Saturday, April 23, 2011

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

With a sore throat and cold, nothing tastes better to me than soup. Tonight I had a hankering for tomato basil soup and decided to have a go at making it myself. I can't believe I've not done this before, as often as I order a cup of this yummy tangy creamy soup when I eat out.

It's a cinch and better than any I've had anywhere! I'll never open a can of Campbell's again:)

In a big pot, saute:

1/2 an onion (I prefer red onions) and 2 fresh cloves garlic in 1 T. olive oil.

As these are simmering coarsely chop 3 fresh, medium sized tomatoes and toss into pot as well, cooking until they release their juices and turn soft, a couple of minutes. At last minute toss in a handful of fresh basil leaves, stir, remove from heat. (I was out of basil and so used a handful of spinach tonight. If you have leftover cooked vegetables in the fridge, toss in up to a cup full!) Add one 16 oz can of diced organic tomatoes, preferably organic.

Using a blender, food processor or immersion blender -- carefully blend the contents of the pot until desired consistency. Stir in anywhere from 1/4 to 3/4 cup half n half, depending on your taste. Add 2 t. sugar (or any sweetener you prefer, I like organic brown sugar) then salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with croutons or grilled cheese sandwiches, garnished with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Maple-Sea Salt Sweet Potato Fries

I've been experimenting for awhile, trying to find the perfect, baked, sweet potato "fry." I think I hit the mark tonight, pairing it with fresh grilled salmon topped with a dollop of homemade pesto, a few chopped tomatoes and a squeeze of lime. The salad is spinach, strawberries, a few chopped cashews, a bit of crumbled goat cheese and a balsamic-raspberry dressing.

Maple-Sea Salt Sweet Potato "Fries"

1 small sweet potato per person

maple syrup (1 t. per serving)

butter (as desired)

coarse sea salt or kosher salt

1 T. coconut oil or olive oil

Heat oven to 350. On a baking sheet put one tablespoon of coconut oil and stick in oven briefly just until it is melted. (Or skip this step and use a T. of olive oil instead.)

Peel one small sweet potato per person. Slice into "french fry" shapes. Put the potato sticks on the baking pan and roll around until all are coated with oil.

Bake from 10 to 15 minutes or until sweet potatoes are just tender, but still hold their shape. Squeeze about 1 t. (per potato) of real maple syrup and a small pat of butter on top of warm potato sticks while still on hot pan. Toss gently with tongs. Sprinkle lightly with coarse sea salt and serve.