Tomato basil soup, roasted squash soup, spinach tortellini soup

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It’s still soup weather. These will warm you.
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Tomato basil soup
4 stalks celery chopped into thirds to fit processor
4 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into thirds to fit processor
1/2 large onion, peeled and quartered
3 cloves garlic, peeled
3 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 C flour
4 C low sodium chicken broth
2 14-oz. cans fire roasted diced tomatoes with juice
1 tbsp. dried basil or 1/4 C fresh basil, chopped**
1 tsp. dried oregano or 1 tbsp. fresh oregano
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. each, dried parsley, black pepper
pinch red pepper flakes optional
1 bay leaf
2 C half and half, heavy cream or milk (or a combination)***
1 C freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Add celery, carrots, onion and garlic to a food processor and pulse until finely minced (or mince by hand). Melt butter in oil in large Dutch oven/soup pot over medium heat. Turn heat to medium high, add minced vegetables and saute for 4 minutes. Sprinkle in flour and continue to cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually whisk in chicken broth followed by tomatoes and all seasonings. Add bay leaf. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until carrots are tender. Add Parmesan cheese and whisk to blend. Stir in milk/half and half/cream and gently simmer an additional 15-20 minutes on low, stirring occasionally. Stir in additional chicken broth or cream to reach desired consistency. Remove bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
You can serve soup as is if you like texture or proceed to puree with an immersion blender or working in batches, transfer soup to blender and puree until smooth, being careful to let smoke escape or it will explode. Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
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Roasted squash soup
1 large butternut squash
2 carrots
3 stalks of celery
1 large onion
5 cloves of garlic
6 sage leaves
6 sprigs of thyme
1 sprig of rosemary
1/4 tsp. cayenne red pepper powder (or less if you don’t want a little kick)
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp. olive oil
3-1/2 C vegetable stock
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel, pit and chop butternut squash into 1-in. squares. Add to a large roasting pan. Chop carrots, celery and onions in big chunks and add to pan. Peel garlic and add cloves whole. Add herbs, red pepper powder, salt and pepper. Add olive oil and toss to coat.
Roast for 1 hour (or up to 1 hour and 15 minutes, if veggies are not yet soft). Once vegetables and herbs are roasted, add to food processor with 1 cup of vegetable stock and puree. Remove stems from herbs before pureeing.
Pour mixture into a large saucepan. Add remaining vegetable stock and stir well. Simmer on low for 10 minutes.
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Spinach tortellini soup
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced small
2 large carrots, diced small
2 large celery stalks, diced small
1 tsp. fine sea salt
8 C good low-sodium vegetable stock
5 oz. baby spinach
9 oz. tortellini
1/4 C chopped flat-leaf parsley
freshly ground black pepper
grated Parmesan or pecorino, for serving
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots, celery and salt and stir to coat with oil. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften. If you happen to get distracted and the veggies brown a little bit, it’ll add some nice depth of flavor.
Stir in stock, bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to simmer until veggies are tender. Remove lid and add spinach and tortellini. Cook according to tortellini package instructions (usually just simmering for a couple of minutes). Turn heat off and stir in parsley and black pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls and serve with cheese to pass at the table.
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This will make you smile: As Piglet and Pooh walked down the path, those nearby heard this – “What day is it?” asked Pooh. “It’s today,” said Piglet. “Ah,” said Pooh, “My favorite day.”
If you would like to share a recipe with me, just send it to the J-T or email it to me.
(Melanie Behrens – melb@marysvillejt.com)



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