Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Atlanta received 4” of snow on Sunday and the city is still paralyzed from it. No mail, no bank, no buses, no work and the grocery store, if you can get there, doesn’t have any food. That’s 3 days of nothing. However, it did give me the chance to blog for the first time in months!

Now the reason I have not been blogging is not due to a lack of cooking or creativity; we have been eating all sorts of tasty items this winter: green beans and chestnuts sauteed in duck fat, parsnip ribbons with Nigella seeds, New England clam chowder and a favorite of the kids, Captain Crunch French toast - which we paid for dearly in sugar highs. I have not been blogging due to my lighting situation, so, for a moment let’s ignore that I’m a lighting designer. This is how the blog works: I make dinner, I photograph it outdoors no more than 10x with my Iphone, write a story about it (or use an existing one), pick the best picture and post it. Simply Socialist in approach. Winter creates a problem for outdoor photography and, in spite of an almost perfect color rendering index, our halogen downlights make food look just awful, you can see some examples of the effects on this blog. At this point I could write a 10,000 word essay on the lighting, food, color temperatures, footcandles and color rendering indexes but I’m not going to bore myself or you with that. I just don’t want to post ugly pictures.

So the point is, it snowed and I was able to make lunch and photograph in the daylight. I don’t really have a story for this recipe, it came about one day when Jim and I came home for lunch and Mother Hubbard’s cupboard was bare. Improvisation is the creator of some tasty meals. So hopefully you’ll try it, with a grilled cheese, of course.

Smoky Fire Roasted Tomato Soup (Serves 2-4)

1 - 28 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes

1.5 cups water or vegetable stock

1 medium Spanish onion, diced

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon sugar

a pinch of cayenne

salt and pepper

2 - 3 tablespoons basil, chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

Heat the oil in a pan and saute the onions until almost translucent, about 10 minutes. Add in salt and pepper and smoked paprika and saute for 1 more minute, add in tomatoes and water, bring to a boil. Add in sugar and simmer for 10 minutes. Puree to desired consistency with an immersion blender or standing blender. Ladle in to bowls and top with the basil.

Notes: Sometimes I puree the whole soup and other times only half of it for a heartier texture.