June 19, 2013
Written by Robin Glowa
Tuesday, 18 January 2011 23:00
“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire; it is the time for home.”
— Edith Sitwell
When winter blasts us with swirling storms and biting winds, our bellies crave the comfort of warm, sustaining and nurturing foods. Winter can sometimes be a difficult time to eat healthfully, as a constant craving for carbohydrates may lead us to straight to the cookie jar or cracker box.
Hearty dishes like stews and soups are a wonderful way to incorporate vegetables, greens, grains and beans into a warm, soothing and comforting meal. Roasting vegetables and fruits is a tremendous way to bring out their natural sugars and will help satisfy your sweet tooth.
All kinds of root vegetables can be roasted to a deep, seductive succulence. Parsnips, carrots, potatoes, butternut squash, onions, garlic, as well as brussel sprouts, can be transformed into luscious crustiness when bathed in olive oil and cooked at a high temperature.
Roll cut-up pieces of vegetables in extra virgin olive oil and season with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Roast at 425 degrees until tender inside and caramelized on the outside to a sumptuous, sticky sweetness. Adding herbal and spice embellishments will enhance the flavors even further; ginger and cardamom is superb with carrots, rosemary enlivens potatoes, a dash of cayenne pepper or smoked paprika will spark up squash.
Roasting turns mediocre, tasteless winter tomatoes into a sensationally flavored bite of sunshine. Tomatoes give the body a healthy dose of antioxidant rich nutrients, and when combined with the wonderfully mellow flavors of roasted garlic and homemade chicken stock, come together as a delicious winter soup.
Roasted garlic is also fantastic slathered on good country bread, added to mashed potatoes or cauliflower. Full of antiseptic, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits, roasted garlic may help stave off winter colds and flu.
Comfort is an important component of preparing a delicious life. Enjoy healthy, whole foods and feel warm and satisfied.
3-4 pounds fresh plum tomatoes
Extra virgin olive oil
I whole head garlic, separated, but not peeled
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
8 cups homemade chicken stock
half and half or heavy cream
Wash, dry and cut tomatoes in half. Lay cut side down on an oiled baking sheet. Add garlic cloves to sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Roast tomatoes and garlic in a 400 degree oven until tomatoes are browned, but not blackened, and garlic is soft.
Let tomatoes and garlic cool slightly. Squeeze out garlic from six to seven cloves.
Place tomatoes and garlic in food processor or blender. Blend or process until slightly chunky.
In a stockpot, add a little olive oil and heat over medium high. Stir in tomatoes, rosemary, thyme, parsley and cayenne pepper. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Turn heat down a bit and let simmer for about a half hour, or until slightly thickened. Add basil.
Taste, and season with salt and pepper, if necessary.
Divide soup among four soup bowls and drizzle with a little half and half or heavy cream if desired.
You could also add a drizzle of olive oil instead of cream.
Robin Glowa, HHC, AADP, is a food and wellness enthusiast who earned her certification in holistic health counseling from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and Columbia University Teachers College.
She specializes in teaching healthy cooking classes for children and adults, as well as cooking presentations and wellness workshops for many local organizations.
For more information go to theconsciouscook.net, call 203-393-1037, or http://confessionsofaconsciouscook.blogspot.com.
|< Prev||Next >|