Monday, February 26, 2007

Tortilla Soup with Avocado Salsa

Karin and I made this last weekend. I thought it would be a heavy meal. Instead, it was refreshing, yet full of taste. Apparently, this soup is a touted as cold remedy. "Healthful." None of us had colds at the time, so you can't take our word for it.
This provides enough for 4 main courses, or 8 appetizers.

Tortilla Soup with Avocado Salsa

Avocado Salsa:
1 ripe avocado
1 plum tomato
1/2 jalapeno
1 green onion
2 T chopped fresh cilantro
2 t lime juice
1/4 t salt
Note: Double this recipe if you want a chunkier soup. We did!

Tortilla Soup:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 T peanut or canola oil
8 large cloves garlic, peeled
8 cups chicken broth
2 sprigs cilantro
1/2 c green salsa
2 green onions
1/4 fresh chopped cilantro
Bag of tortilla chips
2 limes

1. Cut avocado into cubes and place in a bowl. Add: Seeded and diced tomato and jalapeno; chopped green onion and cilantro; lime juice and salt.
2. Stir and set aside.

1. Flatten chicken breasts with a meat mallet. (I put the chicken between two pieces of waxed paper, and use a rolling pin.) Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add chicken, and scatter garlic around the sides. Cook over med-low heat, flipping chicken once, until chicken is done. Take off the heat. Push garlic off to one side of the pan and mash it with a fork. Pull at the cooked chicken with a fork until it is reduced to shreds. Combine garlic and chicken. Set aside.
2. Prepare broth in a large soup pot, setting aside 1 cup of it. Heat broth over med-high heat along with sprigs of cilantro until boiling. Scoop out the cilantro, and discard. Add chicken mixture, green salsa, green onions, an chopped cilantro. Also, using the reserved cup of broth, deglaze the pan the chicken was cooked in, scraping up any browned bits. Add this to the soup pot.
3. Serve soup with a bowl of tortillas and Avocado Salso, (see below).

Notes: The tortillas and salsa are to be dumped right into your soup. The torillas add saltiness, while the salsa adds substance. Soooooo good.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Baked Pasta and Ricotta Casserole

Here is another casserole recipe that I have made lots of times and everyone loves it. (except Josh, who doesn't like ricotta cheese! ) This one also freezes well - so double the recipe and put one in the freezer for another time, or to give away. This recipe comes from a Milk Calendar recipe book that my mom gave me.

8 oz pasta (eg. penne, ziti, rotini, etc.)
** Cook Pasta. Rinse with cold water. Drain well. Reserve.

1/4 cup butter
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
pinch of cayenne
** Melt butter in a large saucepan. Add garlic and onion and cook 3-4 min.
Add flour and cook 3 min. stirring often.
Add milk, salt, pepper, nutmeg and cayenne.
Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cook gently 5 min.

** Combine:
8 oz ricotta
2 cups grated mozzarella
1 can (28 oz) tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

**Pour into a 13x9 inch baking dish.
Sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Bake in a preheated 350 F oven for 25-30 min. until bubbling and brown

Baked Eggs

This is a crustless quiche. Really good, again may be prepared ahead and frozen. Everyone loves this recipe. It's nice for a ladies lunch or a pot luck buffet.

6 Bread Slices, cubed
2 cups Cheddar, grated
1 cup Ham, cooked and cubed (can be left over roast ham, or deli ham or cooked bacon)
1/4 cup Green Pepper, chopped
1/2 cup Onion, chopped
6 Eggs
3 cups Milk

Mix first 5 ingredients in large bowl. In separate bowl beat eggs and milk together.
Pour bread mixture in a 9 x 13 pan evenly. Pour milk and egg mixture over top.
Cover will foil and freeze or bake immediately. To prepare frozen dish for serving, thaw first.

Bake 375 for 45 minutes, uncovered.

Lemon Loaf

Hello Ladies!
I thought I would add a very quick and easy recipe. It makes 2 loaves, and freezes very well.

1 pkg. Lemon Cake Mix
1 pkg. Instant Lemon Pudding mix
1/2 cup Canola oil (or other vegetable oil)
1 cup Water OR 3/4 cup water plus 1/4 cup lemon juice (I prefer the lemon juice)
4 Eggs


1/4 cup Icing sugar
2 T. Lemon juice

Combine first 5 ingredients and beat with electric mixer for 4 minutes. Pour into 2 greased loaf pans. Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes. (I tend closer to 60 min.)

After removing from oven, use a fork and poke small holes all over the top of the loaves. Mix sugar and lemon juice to make a thin paste. Spread over hot loaves. Let cool approx. 10 minutes before removing from pans.

To freeze, I wrap the loaf in wax paper and then put it into a freezer bag.

Baked Shells with Pesto, Mozzarella, and Meat Sauce

Here is another recipe from that same 'quick from scratch one-dish meals' (although this one takes 3 different pans to prepare in my opinion! But it is still fairly easy to prepare)

1 T cooking oil
1 onion, chopped
1 pound ground beef
2 cups canned chopped tomatoes, drained (from one 28-ounce can)
1 1/2 t salt
1/2 cup pesto
3/4 pound medium pasta shells
1 1/2 cups mozzarella, grated
1/4 cup grated Parmesan

1. Heat the oven to 400 F. Grease a large baking dish (9x13)
2. In a large stainless-steel frying pan, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in the ground beef and cook, breaking it up, until the meat is no longer pink, about 2 minutes. Drain off any excess fat.
3. Add the tomatoes and salt to the pan and bring to a simmer. Cook until most of the liquid evaporates, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the pesto.
4. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the shells until just done, about 10 minutes. Drain and toss with the sauce. Put half the pasta into the prepared baking dish and top with half the mozzarella and 2 T of the Parmesan. Repeat with the remaining pasta, mozzarella, and Parmesan. Bake until bubbling, about 15 minutes.

The nice thing about this recipe is that it freezes well, so you can double it and make it up one night and then another night when you are running behind, you can just pull it out of the freezer and reheat.

Chicken Biryani

This recipe is from a book by Food & Wine magazine called 'quick from scratch one-dish meals cookbook' It's has a long list of ingredients - but you really just throw them all in the same pot and let it boil for 20 min. and it is soo good.

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes.
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp fresh-ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt.

1. In a medium bowl, combine the above ingredients. Let sit while you prepare the rest.
2. In a large saucepan, melt the 3 T butter over moderate heat. Add the 1 onion, thinly sliced and cook until starting to soften, about 3 minutes.
3. Stir in :
1/4 tsp ground cardamom or ground coriander
1/4 tsp tumeric
5 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups long-grain rice, preferably basmati
Cook, stirring for 1 minute.
4. Add the chicken mixture to the pan. Stir in 2 3/4 cups water and 1/3 cup raisins. Bring to a simmer.
Cover and simmer until rice and chicken are almost done, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat. Let stand, covered until rice and lamb are just done, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1/3 cup chopped cashews.

The original recipe called for lamb, but I like chicken better, but you could probably also do this with stewing beef. And I know the thought of eating boiled chicken isn't that great - and I have done it with frying the chicken on the side and just adding it in at the last minute - but then the rice mixture doesn't have all the flavours from the marinade and it is not as good. and if you cook the chicken with the rice and it is nice and moist.
Also there are some exotic spices in there - that I didn't have the first time I made this - but I just went to the bulk food store and bought a small about of those spices - since you use so little - and it was definitely worth it, I've made this recipe a number of times.
Oh and don't forget to fish out the whole cloves and cinnamon sticks before serving

Thai Meatballs

First, props to Kate Masson for the recipe. She made me these meatballs for my birthday dinner this past August, and I was struck by the rich flavour. This is a very exotic tasting dish. If you like peanut sauce, and you like cilantro, you will LOVE this. If you are less adventurous in your culinary exploration, it may not be to your taste. It does qualify as easy, though, Ness.

1 1/2 ground chicken
1/4 cup hoisin suace
1/4 cup bread crumbs
3 T green onions
1 T cilantro
1 egg
3 cloves garlic
1 t fresh ginger
1 t sesame oil
salt and pepper

1 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup hoisin sauce
2 T soya sauce
2 T peanut butter
2 T cilantro
1 T ginger
1 t lemon zest

1.Mix all meatball ingredients. Roll into 1'' balls. Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.
2. Mix all sauce ingredients in a sauce pot and simmer gently, stirring regularily, for 10-15 minutes.
Serve over basmati rice.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Here is something that I have tried a few times and always enjoy. (and its really quick and easy to put together, and doesn't take long to cook)

Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil
Place fish on foil, spread some butter on the fish and then sprinkle with salt,pepper and oregano
Top with veggies of your choice (I did onion slices, diced red pepper and small broccolli florets)
Fold up the foil or put another piece on top and fold the edges over themselves - forming a sealed pocket.
Bake for 15-20 min (depends on how thick a piece of fish you have)

I used ocean perch this week, but any white fish would work well, We buy the bonless, skinless frozen fish fillets. You could experiment with different spices as well and I'm sure a squeeze of lemon juice would also taste good instead of the butter (or in addition to - depending on how healthy you are trying to be:)

Serve with pasta tossed with butter, salt, pepper and sage. (this is really yummy! - and also nice and easy)

For working ladies with hungry husbands.

Wow ladies - I'm overwhelmed by the recipes posted so far! Each one looks delectable and would be beautiful to serve. However, at this moment in time, I would also be blessed by some quick, efficient, tasty, healthy and/or affordable dishes for everyday. I certainly don't have the time or stamina to make some of these items after working all day. Do any of you have some last minute sureties that you'd be willing to share?



(Believe me, I'm saving these recipes on a separate folder in Word so that when I have guests, time, and am a stay at home wife, I will be able to pull from them!)

Ricotta Chocolate Tarts

This is straight out of Food & Drink Magazine. I made these for Gabriel's first birthday two days ahead, froze them, and re-heated them just before serving.
*Pre-made plain tart shells work just as well.
*If you don't mind cold tarts, I would recommend adding a layer of the chocolate sauce to the top of the baked tarts, then placing them into the fridge. They come out looking beautifully smooth. Then pop a roasted pecan on top, or a dollup of whipped cream.

Ricotta Chocolate Tarts

Sweet and tangy ricotta and dark chocolate make a decadent cheesecake type of filling in a crispy cookie tart shell in this easy-to-make but impressive dessert. The pepper may seem like an odd ingredient, however once you try it you'll be surprised how well it works. The Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce isn't imperative but makes an attractive and tasty addition and prevents the tarts from sliding around the plate. The tarts are best if served when freshly baked but can be baked, cooled, covered and refrigerated for up to one day. To reheat, place on a baking sheet and bake in a 350ºF (180ºC) oven for 5 to 10 minutes or until warmed through.

Tart Shells
1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (75 mL) unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ cup (50 mL) granulated sugar
½ cup (125 mL) cold butter, cubed
1 egg

4 oz (125 g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
¾ cup (175 mL) extra smooth ricotta cheese
1 egg yolk
3 tbsp (45 mL) whipping cream
1 tbsp (15 mL) granulated sugar
Pinch freshly ground black pepper

1. For tart shells, preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC).

2. Whisk together flour and cocoa powder in a bowl. Beat sugar and butter with an electric mixer in a separate bowl. Beat in egg. Stir in flour mixture until a soft dough forms. Divide dough into 12 balls, each about the size of a golf ball. If dough is very soft, refrigerate for 10 minutes or until chilled. Press 1 ball evenly into bottom and up sides to top edge into each cup of 2½-inch (6-cm) muffin tins. Prick all over with a fork. Repeat with remaining dough. Refrigerate for 15 minutes or until chilled. Bake for about 10 minutes or until firm. Let cool in pan on a rack. (Cover and store at room temperature for up to 2 days.)

3. To make filling, melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of hot, not boiling water. Stir until smooth and remove from heat. Let cool almost to room temperature. Whisk ricotta with egg yolk, cream, sugar and pepper. Whisk in melted chocolate until blended.

4. If necessary, preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC.)

5. Spoon filling evenly into tart shells. Bake filled tarts for 15 to 20 minutes or until centre is puffed but still moist when a tester is inserted in the centre. Serve immediately, garnished with Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce (recipe follows).

Makes 12 tarts

Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce

Perfect for drizzling on the plate as a garnish for Warm Chocolate Ricotta Tarts or any festive dessert. Store it in the refrigerator and
warm in a saucepan or the microwave before serving.

1/3 cup (75 mL) granulated sugar
1/3 cup (75 mL) unsweetened cocoa powder
¾ cup (175 mL) whipping cream
2 oz (60 g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla or 1 tbsp (15 mL) chocolate liqueur

1. Whisk sugar with cocoa in a saucepan. Gradually stir in cream until blended. Bring just to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes or until slightly thickened.

2. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate until melted. Stir in vanilla. Let cool slightly. (Transfer to a jar, cover and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks). Warm slightly before serving.

Makes about 1¼ cups (300 mL)

Monday, February 19, 2007

Mocha Cheesecake

This one is as decadent as they come. It is always among my top choices for a birthday cake.
Give yourself 4 hours before serving.
Have your cream cheese out of it's packaging and warming in a bowl the morning of the day you make it. You can't rush the warming, and you can't work easily with it cold.

Mocha Cheesecake
1 1/2 cups chocolate crumbs
1/2 cup butter melted
2 eggs
1 T instant coffee granules
1 T hot water
2 bricks cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
4 oz melted semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 t vanilla
2 T flour

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter 9'' springform pan. Melt butter and add to crumbs until moist enough. Cover bottom of pan with the crumbs, working them up the sides if possible.
2. In a small bowl, mix hot water and coffee granules until dissolved. Set aside.
3. In a sauce pot, melt the chocolate over med-low heat, stirring constantly.
4. In a big bowl, mix the cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Add sugar. Add eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla, the coffee mixture, chocolate and flour.
5. Pour filling into the pan and bake for 50 minutes. Cake should be mostly set when jiggled.
6. Cool to room temperature then transfer to fridge for atleast 3 hours before serving.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Peach Dumplings

This recipe, from my husband's Great-Grandmother who was from the Czech Republic, is a delicious meal that satisfies like a dinner and desert in one!

Dissolve 1 pkg dry yeast in 1/2 cup warm water and 1/2 tsp sugar
Stir in 2 tbsp sugar and 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tbsp shortening, 1 beaten egg and add 1/2 cup sifted flour. Stir until blended.

Let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk (about 1/2 hour).
Knead a little flour in and flatten on counter.
Cut into pieces, wrap all around fresh peaches.
Put into boiling water for 10-15 minutes depending on size of peach.

Great topped with cottage cheese and/or melted butter.

Makes 4-5 dumplings.


This is one of the other recipes that I make quite often. This one I don't really have exact amounts - it's the kind where you just add until it tastes right - so definately start out adding less than you think because once you over do it with one ingredient it's hard to go back.

1 avocado (remove the pit and skin and mash it up)
1 clove of garlic
1/2 - 1 tsp of dried onion flakes (optional)
1/4 - 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 - 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
a dash of lemon juice to keep it from going brown too quickly.

I remember the first time I bought a avocado it was for a party at my parents and I had no idea how to pick out a good avocado - and since the brown ones felt mushy I figured the nice bright green ones must be the best. Wrong - the green ones are hard as rock and don't have much flavour - but they will ripen in a few days. So which avocado you buy depends on how soon you want to use it. A ripe avocado is more redish brown and when you press it - it will give a little bit. But not too soft or it will be over ripe by the time you get home and over ripe avocado is worse than the rock hard un-ripe ones.

Banana Bread

This is probably the recipe that I make the most - it is so easy and so yummy and not entirely unhealthy. It is one of the few recipes that I have memorized. It helps that it only has 6 ingredients.

1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup butter (softened)
2 large bananas (mashed)
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups flour.

1. Combine the butter and sugar
2. Mix in the mashed up bananas
3. Add the last three ingredients - mix well. It should form a soft dough.
4. Put in a small loaf pan (well greased, or lined with parchment paper)
6. Bake at 325 F for approx 1 hour.
- alternatively it makes 12 medium sized muffins - they only take between 20-30 min to cook.

For the bananas: If we don't get around to eating all the bananas I have bought and they start turning brown, I put them in the freezer until I have time to make banana bread. When I have time, I take two out of the freezer and defrost them by microwaving them for 2 min and then removing the peel - they are then almost completely mashed already. The few times I've made this with fresher bananas it had a slightly different texture, still good - but not as good.


Thursday, February 15, 2007

Maple Pecan Squares

Truly one of the most decadent squares I have every eaten. This was my Christmas indulgence. I always tear through the seasonal Food & Drink Magazine to find the inspiration fro my Christnas baking, and i found this gem. Warning: Very rich. Eat in small squares with something mild to sip on, like tea, or steamed milk.

Maple Pecan Squares

Shortbread Base:
1 cup flour
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1/2t fine salt
1/4t baking powder
1/4t ground cinnamon
1/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

Pecan Layer:
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup pure maple syrop
2t pure vanilla extract
1/4t fine salt
1 large egg
1 3/4 cups coarsely chopped pecans

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Grease 9'' square pan. (Consider also lining pan with wax paper.)
3. For base, combine all base ingredients in a food processor until crumbly, or do it by hand with a whisk. Press mixture into pan and bake for 20 minutes. Let cool.
4. Combine all pecan layer ingredients. Pour on top of cooled base and bake for 22 to 25 minutes, or until bubbling around the edges.
NOTE: It will appear very loose when removed from the oven, but it's supposed to. Just let it cool, or put in in the fridge until cool and it will solidify nicely.

These should be kept cold. They can actually be eaten right out of the freezer.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Roast Beef

Growing up we had roast beef almost every Sunday and lets just say it was never my favorite meal. However now that I'm all grown up I wanted to try making roast beef - it just seemed like I meal I should know how to make - so I did some research for good recipes and asked my mother-in-law for some advice about how to cook a good roast beef. And I can now say that roast beef is one of my favorite meals to prepare for company - it tastes soo good, but its hard to find a roast small enough to serve just 2 and neither of us are very good at eating left overs, so I usually save this meal for company. I found this recipe on and although it calls for beef tenderloin I usually use whatever roast is on sale, either an outside round or a sirloin tip roast.

Herbed and Spiced Roasted Beef Tenderloin

2 Tbsp fresh rosemary
2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
4 cloves garlic
1 large shallot, peeled and quartered
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 tablespoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons olive oil

Place all the above spices and herbs in a mini-food processor. With the machine is running, add the olive oil and process until the mixture becomes a smooth paste. Spread the paste evenly over the roast.
Place the roast in a roasting pan, cover with foil and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.
Now for the cooking part - here is where cooking a roast cut differs a bit from a tenderloin. A roast needs to be cooked at 350 F for approx 20 min per pound for rare or 30 min per pound for medium. And don't forget to remove the tin foil before putting it in the oven. This type of cooking method rely's on the dry heat of the oven - so you don't want to have any sort of lid on the roasting pan.
The drippings from this roast can make wonderful gravy - although the gravy I make has only turned out really good (in my estimation) about 50% of the time that I try to make it - so if anyone has a fool proof gravy recipe using roast beef drippings please share!
I usually serve this with mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli.

Some substitutions:
* I don't usually have fresh herbs around so I substitute 2tsp dried rosemary and 2 tsp dried thyme leaves. although it really is better with the fresh.
* I don't usually add the orange zest - mostly because I never seem to have oranges in the house when I make this - plus I've had bad experiences cooking meat with oranges:)
* I've used just normal onions in place of the shallots if I haven't had time to do the proper shopping for this recipe and it tastes just fine.

Here is the link to the original recipe on

Asian Marinated Pork Tenderloin

This is a very tasty, and very easy recipe. It turns out perfectly every time.

Asian Marinated Pork Tenderloin
1/4 cup soya sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
2T sherry
1 1/2t minced onion
1t cinnamon
2t olive oil
1 pinch sea salt
3-4 cloves garlic

1. Place 2 tenderloins, (they usually come in one package), in a large ziplock bag with the above marinade for atleast 4 hours in the refridgerator. I tend to prepare them in the morning.
2. Remove meat from the bag, but reserve the marinade. Brown each tenderloin in a skillet over high heat until every side is seared. Place in a 350 degree oven along with the reserved juices.
3. Cook 20 minutes. Turn them over, baste, and cook another 2o minutes.
4. Remove meat, and add cornstarch to juices to make gravy.

NOTES: I got this recipe from All Recipes.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Smoked Salmon & Dill Pasta

6 green onions
4 T butter
6 T dry white wine
1 3/4 cup heavy cream
8oz smoked salmon
2 T fresh dill (or 1 T dry dill)
fresh lemon juice
4 cups pasta
salt and pepper

1. Put water on to boil for pasta.
2. Melt butter in a saucepan. (I use a wok). Chop onions into butter and simmer gently for one minute.
3. Add wine and boil hard to reduce. Then add cream, salt, pepper, nutmeg. Simmer until slightly thick.
4. Chop salmon. Add to sauce along with dill and lemon juice.
5. Combine and serve

NOTES: Really rich. A little goes a long way. A mild flavour so don't eat anything with it that will overpower it. Really good with a nice white wine and a baguette.

Coconut Lemon Squares

Mix and press into greased 13"x9"x2" pan:
2 cups flower
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup butter or margarine (softened)
Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes.

Stir together:
4 eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Then add:
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 cups cocnut
Pour over baked crust. Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes, until the middle is not too runny. (If it's runny, you'll have to eat it with a fork or spoon, but the bars are really good that way, too!)

Cool and glaze with:
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
3-4 Tablespoons lemon juice.

Cool slightly (or completely) and cut.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Roasted Red Pepper Soup


Join me in this endeavour. If you would like to become a joint contributor, you will be able to post your favourite recipes for all your friends to share. We can swap our favourite tastes, and enhance each other's recipes with creative twists. Yummy fun.
Let's get this thing going!

Roasted Red Pepper Soup

5-6 red peppers
4 cups chicken broth
1t sugar
1-2t paprika
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup fresh romano
cooked shrimp
fresh basil

1. Broil whole red peppers, until every side is charred black
2. Remove and place peppers in a sealed ziplock bag, or a tupperware tub.
3. After 10 minutes remove skin and seeds.
4.Chop most of the peppers but set aside 1 to julienne.
5.Place chopped peppers into a soup pot, along with chicken broth. Simmer for 5 minutes. Puree with a hand blender.
6. Add sugar and paprika. Simmer 5 minutes
7. Add heavy cream, romano, julienned pieces. (Optional: basil and shrimp)
8. Seasonwith salt, pepper and tabasco sauce. Serve.

NOTE: I serve this with cheese buns. Either toast your own buns and melt cheese on top. Or buy those supermarket cheese sticks.