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A vegetable bouillon, which is good served hot or cold. It is easy to make since the vegetables are cut into chunks. The perfect start to a special spring dinner.

Spring Tonic

This is a beautiful clear red broth made extra rich by a splash of port.


3 one-pound cans tomatoes

2 stalks celery, with leaves

2 carrots, scraped

1 green pepper, seeded

1 large onion

3 peppercorns

2 whole cloves

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon basil

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/4 cup port

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Cheese croutons (see recipe)



Put the contents of the cans of tomatoes, juice and all, in a large saucepan, breaking the solid chunks up with a fork. Cut the vegetables into chunks and add them to the pop. Stir in peppercorns, cloves, salt, basil and sugar. Cover the saucepan tightly and bring it to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for one hour, stirring once or twice. Cool.

Strain the soup through a fine sieve or through several thickness of cheesecloth, squeezing all the juices out of the vegetables. Return the bouillon to the saucepan and add the port and lemon juice. Add more salt and pepper, if desired. Bring to a boil and serve, adding a few cheese croutons to each serving.

Cheese croutons.

2 slices day-old white bread

3 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese.

Use a firm rather than spongy type bread. Trim the crusts and cut the bread into one-quarter-i9nch cubes. Heat the butter in a skillet until it is hot and bubbly. Add the bread cubes. Cook and toss over low heat until the croutons are crisp and well browned. Darin them on paper towels, then place them in a small bowl and sprinkled with the cheese while still warm.


Great Dinners From Life