We made okay food this week. The soup wasn’t overly special right away, the cornbread was good but challenging to eat, and the cobbler needed some help post-baking. Thus, our entire meal was in need of modifications. Luckily for the soup, the modifications were easy because they involved adding more salt, a few fresh basil leaves, and some shredded parmesan to each bowl. For the cornbread, we should have put the batter in muffin tins instead of just making it in a cake pan so that way it wouldn’t crumble before making it out of the pan. And lastly, the fruit in the cobbler needed a lot more thickening before baking. What Will eventually did after a couple days was he took the fruit out of the cobbler, reheated it on the stovetop and added some cornstarch to thicken it up, which helped a lot.
Despite the food not being the most amazing thing we’ve ever made, it still tasted good and fed us for several days. And actually the cornbread was really tasty, just a huge mess because it fell apart easily, as cornbread is wont to do. And after Will “fixed” the cobbler, it turned out pretty good, especially when it was heated up.
Cooking Notes: For the soup, Will used yellow onions instead of red and regular tomatoes instead of plum. He also added fresh basil leaves once the soup was served, which added a great flavor. Instead of chopping the tomatoes by hand, he took the lazy approach and chopped them in the food processor. And then for making the butter/flour paste, the soup wasn’t quite thick enough, so he added a little cornstarch to help thicken it up more.
Tomato & White Bean Soup (adapted from 1 Stock, 100 Soups; serves 4-6)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 2/3 cups chopped red onions
1 celery stalk with leaves, chopped
1 bell pepper, seeded and chopper
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 cups chopped plum tomatoes
5 2/3 cups basic vegetable stock
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp all purpose flour
14 oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (we used the rest of the ones we had slow cooked)
Salt and pepper
Fresh parsley, to garnish
5-6 fresh basil leaves to serve
Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the onions, celery, bell pepper, and garlic and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes, until softened. Increase the heat to medium, add the tomatoes, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes more, then pour in the basic vegetable stock. Stir in the tomato paste, sugar, and paprika, seasoning with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, mash together the butter and flour to a paste in a small bowl with a fork. Stir the paste, in small pieces at a time, into the soup. Make sure each piece is fully incorporated before adding the next. Add the beans, stir well, and simmer for another 5 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately, adding basil leaves last.
Cooking Notes: For the cobbler, I used frozen blueberries and blackberries in addition to fresh peaches. I also did a combination of brown sugar and honey for the first step. I would also recommend mixing warm water with the cornstarch before adding in the brown sugar/honey, giving the cornstarch time to dissolve.
Blueberry Peach Delight: Fruit on the Bottom Cobbler (adapted from Simply in Season; serves 8)
1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
3/4 cup (warm) water
1/3 cup brown sugar or honey
3 cups peaches (sliced)
1 1/2 cups blueberries/blackberries
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup applesauce or butter (softened)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.In a large pot, mix the cornstarch and warm water together until cornstarch dissolves. Mix in brown sugar/honey. Turn heat onto low and add the peaches and berries, heating and stirring until mixture thickens. Remove and stir in lemon juice.
In a separate bowl, sift flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Add milk and butter, stirring until blended. Pour over fruit. Top with 1 tbsp sugar and 1/8 tsp nutmeg. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or more, until top is golden.