Saturday, February 21, 2009

My Version of Fast Food

I worked a little later yesterday, despite trying to get away from the computer at 3. I was here until nearly 5:30. When I got up, I realized I hadn't given one thought to what dinner might be. Time to go quick-and-easy. But do you sometimes feel that you can't make something either quick or easy that tastes good?

Since I'm not a processed-food user (or eater), opening a can of soup isn't going to work. I dug through my recipes and there on top was a white bean soup that saved the night. It took about 15 minutes to cook thanks to the potatoes, but we were eating by 6. Amen. Soup saves the day again!

Actually, I have a few soup recipes that are fast and perfect for when you're tired and don't want to take forever to get something good on the table. Here are a few:

Tomato Soup
4 tomatoes, chopped (I prefer Roma, but whatever is on hand is great)
1 or 2 Tbl. of fresh dried basil (or a small handful of fresh basil, chopped)
1 Tbl. sugar
2 tsp. salt or to taste
1/2 to 1 cup water

This recipe requires you to measure less, eyeball and taste more. Don't get hung up on amounts so much as how it tastes. It's literally 10 minutes from start to eating.

Heat all ingredients in saucepan until tomatoes are soft. Put all in blender and puree until smooth. If you like a thicker soup, serve as is. If not, press mixture through a sieve (I use a handheld metal colander). Serve.

White Bean Soup
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 Tbl. olive oil
2 carrots
1 medium-to-large potato, cubed
2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup water (or more broth, if you like)
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. parsley
Dash Herbes de Provence (or toss in some thyme)
fresh ground pepper
1 can cannelini beans, drained and rinsed well

In a saucepan, heat oil and add onions and carrots. Saute until onions are soft. Add the rest of the ingredients, cover, and cook until potatoes are soft. If you want to make it creamy, try processing a cup of the soup and mixing it in to the rest of it.

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