Thursday, January 1, 2009

Cream of Tomato Soup

Adapted from the Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics Cookbook

Heat 3 T. olive oil in a large, heavy saucepan. Add 2 red onions, chopped, 2 unpeeled carrots, chopped, and 2 stalks of celery, chopped. Saute for 10 minutes.

Add 3 cloves minced garlic and saute another minute

You can use either fresh or canned tomatoes. Add 5 large fresh tomatoes, chopped, or two 14 1/2 oz. cans of chopped tomatoes, 3 cups vegetable broth, 2 tsp. sugar, 1 T. salt, 2 tsp. pepper (a little less if you like less heat), 1 T. tomato paste.

Bring to a boil, turn down heat and simmer uncovered for 30-40 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool a bit, then stir in 1/4 cup cream or milk.

Transfer to the blender in a couple of batches, swirl until fairly smooth, then return to the pan and reheat.

Serve topped with a generous swirl of basil and a handful of crunchy croutons.

Grandmother Hathaway's Angel Gingerbread

My mother made this pale, light-textured gingerbread at least once a week when I was growing up. It's quick, easy, and delicious served with ice cream, whip cream or frozen yogurt.

Combine 1/2 cup golden(light) molasses, 1/4 cup melted butter, 1/4 cup sugar, and one beaten egg. Beat well.

Add 1 and 1/4 cup sifted flour, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. soda, 1/2 tsp. each cinnamon and ginger.

When well mixed, add 1/2 cup boiling water and beat well.

Bake in greased 8" square pan at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Best served right out of the oven.