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CREAM OF TOMATO SOUP

1/2 stick butter

1 large onion, minced

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 (28-ounce) can tomatoes or 3

cups chopped, seeded fresh tomatoes

3 tablespoons chopped parsley

2 (13-3/4 ounce) cans chicken

broth, divided

Dash each of ground allspice and cumin

1 cup half-and-half

Salt to taste

Croutons

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, carrots and olives; cook 35 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle vegetables with curry powder; cook, stirring frequently, 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low, stir in tomatoes, parsley, 1 can chicken broth, allspice and cumin; simmer 30 minutes. Press mixture through food mill. Return soup to saucepan over low heat; stir in remaining can chicken broth and half-and-half. Add salt to taste. Serve hot, topped with croutons. Yield: 6 servings.

ZITI WITH PEPPERS AND MARINATED MOZZARELLA

1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese,

cut into 1/2 inch cubes

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1/2 cup mixed chopped fresh herbs

(parsley, chives, oregano, etc.)

Pinch of crush red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon red vinegar

Kosher salt (to taste)

Black pepper (to taste)

1 tablespoon chopped garlic,

(approximately 3 cloves)

2 cups sliced onions

3 cups mixed bell peppers

2 cups fresh or store-bought

tomato sauce

1/2 box ziti, cooked al dente

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Combine the mozzarella, 1 tablespoon olive oil, herbs, pepper flakes, vinegar, salt and pepper; marinate at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Combine remaining oil with chopped garlic. Heat a large skillet over high heat, and bring a pot of water to a boil to reheat the pasta. Add the garlic oil to the pan, sizzle 10 seconds until the garlic turns white, and add the onions and peppers. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are clear. Add the tomato sauce, and lower heat to a simmer. Dip the pasta in boiling water to reheat; transfer hot pasta to the sauce (allow some of the pasta water to drip into the sauce to thin). Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat. Before serving, toss with marinated mozzarella, butter, and Parmesan cheese. Yield: 4 servings.

OLD-FASHION PIEROGIES

Soft dough:

1 cup sour cream

2 eggs

1 tablespoon oil

1 teaspoon salt

2-1/2 cups flour

Beat the first 4 ingredients. Mix in flour, adding more flour, if necessary, until the dough forms a soft ball. Divide dough in half. On a floured board, roll each half of the dough into a thin sheet. Cut circles in the dough with a cutter 3-1/2-4 inches in diameter.

Cheese filling:

2 egg yolks

1 tablespoon butter

1 pound Farmer’s cheese (solid

cottage cheese), mashed

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

Cream yolks and butter. Combine with remaining ingredients; mix well. Put 1 teaspoon filling on each dough circle, being careful to place it off center. Moisten rim of circle with water. Fold the unfilled side of circle over filling and press edges firmly together to seal them. Drop pierogi into gently boiling salted water and cook 5 to 7 minutes (gently). Remove with perforated spoon. Serve with melted butter and sautéed onions. Yield: 6 servings.

(Note: Never crowd or pile pierogi; they stick together when uncooked. When cooked and crowded together, they become misshapen and heavy.)

FILET OF SOLE IN WHITE WINE

2 pounds of fresh or frozen sole

1/2 cup Chablis wine

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 teaspoon basil flakes

1/2 teaspoon parsley flakes

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

3 tablespoons melted butter

Place fillet in a 2-quart greased casserole dish. Mix together wine, onion, seasonings and butter, and pour over fillets. Cover and bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until fish flakes when touched with fork. Yield: approximately 4 servings.

PINEAPPLE GLAZED TUNA WITH RICE

1 (13-1/2-ounce) can pineapple

chunks; drain and reserve syrup

1/4 cup vinegar

1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 medium onion, cut into thin wedges

1 medium-size green pepper,

cut into strips

1 (7-ounce)can tuna, drained

1 medium tomato, chopped

Hot cooked rice

Combine pineapple syrup and next 3 ingredients in large saucepan. Blend water and cornstarch; add to pineapple syrup mixture. Cook over medium heat until thickened, stirring constantly. Add pineapple and remaining ingredients, except rice. Cook, covered, until all ingredients are heated thoroughly. Serve over hot cooked rice. Yield: 4 servings.

CREAM CHEESE SQUARES

(Requested by one of our readers.)

1 stick margarine, melted

3 eggs, divided

1 (18.25-ounce) package yellow cake mix

1 (8-ounce) package cream

cheese, softened

1 (16-ounce) package powdered

sugar, sifted

2 teaspoons vanilla

Combine margarine, 1 egg and cake mix in a large bowl; mix well. Press mixture into an ungreased 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Set aside. Combine 2 eggs, cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth. Spread topping over cake layer and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Chill. Cut into 2-inch squares. Yield: about 24 squares.

LEMON SPONGE CAKE WITH TOPPING

10 egg whites

2-1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups sugar

1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon grated lemon peel

10 egg yolks

1/3 cup water

3 tablespoons lemon juice

Preheat oven to 325º. Beat egg whites, cream of tartar and salt in a large bowl with electric mixer at high speed until foamy. Gradually beat in 1 cup of the sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, until soft peaks form; set aside. Mix remaining 1 cup sugar, flour, lemon peel in large bowl; set aside. Beat egg yolks in medium bowl on medium speed 2 minutes. Beat in water and lemon juice. Beat egg yolk mixture into flour mixture. Gradually fold in egg white mixture, using rubber spatula. Pour into ungreased angel food cake pan (tube pan). Cut gently through batter with spatula to break air pockets. Bake about 1 hour or until cracks feel dry and top springs back when touched lightly. Immediately turn upside down on heat-proof bottle . Let hang about 2 hours or until cake is completely cool. Loosen sides of cake with knife; remove from pan. Frost sides and top of cake with Lemon Topping. Store in refrigerator. Yield: 12 to 16 servings.

For lemon topping:

1 (4-serving size) package lemon instant pudding and pie filling mix

1 (12-ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

Gradually stir pudding mix (dry) into whipped topping until blended. (1 cup whipping (heavy) cream can be substituted for the whipped topping. Beat whipping cream and dry pudding mix in medium bowl on medium speed until stiff.

WEB BONUS RECIPE

RICOTTA CHEESE GNOCCHI

2 pounds Ricotta cheese

4-5 cups flour

3 eggs

Salt (for boiling water)

Beat eggs and blend with the ricotta cheese. Add flour, one cup at a time. After four cups, only add enough flour to make a smooth dough. Shape mixture into a ball, then cut into chunks. Next, roll the chunks into small, 1-inch logs. Press each lightly with fork; this will hold in the sauce. Drop gnocchi into salted boiling water and cook for 20 minutes. Serve with your favorite sauce. Yield: approximately 6 servings.Any comments, questions or favorite recipes? I would love to hear from you! Feel free to send your email to helenkitchen@msn.com, and please write “Helen’s Kitchen Request, ATTN: Lori” in the subject line to make sure that I receive your email. Thank you.