Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tomato Soup

One of the biggest time savers for me is to make a large batch of something...lets say soup, then freeze it in batches. This is not a new idea. I cried BUCKETS when Supper Thyme USA closed. There is nothing better than coming home after a long day at working and knowing all you have to do is turn on the oven.

I'm not THAT good but today's recipe is the bomb. It is a tomato soup that has 5 count them, FIVE servings of veggies in one bowl. Today we added pasta O's and it became a healthy version of Spagetti O's.

The Little Mouths give this dish two thumbs up, especially when I add alphabet noodles.

Big Mama gives this recipe thumbs up, all around for Easy Cooking, Cost and Taste and fix-ahead-ability.

“Sneaky” tomato soup

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup minced onion (about 1/2 small onion)

1 cup chopped or shredded carrots

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup white wine (optional)

4 to 6 cups broth, chicken or vegetable

1 (14-ounce) can diced, Italian-style tomatoes

1 (14-ounce) can tomato puree

1 small can tomato paste

1 (14-ounce) can tomato sauce

Coarse-grained salt and cracked black pepper

10 ounces fresh spinach

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, very loosely packed

1/2 cup half-and-half (she used fat-free)

1 teaspoon fresh basil

In a stock pot, sauté onion and carrot in olive oil until softened. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds or so. Add tomato paste and cook for a minute or two to develop sugars in paste.

Deglaze pan with wine (or chicken stock) and stir to combine. Allow mixture to come to a bubble, then add chicken stock, tomatoes, puree and sauce. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer for 20-30 minutes.

Add spinach and stir until wilted. Blend soup in a food processor, blender, food mill or with a hand-held blender until smooth.

Add Parmesan and simmer for 1-2 minutes until cheese melts. Add half-and-half and basil, and serve.

The soup can be frozen or refrigerated.

Add cheese, fresh pasta, orzo, cheese tortellini, meatballs or other favorites to vary it.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New Blog!

Hello friends!

Welcome to my new blog...Big Mama, Little Mouths.

In September 2009, I issued a challenge to my friends...make a new recipe six out of seven days a week for the month of September. I thought it would be fun exchange recipes and break up the monotony of cooking the evening meal. And boy does mac and cheese and chicken nuggets get monotonous.

But no one took me up on my challenge. I did it anyway and faithfully updated my Facebook friends each day. I had a ball and learned a lot more than I bargained for. Mostly I learned that it takes as much time and effort to cook good food, as it does bad and by the end of the experiment, I realized I liked to cook. It was no longer such a chore. Preparing dinner became a welcome part of the say...soothing instead of stressful...and my children ate better and were happier with a healthy meal in their little tummies.

Here's a link to a story my friend Cathy wrote about me in our local newspaper.

We've been continuing to find new and fun things to cook, but it's always a challenge. I created this blog as way to keep myself on task. I don't want to slip back into my pre-challenge, drive-thru days.

So come along with me for the ride. Leave comments, tips, ideas and will be fun!

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