Thursday, July 13, 2017

Tomato-Basil Soup

This has become a classic soup during my lifetime. I recall when La Madeleine restaurants in Dallas served it to rave comments, sold it bottled at grocery stores, and yet ... I never tried it.

I love regular Tomato Soup and though I believed the accolades I just didn't think I needed to eat Tomato Soup that often. It turns out I was wrong.

Rose came across it when living in L.A. and immediately found a recipe which she made regularly. Now that she's back in Dallas, living at home, it has become a staple for our meatless Friday meals. We love it, especially paired with a Grilled Jalapeño Jack Cheese Sandwich.

As my husband observed, "I always just thought I didn't like Tomato Soup before. Turns out I was eating the wrong soup!"

It helps that it is super easy.

Tomato-Basil Soup

Step 1:
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 red onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced

Heat olive oil over medium-low heat in a dutch oven or large pot. Once hot, add onions and season generously with salt. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until soft and starting to turn golden brown, about 15 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute, stirring to avoid burning the garlic.

Step 2:
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
4 cups good-quality chicken stock
Salt and pepper

Stir in the tomatoes and chicken stock. Season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower heat to maintain a simmer for at least 15 minutes. Feel free to leave it longer if you forget about it.

Purée mixture using an immersion blender or carefully transfer soup to a blender and blend until smooth. If using a blender, return mixture to the pot.

Step 3:
1 cup heavy cream
1 bunch basil, torn into small bite-size pieces
Parmesan cheese, grated for garnish

Stir in the cream and basil and let simmer for at least 15 minutes or until preferred consistency. Serve immediately, topped with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese, black pepper, and basil.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Hash Brown Frittata

This is from Cook's Country and is a real find. They say it makes enough for 4 but we all agreed that it can feed six.

It's got a fresh but filling quality that is an unusual combination, but very satisfying. Somehow the asparagus remains crisp.

Note: we used a whole pound of asparagus instead of the 8 ounces called for. Hey, it comes in pound bundles and what are we gonna do with a leftover half pound? We already know — nothing but watch it wilt. And it was delicious with all that crispy asparagus in there.

Hash Brown Frittata

12 large eggs
1/3 cup whole milk
Salt and pepper
8 ounces asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1/4 cup minced fresh chives
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled, shredded and patted dry
4 ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded (1 cup)

Whisk eggs, milk, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper together in large bowl. Stir in asparagus and chives and set aside.

Melt butter in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add potatoes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes begin to brown, about 4 minutes. Using rubber spatula, spread and pack potatoes into even layer in bottom of pan. Pour egg mixture over top and sprinkle with Gruyere.

Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until egg mixture has set, 12 to 14 minutes. Remove from heat nd let rest, covered, for 5 minutes. Transfer to cutting board, slice into wedges, and serve.