I love to cook, and I love fresh ingredients, and I make most everything from scratch, a tradition handed down to me from my mother. We had dinner together as a family every night when I was growing up and in my own family we did as well.... rarely was there a night when I wasn't cooking. I can remember sitting at my spot on the table as a child, and then my children went on to do the same thing.
My mother didn't care as much for baking and with my sweet tooth it was very natural for me to take on this role. I can still here my older brother say....."Make some brownies Denise!".... he passed away 20 years ago and I can still recall the excitement in his voice begging me to get some sweets made. And when we were older and I had a family of my own, whenever this brother came to visit, he would head straight to the cookie jar, knowing I would have fresh cookies made.
Tonight I was craving a good old fashioned soup... I love tomato soup and we headed to the store for some fresh ingredients.
Here's my recipe:
Saute in olve oil and some butter
2 carrots, minced super fine with my handy chopper
1 red bell pepper, minced
2 garlic cloves
I had some scallions that were on their last day and so I chopped those up as well and tossed them in.
I didn't have any celery.. but a rib would have been nice.
1 large can crushed organic fire roasted tomatoes
1 large box of organic chicken broth
salt, pepper, and about 1 teaspoon or so of sugar
it would also have been nice to add some gorgonzola cheese, but I'm trying to cut back on dairy.
simmer for awhile and then get that wonderful hand held immersion blender out and blend away... there is something magical about that tool, it creates a vortex and has quite a bit of power and I love using it. This is my second one, the top now pops off and this makes it for easier cleaning.
then I chopped up some fresh organic basil and added that in, heated it through and then added some fresh cream to make it nice and rich tasting.
I served it with a fresh salad:
1 sliced pear, We have some wonderful Harry & David pears that just arrived and they literally melt in your mouth and were an awesome ingredient in this wonderful salad.
bleu cheese wedge
chilled asparagas... I blanch mine in salted boiling water for about 3 minutes and then submerge in ice water for a quick cool down.
and some freshly made candied pecans... I make my own.. so easy....
In a pan add 1/4-1/2 cup of sugar and heat until it becomes all melted and caramel-y looking, then add the pecans and stir. I then pour them out onto a piece of aluminum foil that I have sprayed so as not to stick, they might not stick anyway but I wanted to be sure.
Homemade poppyseed dressing pairs perfect with this salad.... recipe for that at a later time.
let me know when you are in town and I will have you over for dinner!
Con tanto amore,