A Girl's Gotta Eat

Friday, December 2, 2011


Because that means it's time for www.cookingontheweekends.com!

Greetings, humans. So sorry for the silence but it is the season for food, after all, and I've been busy eating, er, I mean cooking. I'm terribly excited to welcome back my very favorite Valentina Kenney Wein of the most fabulous Kenney clan. After the resounding success of Valentina's Sweet Potato Sausage Soup w/ Udon Noodle Soup, she's back with another scrumptious yet simple recipe for Cumin Scented Tomato Soup (see photo below) that's perfect paired with a huge chunk of - wait for it - yup, bread! Seriously, people, this is so easy and sounds so delicious that I'm already salivating. So, back by popular demand, here's Valentina's recipe!

Cumin Scented Tomato Soup - Serves 4 humans or 1 very hungry bulldog
Total Prep and Cooking Time: 20 minutes

This quick and easy soup is divine on a winter night. The rich tomato flavor, combined with the spices, will warm you right up!

Olive oil for the pan
3/4 cup roughly chopped red onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 (28-ounce) can peeled plum tomatoes (I like Cento San Marzano)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (as much heat as you like)
1-1/2 cups vegetable stock or broth
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons Crème fraîche
Freshly chopped chives, scallions or spinach to garnish

In a medium-sized saucepan over medium-low heat, sauté the onion with the garlic until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, cumin, and cayenne, and continue to cook until very aromatic, about 2 minutes. Pour in the stock or broth with the salt and sugar and bring it to a boil. Then reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.

Use an immersion blender to purée the soup until it's smooth. Season to taste with salt, sugar, and pepper. You can either mix the Creme Fraiche into the soup or add a dollop of it to each serving.

Garnish with something green and pretty!

If you prefer a chunkier soup, simply use a wooden spoon to break the tomatoes into smaller pieces.

Pair this with a nice warm chunk of bread and a glass of wine - need I say more?

I expanded my repertoire (putting those french lessons to good use) this past week and attempted a classic Italian chestnut cake (see photo below), which Daddy proclaimed to be an acquired taste he hasn't yet developed. We used chestnut flour for the first time - very interesting, and we topped the cake with a glaze of honey and Vin Santo, then dusted it with powdered sugar. What could be bad?

But I'm a bread girl at heart, so I'll be back later this weekend with a few new breads, including Goat's Milk with Figs & Honey and Cottage Cheese w/ Dill.

I'm back with a vengeance!
Love and licks to all,