Thursday, May 12, 2016

Cookbook Thursday: Aimee Broussard of Baton Rouge tackles 'Picnics, Potlucks and Porch Parties'

            Aimee Broussard quit a job that took her away from her Baton Rouge home and new husband, spending the newly freed-up time to learn to sew and cook every family recipe given to her by her sister-in-law. After she won a wardrobe makeover trip to New York City and taught fashion guru Tim Gunn how to make a New Orleans doberge cake, she decided to start a food blog.
She attended a “Dreamers into Doers” event at Martha Stewart, created an online store and further developed her blog and was the 2013 Dixie Crystals Cookie Bake-off champion.
Now, Broussard has published “Picnics, Potlucks and Porch Parties” cookbook, published by Quail Ridge Press of Mississippi, full of Southern recipes for everything from Easter brunch to a neighborhood potluck gathering.
            Broussard will be on the QVC channel from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday (May 18) selling her cookbook and after that, the book will be released to the public. She will also be hosting a cooking demonstration featuring her cookbook from noon to 1 p.m. June 18 at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum in New Orleans.
Here's a recipe for homemade tomato basil soup, to be served with grilled cheese sandwich wedges.

Homemade Tomato Basil Soup
2 (14-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, with the juice
1 cup onions, finely chopped
1 cup celery, finely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup fresh basil, plus more for garnish
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups half and half
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Directions: Add diced tomatoes, onions, celery, tomato paste, chicken broth, oregano, and basil to your crock pot. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours. About 30 minutes before the soup is ready, prepare a roux by melting the butter over medium low heat in a skillet and whisking in the flour. Whisk constantly for about 10 minutes or until the roux turns golden brown. Slowly add the soup from the crock pot to the roux, a cup at a time. Whisk together until smooth then add the roux mixture back to the crock pot. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, half and half, and salt and pepper. Stir well then cover and cook on low for another 30 minutes. Pour soup into blender (you may need to do this in batches, depending on how big your blender is) to get out all the clumps and puree until smooth. Serve with grilled cheese sandwich wedges.