01.10.2017

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Our first big snow fall hit this weekend and all I can think about is cooking and eating soup and biscuits so forgive me for another soup suggestion. This Spicy Tomato Soup is from Barabara Lynch and it is spicy. If you don’t love a serious kick of heat I would cut the red pepper flakes in half. At its core, this recipe is a 5-ingredient vegan soup built from simple pantry items. And where there is soup there is dipping. Biscuits make mean dippers – especially when they’re covered with everything bagel seed mix. If you’d rather use your biscuits to hold fried eggs, red onion, cheese, and spinach then I’m not stopping you. We started our fair share of mornings that way too.

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Barbara Lynch’s Spicy Tomato Soup

serves 6

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

small yellow onion, peeled, halved, and sliced into 1/4-inch-thick slices

teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste — I used a 1/2 teaspoon and it was almost too spicy for me)

2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes

1 1/2 cups water

1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Crème fraîche, for garnish (optional)

1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent and very tender, about 10 minutes.

2. Stir in the tomatoes and their juices, plus the water, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the flavors have melded, about 30 minutes. (If you’re in a hurry, you can skip the simmer time — just add a bit less water.) Add the basil, season with salt and pepper, remove from the heat, and let cool briefly, about 5 minutes.

3. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a large, heatproof bowl. Using a blender, purée the soup in batches until smooth, removing the small cap from the blender lid (the pour lid) and covering the space with a kitchen towel (this allows steam from the hot soup to escape and prevents the blender lid from popping off).

4. Pour the blended soup through the strainer, pressing on the solids with a rubber spatula or ladle; discard the solids. Taste the soup and season with additional salt and pepper as needed.

5. Return the soup to the saucepan and reheat on medium low until hot. If you choose, serve topped with a tablespoon of crème fraîche.

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Everything Biscuits from Small Victories

Makes 12 biscuits

2 teaspoons poppy seeds

2 teaspoons sesame seeds

2 teaspoons onion flakes

4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoon kosher salt

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into ½-in cubes and chilled

1 ½ cups buttermilk, plus more for brushing

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. (You can skip this if you’d like, since all of the butter in the dough will keep the biscuits from sticking, but I love anything that makes cleaning up easier).

2. In a small bowl, stir together the poppy seeds, sesame seeds, and onion flakes. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk more than you think you should — this isn’t just to combine the ingredients but also to aerate them. Plus, how much easier is it to clean a whisk than a sifter, amiright?? Using your hands, work the butter into the flour mixture, rubbing it between your fingers until the mixture turns into coarse crumbs. Using a wooden spoon, gently stir in the buttermilk until the mixture becomes a shaggy dough — no need to overmix here. Stir in half of the poppy seed mixture.

3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and pat it out so that it’s about 1 in thick. Using a 2½-in round cutter (or a juice glass), stamp out biscuits as close together as possible. Transfer the biscuits to the prepared baking sheet, spacing them evenly. Pat the dough scraps together (do not overwork the dough), reroll, and cut out more biscuits. You should end up with a dozen biscuits. Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator and chill the biscuits for about 1 hour. Baking them from cold will yield flakier biscuits (the butter will be slower to melt and will create more distinct layers); but if you don’t have time, don’t worry—the biscuits will still be very good.

4. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 450°F. Right before baking, brush each biscuit lightly with buttermilk and then sprinkle evenly with the remaining poppy seed mixture.

5. Bake the biscuits until they’re risen and golden, 15 to 20 minutes, turning the baking sheet halfway through baking. Serve warm