Saturday, October 18, 2014

My Favorite Fall Supper--Soup and Pizza!

by Mary Kennedy                      
Yes, I know the usual combo is soup and a sandwich, or soup and a salad, but this is an easy dinner that really hits the spot on chilly nights. Both the tomato soup and pizza are home-made (of course!) and this is the kind of thing you might find on the menu at Oldies But Goodies. (the candy store-café in my Dream Club Mysteries.)
Let's start with the soup. This isn't the time to be counting calories, by the way. As a famous TV chef says, "Where's the butter?" This a great recipe for creamy tomato soup and everyone I know loves it. Here goes.
Dice an onion and cook till transparent in 6 tablespoons of butter. Next add two 14 oz cans diced tomatoes,
One 46 oz bottle of tomato juice.
Now add 3 tablespoons of sugar. You need the sugar because tomatoes tend to be acidic. You can even use a little more than 3 tablespoons of sugar if you wish.
Next, add one or two tablespoons of chicken base (I use Better Than Bouillon Low Sodium Chicken base. You can find it in the soup aisle, it comes in a small jar).  
Add some pepper. Bring almost to a boil. Add 12 oz heavy cream. I have substituted Half and Half for the heavy cream and it was very good. Some people add half a cup of white wine or sherry at this point but you don't have to.
Now add chopped parsley and basil to taste. I use a lot of fresh parsley and basil because I like the taste. And voila! You have delicious home-made tomato soup that will serve 4-6 people.
And now my favorite one-serving (yes, you can eat the whole thing!) pizza.
Start with a Pita Bread. I use "Joseph's Flax, Oat Bran and Whole Wheat Pita Bread," but there are several other brands.  Choose something high-fiber if you can.                                                       
Here's what I use for the topping. I start by spreading 1/4 cup of sauce on the pita--it can be spaghetti sauce, it can be tomato sauce, either home-made or from a jar, whatever strikes your fancy.
Now the toppings: I chop up one piece of light string cheese and one wedge of Laughing Cow Light Swiss cheese.  I sprinkle this on top of the sauce. Obviously, if you have some other types of cheeses sitting in the fridge (like mozzarella) and you want to use them up, go with them.
Then you can get creative. I usually add two tablespoons of chopped tomato and I often add sautéed red or green peppers and mushrooms. The toppings are up to you, add what you like. One of my friends adds "vegan pepperoni" and it's delish.  If you have some roasted veggies left over from last night's dinner, add those. Next sprinkle a tiny amount of parmesan cheese on top.                                              
I always add fresh basil at this point because I love basil. (and I grow it indoors and outdoors, all year round).
Pop the pita in the pre-heated oven on a cookie sheet sprayed with non-stick coating. It will cook in 10-12 minutes. (see, I told you it would be easy!) It's delicious and best of all, it makes just ONE serving and you can eat the whole thing ("mine, all mine!")
I hope you've enjoyed this look at my favorite Fall supper and will give the recipes a try. Happy cooking!
Mary Kennedy