aside to cool, and add to the Quinoa, Lentil, and Millet blend.

Charred Red Onions: Peel and slice onions into thin rounds or half moons. Place into a bowl and toss with olive oil making sure to thoroughly coat all onions. Spread out onto a cookie sheet and into a preheated 400 degree oven. Cook approximately 8-10 minutes, or until onions begin to “char” and caramelize along the edges. Remove from the oven and allow onions to cool before adding to the other the other ingredients.

To Complete The Dish: Add your Dijon Vinaigrette, greens, and combine with the other ingredients you have prepared. Don’t be afraid to add a little extra dressing as your Quinoa, Lentil, and Millet blend will surely soak it up. Enjoy right away or save for later.

Summer Squash Ratatouille

Tender Greens Restaurant Recipe

Serves 4-6

3-5 various summer squash, diced into 2 inch chunks
1 small Chinese eggplant, diced into 2 inch chunks
1 white heirloom eggplant, diced into 2 inch chunks
2 large heirloom tomatoes
1 medium sweet onion, quartered
2-3 sprigs fresh oregano leaves, de-stemmed and leaves chopped
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
5 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and sliced
1 bunch fresh Italian parsley, chopped

Light the grill to high. In a large bowl, toss the squash, eggplant and onion with 1/2 cup of olive oil, the oregano, salt, pepper and chili flakes. Cook the vegetables until nicely caramelized on the outside but still retaining texture, about 3 to 4 minutes. Take off the grill and set aside in a bowl.

Remove the stem core of the tomatoes and cut a small "x" in the bottom. Brush lightly with olive oil and place on the grill, turning each every 2 to 3 minutes, until all sides get a nice char. Take off grill and let cool for a few minutes. The tomato skin will look blistered; peel away the skin. Cut into 1 inch chunks and add to bowl of warm veggies.

In a pan over medium heat, add the rest of the olive oil and sliced garlic. Cook until the garlic is blonde in color, and add chopped parsley and cook until it crackles (about 10 seconds). Remove pan from heat. Add the herb garlic oil to the vegetables, season with additional salt and pepper to taste, and then let sit for an hour to let flavors come together. Serve at room temperature.