With winter bidding farewell on Tuesday & spring making her debut, I made chili tonight for dinner…it’s such a comfort food & we dearly love our soups & chilis around here. My sweet DH, Peter, eats anything I put before him, so I get lots of practice in the kitchen coming up with things to feed us. Thankfully, he likes my cooking & is always appreciative & complimentary about my dinner offerings. I make several different kinds of soups, especially during the winter, & we enjoy them so much. When spring & summer arrive, I’m usually ready for something lighter & so soup is not usually on the menu when the temps reach the 80’s or 90’s as they do in the dog days of summer. So, we enjoyed one last chili supper for awhile. I use the Carroll Shelby spice packet (he’s a good ole’ Texan), so it’s spicy & hot…of course, adding a chopped up jalepeno helps a bit with that too. If you’re on the timid side as far as fiery goes, it will blow your head off! I served it with a side of steamed cabbage (I know…cabbage sounds strange with chili, but it really made a good companion!) And ssshhhhhuuuuh, don’t tell my DH, but I used 1/2 ground beef & 1/2 ground turkey…need to cut back where we can, you know? He would just scrunch up his face if I told him. I’m so proud of him…he’s working out about 5 days a week now, trying to shed some pounds. He already feels so much better for it too.
For a good year-round lighter soup, I wanted to share a wonderful recipe that I got off CopyKats site…they copy restaurant recipes & this one is a winner! I miss our La Madeleine’s over here in Birmingham. There are several in Atlanta & that’s one place I wish would open up here in AL. Their tomato basil soup is TO DIE FOR….I mean it, really! If you don’t have one in your area, you are truly missing out on a wonderful French bistro ambience…they have homemade soups, salads, fresh pastries, & desserts…all with a French flair. Try this soup…I promise you will be hooked! They have restaurants all over the country, but haven’t found their way to B’ham yet. I emailed them to puleeeze think about opening up over here….we’ll see. See if there’s one near you!
Check out La Madeleine
La Madeleine’s Tomato Basil Soup
4 C. tomatoes, peeled, cored & chopped or 4 C. canned whole tomatoes, crushed (I used the canned…I like easy!)
4 C. tomato juice & part vegetable stock or chicken stock (I use chicken stock)
12 to 14 washed fresh basil leaves
1 C. heavy cream (told you it was yummy…this is why!)
1/4 lb. unsalted butter
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp. cracked black pepper
Combine tomatoes, juice and/or stock. Puree, along with the basil leaves, in small batches in blender or food processor.
Return to saucepan & add cream & butter, while stirring over low heat. Garnish with basil leaves & serve with your favorite crusty bread.
Note: in the directions, it does say to simmer the tomatoes, juice & stock first & then put it in the blender, but I never do that. I always puree first in blender, then start it simmering & add the rest. You can easily adjust the amounts up or down depending on how much you want to make.