Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Food Break

I've been on a fairly rigorous diet and exercise program for the last four months or so (more info on that HERE). I've lost nearly 20lbs and gained more stamina, optimism and energy than I could have ever imagined. I think it's been easy for me because I love to cook, so I've been open to trying all kinds of new, healthy things. So here's a peek at a couple of things I cooked this weekend.

Roasted Tomato Soup with Garlic and Basil
(this is the healthy one)

Roast about 2lbs tomatoes (cut in half and squeeze the seeds out) and garlic cloves (unpeeled), drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. Roast at 350 degrees for one hour. If you like more garlic, use more. Saute (in a soup pot - I use my lovely Le Creuset!) one whole onion in a couple of tablespoons of butter along with a good teaspoon full of dried oregano until the onion is translucent. Add 2-15oz cans of chicken broth to the onion, add the tomatoes and their juices from the pan, and squeeze out the garlic from the skin into the pot (discard the garlic skins). Bring to a boil, then simmer for a half hour or so.

Do you have a VitaMix blender? If so, puree the soup until it's smooth, then add 1/2 cup of milk for a little creaminess. (If you don't have one of these beauties, get one... in the meantime, use an immersion blender or your ancient Osterizer, but it probably won't be as smooth and you might need to strain it through a fine sieve, pressing on the solids).

Sprinkle with grated FRESH parmesan and chopped basil. If you think you don't like tomato soup, you haven't had this before. YUM!

For dessert:

Peach Cobbler
(definitely a special treat!)

You can find this recipe HERE from Paula Deen. With one KEY substitution (keep reading)...

Yummy ripe peaches with a bit of sugar in my favorite pot. The recipe calls for water, but you need to substitute the SECRET INGREDIENT....

HA! I was only going to use a quarter cup of Jack with a quarter cup of water, but my mom suggested using ALL Jack, which is fantastic! It lends a subtle, earthy, smoky flavor to the peaches as they simmer. YUM!

Pour the batter into the pan, then spoon the peaches on top, then pour the remaining juice gently over the top. The picture on the Food Network's recipe of the finished product is much nicer than mine, plus we ate some before I took the final photo, but here's a look:

Be sure to serve it warm with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream. YUM!


Mandi aka Fabric Princess said...

those look great! Now I really want a Vitamix (keep trying to talk DH into it).

Deb Geyer said...

Yumm! Sounds great! I'm going to try the Tomato Soup. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Hi Dianna...Carol DePonte here...I've made your soup recipe twice, it's ONO!!! I used my blender, a little chuncky but I like it that way! Thanks for sharing!

katelnorth said...

The cobbler looks really yummy - I'm really impressed with how it stays in the tray when you turn it sideways LOL. I make a soup kind of like yours as well - I do love a good soup...