Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Snow Day

I finished reading both An American Marriage, a decidedly sad tale, and Less, an uplifting tale of love and highly recommend both books. I'm now reading Front Desk by Kelly Yang, which won the ALA Asian/Pacific Award this year.

These week I made Khichdi which a friend posted on IG referring to it as comfort food. Mashed potatoes with a slice of real butter melting on the top has been my comfort food for years. I can picture it in the large bowl my grandmother brought to the table for many family meals. I can smell it; the creamy yellow potatoes mixing with the soft butter on top.  Comfort food means different smells and feelings to everyone and I thought this lentil dish was definitely worth trying. All the spices made my kitchen smell amazing, maybe the comfort starts in the making, as I took lots of deep healing breaths while chopping and stirring. When it was finished we soaked it up with toasted naan and cleaned our bowls. It was a perfect dish for a freezing evening.

Last Sunday I made a tomato soup recipe I'd ripped from a food magazine. It was a very easy recipe to put together and it was delicious. Tomato soup pairs perfectly with grilled cheese and I used white cheddar with some yummy sourdough to fry up in my cast iron skillet.  They were a perfect gooey mess to dip into the creamy soup. Here is the recipe for yourself.

Creamy Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

4 red bell peppers, seeded and sliced
4 large tomatoes, seeded and quartered
1 T olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 cup onions, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, diced
1 can tomato paste
32 oz vegetable broth
1/2 cup loosely packed basil leaves, torn
Parmesan croutons *I didn't make b/c no me gusta croutons
1/2 cup shaved Parmesan for topping

1. Add olive oil to large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, chopped red peppers and tomatoes and sauté until tender.
Stir in tomato paste and then add vegetable broth.  
Bring to a boil and then reduce heat .

2. Allow the soup to cool just a tad and then add in batches to a blender or use an immersion blender. Blend until smooth and creamy.

3. Ladle into bowls and add Parmesan shavings, fresh cut basil leaves, and freshly ground pepper to top.

The red peppers added an excellent flavor to the soup.  Also I didn't have 4 fresh tomatoes on hand but I did have a Mason jar of tomato sauce from this summer so I substituted that which worked fine. I even think you could substitute a good quality can of diced tomatoes for this. Fresh tomatoes in the winter are not as flavorful as the summer so it's a fair switch.

Stay warm and drive slow. We are on our 8th snow day.