My time machine isn’t working properly. January flew by and I have been trying desperately to hold on to the last few days. February always brings the promise of spring and while I am eager for warmer, dryer weather, the time is whipping by far too fast. The one thing I can count on for the remainder of the month however, are comfort foods. It is still chilly enough to put on thick, chunky soups to warm the bones and have the kitchen smelling like heaven.
What prompted me today was a local bakery putting out a plea for more soup recipes to add to their menu. I took a look around and some of the first ones that I had found were more broth than substance and needed a meal afterward to do the filling. While that is great for a five course meal, there are times that one pot will simply have to do.
If you have been following for a while, you know that CountryLiving.com is one of my fav sites. As a matter of fact, I have quite a few that I update regularly here on my blog. It is on the page ~ Pages and Blogs we love ~ Please take a tour through it a couple of times a month to find great sites and pages. If you have a fav or two to share, please let me know!
Today I found a great soup recipe that really sparked my taste buds and I have put it on the menu for this weekend. It does call for a store bought marinara sauce, I will of course make my own and my busy schedule calls for making that portion ahead of time and freezing. I have found zippy bags and a freezer are a busy woman’s best friends. I will add a recipe for the sauce directly following the soup link.
A meal in itself with marinara sauce, fresh veggies, red wine and garlic bread.
Shopping List or items on hand
- 1 loaf Italian bread
- Olive Oil
- Fresh Ground Pepper
- 3 medium red onions
- 6 medium carrots
- Garlic ( 15 cloves )
- 2 cans (14 1/2-ounce each) low-sodium chicken broth
- Hearty Italian red wine ~ Chianti or Sangiovese ~ about 1 1/4 cups
Simple Marinara Sauce
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- One 35 ounce can whole peeled Italian tomatoes with their juices, crushed by hand
- Pinch of sugar
- 2 basil sprigs
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
I found this one quite awhile ago from Food and Wine and it has been my favorite for marinara ever since. Begin with whole tomatoes, crushing them by hand yourself and simmer them with whole, not chopped garlic.
- In a large saucepan, heat oil.
- Add garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes.
- Add tomato paste and cook, stirring for 1 minute.
- Add canned tomatoes with the juices.
- Stir in the sugar and basil, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
- Simmer the sauce over low heat, stirring occasionally, until it thickens and is reduced to 3 cups, about 30 minutes.
- Season again with salt and pepper and discard the basil sprigs and garlic.
Keeping with the meal in a bowl theme, Martha Stewart has one that I find simply irresistible. Throw bacon in any pot and I am hooked!
Shopping List or Items on Hand
- About 10 slices bacon
- 1 small onion
- 2 medium carrots
- 2 celery stalks
- 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 cans ( 15 1/2 ounces each) white beans
- dried sage
- ground pepper
As always I encourage you to browse and poke around the sites on the links provided. They are marvelous sites that I use everyday for recipes and inspiration. Remember, it is not necessary to follow a recipe exactly. If you are on a diet that calls for lower fat, use less oil, look carefully at your grocery shelves for lower fat stocks and broths. Sodium levels can be reduced as well, by using less than the recipe calls for or by deleting altogether. If you are looking for substitutions to any recipe listed in my blog for lower fat or sodium…please do not hesitate to contact m at KarieEngels@KarieEngels.net I look forward to hearing from you!