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I have spent the last 2 hours reading your newsletter and wonderful recipes. I have already printed a whole bunch I want to try. I love them because they are using ingredients one has on hand. I love that and just wanted you to know how much we appreciate all your hard work in putting together this newsletter. Thank you very much.


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       Volume I - October 31, 2008, 2008

Not Your Mother’s Tomato Soup -
or Grilled Cheese

by Patty Liston

Oh my heck! Does this sound like a great “let’s cuddle up with something warm”, meal or what? There is nothing like home-made.

Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 ounces prosciutto finely chopped
3/4 cup chopped yellow onions
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrots
3/4 teaspoon minced garlic
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup tomato paste
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups chopped, peeled, seeded tomatoes
3 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
1/3 cup heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Baby Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, recipe follows, accompaniment
Chopped chives and parsley, for garnish
4 to 5 whole tortillas, fried and chopped, for garnish

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the prosciutto, onions, celery, carrots, garlic, and bay leaf and cook, stirring, until the onions are soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in the flour, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and stir well. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Add the cream and cook for 3 minutes.
Remove from the heat and discard the bay leaf.
If you like a smooth soup you may use a hand-held immersion blender, or in batches in a food processor, puree the soup. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
In a small saucepan, caramelize the sugar over low heat. Add the vinegar and stir to dissolve the sugar. Add to the soup a teaspoon at a time to balance the acidity.
To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and arrange the sliced sandwiches around the sides. Garnish with the herbs and chopped tortillas and serve.

  Download this recipe.

Baby Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

3 tablespoons cream cheese, at room temperature
3 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
1 teaspoon minced chives
Pinch salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 thin slices brioche, or homemade style bread, crusts removed

In a small bowl, blend together the cream cheese, mascarpone, chives, and salt. Spread the mixture on 4 slices of the bread and top with the remaining bread. Spread 1 1/2 teaspoons of the butter on each side of each sandwich.
Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 sandwiches and cook until golden brown, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side. Remove and repeat with the remaining sandwiches. Cut each sandwich into 2 triangles. Serve immediately.


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