Welcome to my BlogSpot. I have created this blog in hopes of inspiring everyone to cook. I have found my inspiration from living in both Southern and Northern California. My influences in flavors have come from family recipes and meals with emphasis on healthy foods, marrying into an Italian family and the ethnic flavors throughout California. There are so many wonderful memories connected to our family dishes as well as new memories in the dishes that have been recently created. My husband, Randy who is recently retired, has been my biggest supporter and inspiration in our kitchen. He is my taster, my sous chef, and has created some really great dishes himself, which will be added to this blog. It is my hope that you too will be inspired to cook and create your own dishes for your loved ones and enjoy the craft of cooking.

One thing I ask of you is if you print out, email and pass out my recipes, please include my name and link.

Be sure to check out my Sweaty Equities blog about the ups and downs of crafty projects and our DIY remodels.
You can find it at http://sweatyequities.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Creamy Tomato Soup

One of my favorite things about summertime is the abundant tomatoes growing in the garden all season. You can do so many things with tomatoes and this tomato soup is one of our pleasures while sitting on the porch and enjoying a beautiful sunset over the coastal mountains.

Creamy Tomato Soup
¼ cup Olive Oil
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
4 carrots, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
4 stalks celery, finely chopped
½ Bell pepper, finely chopped
2 Teaspoons dried basil
Salt and Pepper to taste
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cups Vodka

6 lbs of fresh tomatoes from the garden, -or a 6 lb, 6 oz can of diced tomatoes.
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon Sugar (if it tastes acidic)
1 cup heavy cream
8 oz Mascarpone Cheese

Place your tomatoes in a baking pan and roast in the oven or barbeque 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool. In a large pot, sauté the carrots until half way cooked, then add the onions, celery, bell pepper and basil. Cook all the ingredients through until soft then season with salt and pepper.  Add the garlic last and sauté for 1 more minute.  Turn off heat and pour in the vodka. Carefully turn the heat back on to medium and cook until reduced by half and all the alcohol burns off. (Vodka is flammable so take care not to splash once the heat gets turned back on.)
Place the tomatoes in the food processor (a few at a time) and pulse until chopped. Add the chopped tomatoes into the large pot, and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes or until the soup has reached the right consistency. Check to see if more salt and pepper are needed at this point. If the soup has an acidic taste, (due to being canned) add sugar. Turn the heat to a simmer and blend the soup with a blending stick. Add 1 cup heavy cream and 8 oz Mascarpone cheese and blend again.  You may garnish with Creme Fraiche and basil. -Serves at least 8 people
*If you don’t have a blending stick then you can put your soup in a blender. Fill halfway and blend in batches. If you fill it all the way you may have an accident because heat expands when blending.

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