Twink's Treats: The Scoop on Soup
We’re coming around the bend to March – but the reality is, we are still in winter mode. Right now, we all probably need a boost of comfort for the mid-winter blues and I’ve got the perfect antidote! You’ve all heard of the phrase “Beef – it’s what’s for dinner” – but I have a twist on that with “Soup – it’s what’s for dinner”. A one-pot wonder that everyone loves and is easy to make. What’s better than having people over for (you guessed it – a “gathering”) and having a simple lunch or dinner with a big pot of soup as the star, especially on a winter day, along with a glass of wine, bread, salad and a dessert.
The sky is the limit when creating soup. I personally love a tomato based soup, but I don’t make the soup rules. However, one of my all-time favorites is a great tomato basil or dill soup. I guess I’m a soup snob – you’ll never find me eating canned soup!
Here’s my recipe for T’s Tomato Soup:
1 T. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 large (28 ounce) cans whole plum tomatoes, such as Tuttarosa’s, Furmano’s or Hunts
2 small (14 ounce) cans low-sodium chicken broth (I use Swanson’s)
1 T. tomato paste
1 t. sugar
Dash of lemon juice
½ t salt
½ t. pepper
1 ½ T. oregano
Just a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
3/4 cup of half and half
Chopped fresh basil or dill
In Dutch oven or stockpot, sauté onion, carrots and celery in olive oil until soft. Add tomatoes, crushing well by hand when you put them into the pot. Add chicken broth, lemon juice, sugar, tomato paste, salt, pepper, oregano and red pepper. Stir, bring to a boil, and simmer on low for 45 minutes to an hour. Stir in half and half. In blender, ladle about 2 cups of soup mixture, cover and puree. Be careful, since the liquid may spatter (I often put a dishtowel over the cover for insurance!). Pour back into pot, repeat until soup is the texture you want, creamy yet just a little chunky. Add more salt or pepper to your taste. Top with sour cream and either chopped basil or fresh dill. I serve this with homemade bread, a simple mixed greens salad, and red wine - but a grilled cheese sandwich on pumpernickel bread is always a hit as well! Hope you enjoy.
Until next time – be kinder than necessary, and brighten the world with your smile!