Let's start with the soup-
Tomato Basil Soup- recipe from Bravo in Jackson, MS
- 5 cans chopped tomatoes in juice
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 2 tbsp flour
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/3 cup pesto
- salt and pepper to taste
Simmer first 7 ingredients in a stockpot for 30 min. over med. heat. Puree the soup- I did this in my wee little food processor and wished I'd had a larger one or something hand held. I'd suggest that you get a large bowl and place a stainer over it- THIS IS KEY BECAUSE YOU DON'T WANT TO LOSE THE SOUP JUICES- strain the liquids into the bowl and dump back into the pot. Now puree the tomatoes that are left over in the strainer, adding into the pot as you go. Once you've pureed all of the tomatoes, return to the heat and bring to a boil.
While the soup is reheating, let's get ready to make a roux- whisk the flour and oil together until golden. Whisk into the soup.
When soup is almost boiling stir in the cream and pesto. Continue to stir frequently to prevent scorch. As soon as soup comes to a boil, turn down the heat to simmer. Add S&P. Simmer until desired thickness, skim off any foam or film.
Eggplant and Brie Sandwich-
- 8 (1/2" thick) eggplant slices
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 large red bell pepper
- Loaf of ciabatta bread
- 2 tbsp pesto
- Salad style spinach
- 1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper
- Brie cheese- we had a quarter of a round
Preheat oven broiler. Arrange eggplant slices in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet. Brush both sides of eggplant with 1 tsp oil. Cut bell pepper in half lengthwise, discard seeds and membrane. Arrange bell pepper halves, skin sides up on baking sheet with the eggplants- flatten peppers with your hand. Broil 4 minutes; turn eggplant over- don't turn bell pepper. Broil an additional 4 minutes. Remove eggplants from pan. Broil bell pepper an additional 7 minutes or until blackened. Place bell pepper in a ziploc bag and seala. Let stand for 15 minutes; peel and discard skin.
Broil bread slices for 2 min until lightly browned, turning once. Spread brie or your other favorite cheese onto one side of bread. Spread pesto on the other side. Layer each bread slice with eggplant and bell pepper. Toss spinach with remaining 1 tsp oil and black pepper. Divide and spread across sandwich. Stack em up and enjoy!