Food For Thought

"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well."

-Virginia Woolf-

Time for Comfort Foods

Brrr! Winter is here and time to break out the comfort foods. A bowl of Tuscan Bean Soup and Rustic Tuscany Bread is sure to warm the soul. Add a bottle of your favorite wine and you have the perfect winter's fare.

Tuscan Bean Soup

  • 4 oz. black-eyed beans, soaked overnight
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 4 celery stalks
  • 2 potatoes, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 turnip, diced
  • 14 oz. can plum tomatoes
  • 4 basil leaves and 1 bouquet garni
  • 1 3/4 pints stock
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 1 tbsp. parsley
  • 2 tbsp. grated cheese

Put the beans in a large saucepan of water and bring to a boil. Remove the scum from the top and simmer for 40 minutes or until almost tender.

Drain and return to the saucepan with the onion, celery, potatoes, carrots and turnip. Add the tomatoes, herbs and stock and season with pepper.

Add the leeks when the other vegetables are firm but almost cooked. simmer for 5 more minutes. Add salt and taste for seasoning. Serve sprinkled with parsley and grated cheese.

Fresh savory bread bursting with tomatoes and cheese flavor.

Rustic Tuscany Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1 - (1 lb.) loaf frozen bread dough
  • no-stick cooking spray
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cracked black pepper
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced Tomatoes with Basil, Garlic & Oregano, well drained
  • 1/2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 c. shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Directions:

Thaw bread dough according to package directions.

Preheat oven to 400° F. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray; set aside.

Pat out dough into 12x10-inch rectangle on prepared baking sheet. Brush lightly with olive oil; sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper. Spoon tomatoes lengthwise down center third of dough; sprinkle evenly with Cheddar cheese and mozzarella cheese.

Fold long sides of dough over filling; press seams together to seal. Using sharp knife, cut 3 diagonal slices, about 2 inches apart, in top of dough, cutting only through first layer of dough. Repeat with second set of cuts in opposite direction, criss-crossing first cuts, to form diamond pattern.

Bake 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool slightly. Cut into 12 slices to serve.



For more holiday recipes, click here.

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