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Food52 Genius Recipes

One of the most anticipated cookbooks of the year,Food52 Genius Recipes: 100 Recipes That Will Change the Way You Cook, ($18.33 at amazon.com) arrived on my door (in Indio) this Spring, and though many of the recipes are well-known to me, I am finally getting around to cooking from the book. This cookbook is simply a collection of 100 popular tried-and-true recipes prepared every week by thousands of cooks around the world. That is the "genius" part. It isn't a recipe for roasting a chicken, it is a recipe for roasting a chicken that your family will swoon over. Marcella Hazen's infamously genius red sauce is featured on the cover.

You name a well-known chef, and they have a recipe included in this cookbook. Marion Cunningham, Judy Rodgers, Nancy Silverton, Dorie Greenspan, James Beard (Portland native!), Cory Schreiber (Portland native!), Rose Levy Beranbaum, Nigella Lawson, Dan Barber, Deb Perelman (she had a baby girl this week!), Marcella Hazen, Mark Bittman, Patricia Wells, Edna Lewis, Heidi Swanson and of course, Julia Child. Also included are recipes for favorite dishes from popular restaurants. No nonsense instructions. Beautiful photographs.

Food52's (a foodie website) Genius Recipe is the other cookbook (I am still a fan of Joy of Cooking: 75th Anniversary Edition and keep one in my home and RV 24/7/365) you would give at a wedding shower, wedding, house-warming, or to a person moving into their first apartment.

I prepared Spicy Tomato Soup from Barbara Lynch this morning. It was super-simple. Just a few ingredients, vegan (no one will suspect), super-low fat (no one will know) and very satisfying. (You will need a blender and a wire mesh sieve to prepare this soup.) The ingredients are only olive oil, onion, red pepper flakes, canned whole tomatoes, water, fresh basil leaves, salt & pepper. The ingredients are readily available everywhere and also accessible organic. As the introduction suggests... you probably have most of these foods in your kitchen right now. Saute the onion and dried chili flakes in olive oil, add the canned tomatoes and water. Simmer for a bit. Toss in the fresh basil, salt and pepper. Whirl in a blender. Strain. Eat. Let everyone at your table think you are a genius. Swoon.

The entire dish came together in just over 30 mostly-hands-off minutes. I only had to reheat the soup this evening, and dinner was served.

What's not to love about tomato soup? Serve it as suggested, or with croutons, or if you just can't stand it - with a drizzle of cream to make it "cream of tomato soup". I prepared a half-recipe and DT and I finished it tonight - with just a few accompaniments.

Next time (and there will be a next time because this recipe is... well... GENIUS!), I will make a full recipe and freeze half for another night.

PS: It wasn't that spicy (and I used 1 teaspoon of dried chilies in half of the recipe), but if you want to make this for kids, just don't use the chilies.

Another organic - but most definitely not vegan nor low calorie - recipe I made today was vanilla ice cream with Justin's Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups, for kids we will visit tomorrow. Since I have yet to share my basic ice cream recipe, the formula will be shared in the August 2015 RV Goddess Newsletter. Sign-up now!

Until my next update, I remain, your soupy correspondent.