Winter Comfort Food

If there are two things that go hand in hand, it’s Winter and Comfort Food. In addition to warm sweaters, cozy blankets, slippers, fuzzy pajamas and the warmth of the fireplace.  As much as we complain about the cold weather, it’s a great time to slow down a bit, snuggle up with a great book or movie and enjoy some hibernation.

Winter is also time to enjoy soothing, homestyle comfort food.  Whether it’s a great homemade soup or fresh baked bread, comfort foods are sentimental, reminding us of our favourite recipes prepared by Grandma, Mom or Dad.  I reached out to my family and friends to discover their most loved Comfort Foods. Although they gave me a wide variety of recipes, all were associated with cherished memories. My favourite Comfort Food is a piping hot bowl of homemade soup just like my Grandma made!
Tomato Mascarpone Soup 1-6241I probably have never made a soup recipe the same way twice. That is the great thing about making soup. Start with a basic recipe and then add a bit of this and a bit of that, and throw it in the pot. Experimenting with quality ingredients like Tre Stelle cheeses, lets you put your own twist on a beloved Comfort Food recipe.  Too many people say “I can’t cook” and worry about a recipe not turning out perfect.  But don’t fret! The adventure of cooking is taking one of your favourite recipes and making substitutions to suit individual tastes. Look through cookbooks, magazines, and the internet for something new and exciting to try cooking. My recipe for Tomato Mascarpone Soup is a great recipe to add your own twist to. Maybe add some shaped pasta, cooked rice, or quinoa for more fibre. Elevate the flavor with some healthy spices like Tumeric, or add some heat with chili pepper flakes.

For my Tomato Soup recipe I add creamy Tre Stelle Mascarpone cheese.  The mascarpone cheese adds an exceptional creamy, rich flavour to the soup. I serve the soup with a Tre Stelle Mozzarella Grilled Cheese Sandwich. That’s Comfort Food at its finest. Just dip that grilled cheese sandwich into the deliciously warm bowl of homemade tomato soup!

So get fearless, buy great quality ingredients and start enjoying personalizing your own recipes with incredible taste and flavor. And share the joy of cooking with your kids, your friends, or your partner! Invite them into the kitchen for some cooking fun with delicious results. Turn on some music (I love to listen to some great 70’s tunes) and enjoy a unique winter afternoon cooking adventure. Enjoy!

 

Tomato Mascarpone Soup

1 Tbsp. butter

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 medium onion thinly sliced (1 cup)

2 garlic cloves thinly sliced (2 tsp.)

2 tbsp tomato paste

¾  tsp dried thyme

¾  tsp dried basil

1-28oz can whole tomatoes

1 tsp. sugar

3 cups chicken broth (vegetable broth can also be used)

½ tsp pepper

¼ cup Tre Stelle Mascarpone cheese

 

In large skillet melt butter and olive oil.

Add onions and garlic.  Cook over medium heat until onions are golden brown (about 10-12 minutes).

Add tomato paste, thyme and basil, cook for additional 2-3 minutes.

Stir in tomatoes with juices, sugar, pepper, chicken broth and pepper.

Season with salt as needed. Saltiness of broth and tomatoes vary, so salt to taste.

Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes to allow flavors to meld.

Using an immersion blender puree soup. (any blender will work). If you like a really smooth soup, strain through a sieve.

Stir in mascarpone cheese. Simmer for an additional 10 minutes

Serve warm with a Mozzarella Grilled Cheese Sandwich using top quality Tre Stelle Mozzarella cheese.

 

Cook Time: 1 hour     4 servings