The northeast is recovering from the massive snowfall we had Thursday night, nearly an inch fell….sigh. I know we’re going to get hit before the winter is over, and I just want to get it over with, not to mention I could certainly use a snow day (or two). It has been a strange weather year, but I shouldn’t complain, we’ve been lucky to have such unseasonably warm weather, and unless your a skier, the lack of snow has been a bonus. It’s also hard to believe how far into the school year we already are, next week is Valentines Day and we’ll be half way through February. Every year just seems to go faster and faster…..sigh, but enough of that it’s Guest Post Friday, so let’s get started!
Just a little over a year ago I was asked to join a recipe swap, and because of that swap I met some wonderfully talented people. Today it’s my great pleasure to introduce to you one of those bloggers, Lindsay from Rosemarried. The tagline on her blog really says it all…. Seasonal, Local and In Love . When Lindsay says shes in love, she’s not only speaking about her husband, but also about the city of Portland and all of the amazing local products that she finds there. I think it’s safe to say that Lindsay is just in love with food, and if you’ve ever been to Rosemarried, you will certainly agree that it shows in every dish that she shares with us. Each creation is crafted with love….
Now for those of you that have never had the pleasure of stopping by to see what Lindsay had shared with us, you are in for a treat, I know you’re going to love Rosemarried, and that you’re also going to make a new friend! So, sit back, relax, put your feet up and get ready for Portland’s Finest, as I give you Lindsay and……
First off, I’d like to state how honored I am to be guest posting on Chef Dennis’ site! I got to know Dennis through the Burwell General Store Recipe Swap, and we’ve both been part of the group for over a year now. Over the past year, I’ve come to respect Dennis as a chef, writer, and teacher. His blog is such a great resource for the blogging community, and his recipes never cease to impress me.
As for me? I live in Portland, Oregon, write a blog called Rosemarried and my focus is on whole foods and seasonal eating. However, I work a full time job, I’m on the board with my local farmer’s market, I do freelance writing and catering, and am always on the go. While I’m passionate about eating whole and healthy foods, it’s hard to actually cook this way in the midst of a hectic schedule! Thus, my cooking reflects the struggles of a working woman who’s doing her best to support a diet that is local and seasonal. (Side note: for those of you who’ve seen Portlandia, I’ll admit that the show is pretty spot on. The dream of the 1890’s is alive in Portland!)
But, back to the recipe!
I wanted to make something extra special for my guest post. I thought about it for awhile, and eventually decided to make a Slow Cooker Tomato Soup. It may sound like an odd choice to some – it’s just plain old tomato soup — but there are many reasons why I think that tomato soup is a special dish. First off, I am of the firm opinion that there’s nothing better in the world than a good bowl of tomato soup (paired with a grilled cheese sandwich, of course!). I have so many childhood memories of eating Campbell’s tomato soup on cold, rainy winter nights. Really, there’s just something so nostalgic and comforting about tomato soup. Lastly, I thought that this soup fit within the color scheme of a certain upcoming romance-themed holiday. I’m not opposed to hearts and cupcakes and candy grams, it’s just that I’d rather express my love with a big bowl of tomato soup.
If you couldn’t tell, I’m quite fond of tomato soup. The funny thing is – I’ve never actually made tomato soup from scratch. I’ve been eating it from a can for all these years! However, I recently saw a great recipe for Tomato Basil Soup from Big Girls Small Kitchen and I was inspired to make my own rendition of the dish. I kept the base flavors the same, but I also added in a few of my own elements – smoked paprika, roasted red peppers, and just a touch of sour cream. The result is a rich and wonderful tomato soup, with a touch of spice and just a hint of sweetness from the roasted red peppers.
I chose to make this soup in the slow cooker, as my schedule is crazy this week and the prospect of having dinner ready when I walk in the door is nothing short of miraculous. I just put all the ingredients in the slow cooker in the morning and then dinner is magically ready for me when I get home. I love it! (Never fear! If you don’t own slow cooker, this recipe could easily be adapted for the stovetop.)
All of that to say, Happy Valentine’s Day! However you choose to celebrate (or protest!) the holiday, I do hope you enjoy the day. As for me, I think I shall make another batch of this tomato soup and share it with my love. If I’m feeling really fancy, I might even make grilled cheese sandwiches to go with it…
- 2 (28 ounce) cans* whole tomatoes (*I used my own canned tomatoes, but if using store bought I’d highly recommend Muir Glenn Organic tomatoes!)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 3 small carrots, roughly chopped
- 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
- 1 large yellow onion
- 4 cloves of garlic, smashed
- 1 cup roasted red peppers
- 2 cups vegetable (or chicken) stock
- ½ cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1.5 teaspoons sugar
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- ½ teaspoon red chili flakes
- For garnish:
- Fresh basil leaves, sliced thin
- Shaved parmesan
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss onions, garlic, celery, and carrot with a small amount of olive oil. Spread in an even layer on a baking sheet, and roast in the oven for 15 minutes (or until tender and starting to brown). Remove from oven, and set aside.
- Place canned tomatoes (and juices), vegetable stock, tomato paste, basil, roasted red peppers, and roasted veggies (onion, carrot, garlic, celery) in your slow cooker. Add in seasonings (salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne, sugar). Cook on low heat for 6 hours, or until all vegetables are very soft.
- Using an immersion blender, puree the soup. Gently stir in sour cream. Add in extra vegetable stock (or water) if the soup is too thick. Taste, and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Serve warm, with thinly sliced basil and grated parmesan
I really need to invest in a slow cooker, I see so many things that are made so well in one, and I definitely want to try that soup! Now before you forget, head on over to Rosemarried and say hi to Lindsay, just don’t forget to tell her Chef Dennis sent you, and make sure you give yourself enough time to look around, you’re going to love all the flavorful creations that Lindsay has shared on her blog!
The first week without football is always a little rough on me, so Lisa will be sure to keep me busy! Where ever you are, I hope you have a wonderful weekend, stay warm, stay full and be happy!