Monday, December 19, 2011

Roasted Tomato Soup 2 and Peppermint Play Dough

Yesterday I stopped playing Skyrim long enough to make roasted tomato soup.  It was delicious and gave me the energy boost necessary to continue hunting dragons.  Ironically, just like in the game, I was wearing an iron mask with horns on the top and carrying an ancient battle axe weighing 22 pounds and dragon bones weighing 35 pounds.  All this made cooking a real workout.  Give this soup a try, you won’t be disappointed. 

Roasted Tomato Soup (

1 ¼ pound ripe tomatoes (about 4 large tomatoes)
½ medium yellow onion
3 garlic cloves
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp Sea Salt
Fresh Ground Pepper
1 Tbsp Chopped Parsley
1 ½ Cups Low Sodium Vegetable or Chicken Broth
1 Tbsp Organic Tomato Paste
¼ Cup Heavy Cream or Half and Half
Fresh Oregano + Basil for Garnish
Garlic Croutons
Asiago Cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Cut tomatoes and onions in wedges.  Use your finger to push out some of the seedy parts of the tomatoes.  Just get out the big seedy parts, a bit intact is fine.  Spread the onions and tomatoes on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil.  Drizzle the olive oil and sprinkle the salt, a generous amount of pepper, the chopped parsley and gently toss it with your hands.  Tuck the garlic cloves somewhere in the tomato, so they don’t burn.  Roast on the middle rack for 30 to 40 minutes or until the tomatoes have broken down and reduced to about half their size.  Remove and cool slightly.

Warm the broth and stir in the tomato paste to dissolve.  Add all the ingredients from the roasting pan into the broth and let it gently simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.  Use an immersion blender to puree the soup in the bowl, or with a food processor or blender.  The soup should be smooth, with some texture.  If you don’t like any texture at all, you could run it through a fine mesh sieve.  Return it back to the pot, and add the cream to taste.  Taste for salt and pepper.
Serve with some croutons and cheese on top.  Broil on high until cheese is melted and slightly burnt.  Top with oregano and basil and serve.

BTW…this is usually what I see just off to the side when I take my pictures.

An activity I’ve done with kids many many times is making play dough.  They love it.  Homemade play dough is not as easy to work with as store bought play dough, but the fun in making it and the sense of accomplishment is worth the trade-off.  Because it is the week of Christmas, try this recipe.  

Peppermint Play Dough (

1 cup flour
¼ cup salt
2 tablespoons cream of tartar
1 tablespoon peppermint oil extract
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup water

Mix flour, salt and cream of tartar in a medium cooking pot.  Add water, peppermint extract and oil.  Stir over medium heat 3 to 5 minutes stirring constantly.  When mixture forms a ball in the pot, remove.  Knead until smooth.   Now you can play and create with your good smelling play dough!  Put in a plastic bag and refrigerate to store. 

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