101 Cookbooks: preparing me for jaw surgery


On the 1st May 2012 I will be embarking on what can certainly be described as an American Perfect Teeth Endeavour (so probably should spell that Endeavor). I will be taking myself to the NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center for a jaw breaking operation. Yes, after several months of fixed braces, and a lot of painful, food limiting tooth movement, my chosen medical professionals have decided that the jaw breaking should be imminent.

Will my face change? Almost certainly. Will my teeth be perfect and fit for the likes of American Idol auditions? They better be.

Before I fully document the build up and operation I must begin preparations for my fate. At least 8 weeks of liquid food.

Recipe 1 is detailed below.

Bring on the soup!

PS Readers, I am compiling a collection of tasty, interesting and strictly-no-solids recipes. Please post any you have lying around below so that I can remain visible at least as the bones heal.

Photograph by Heidi Swanson

A Simple Tomato Soup by Heidi Swanson

HS: A number of you are concerned about the BPA liners in a canned tomatoes.
Seek out tomatoes packed in glass jars, alternately I’m aware that Muir Glen has
transitioned to BPA-free liners, although it’s tricky, because those cans aren’t
labeled BPA-free. Look for cans with expiration dates as far out as possible (2014?
2015?), those are more likely to have the new liners.

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, olive oil, or coconut oil
2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, plus more to taste
3 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chile flakes
2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes (pref. fire-roasted)
1 14-ounce can coconut milk

to serve: any of the following that sound good to you – cooked brown
rice, lemon wedges, toasted almond slices, pan-fried paneer, fresh
thyme or oregano, oregano drizzle, a poached egg

In a large pot over medium heat melt the butter. Add the onions and salt, and cook,
stirring occasionally, until the onions really soften up – 10 minutes or so. Not so
much that they brown, just until they’re completely tender and unstructured.
Stir in the curry powder, coriander, cumin, and chile flakes, and cook just until the
spices are fragrant and toasty – stirring constantly at this point. Just 30 seconds or
so. Stir in the tomatoes, the juices from the cans, and 6 cups / 1.5 L of water. Simmer
for fifteen minutes or so, then puree with a hand blender until smooth. This is the
version you see up above (minus the toppings). That said, at this point you can
decide if you’d like your soup even a bit thinner – if so, you can thin it with more
water, or if you like a creamy version, with some coconut milk. Taste and adjust with
more salt to taste.
This soup is great served simply with a dollop of cream from the top of a can of
coconut milk (a little goes a long way) and a toasted wedge of good bread. That said,
I love it most with the coconut cream, served over a scoop of brown rice with a
squeeze of lemon, some toasted almonds, and a jolt of herbs.

Photograph by Heidi Swanson


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