Saturday, December 19, 2009

Stay-at-home Saturday

My friends and I had a lovely little party this week to celebrate Christmas (and friendships). It was a cookie and soup exchange and it made for a fun night. Hannah (otherwise known as HPS) gave us this idea from another soup exchange she had gone to and it was fun to have a little competition. Participants brought a pot of soup and a tray of cookies and we had blind taste tests for each. We then submitted our votes to be tallied and the winners each got a little prize.
Our friend, Gail, brought the winning soup and she graciously allowed me to share the recipe with you. Thanks, Gail! It was delicious!

Tomato Soup
1 Onion - chopped fine
1 Stalk Celery-chopped fine
2 Cloves garlic-minced
2 Tbs. butter
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz)
2 C. crushed tomatoes
1/2 pint fresh cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 C. water
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 C. half and half
1. Sauté onion, celery and garlic in butter and olive oil on medium heat.
2. Add basil, salt, pepper and sugar. Stir well.
3. Add diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes and water. Simmer on low for 45 minutes.
4. Add half and half slowly, stirring well.
5. Add sliced fresh tomatoes. Simmer for 20 minutes but do not bring it to a boil.

A few tips:
1. Save time and use your food processor to dice up onion, celery and garlic.
2. I always improvise. For example, the soup I made the other night had 1 extra onion and no celery because I forgot to buy it when I was at the grocery store.
3. Use all olive oil (4 Tbs) instead of half butter.
4. Serve with parmesan cheese on top, or croutons, or warm whole grain bread for dipping. You can easily double this recipe and freeze.