Tomato Soup, Open Faced Finger Sandwiches, and FX Matt “Saranac Black Forest Lager” Review (#003)

It is freezing cold in Binghamton, and what better way to warm up than some homemade tomato soup. My wife Tara and I headed over to movie night at my parents to watch Pixar’s “Up” armed with all the ingredients to make tomato soup and open faced cheese and ham finger sandwiches.

Tomato Soup Recipe

– 6 large tomatoes
– 28oz of canned crush tomatoes
– 2 small or 1 large onion
– 2 cloves of garlic
– 2 carrots
– 2 sticks of celery
– 1 quart of vegetable broth
– 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
– basil
– thyme; dried
– 2 tablespoons oil
– salt
– pepper
– shredded cheddar cheese

Heat the oil in a large soup pan. Add garlic, onions, carrots and celery all chopped and cook for about 10 min partially covered; until onions brown.

While the vegetables cook, preheat the broth to boiling, to be added to the vegetables after their 10 minutes. Add canned tomatoes and the 6 tomatoes whole; bring to a boil.

Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat, add seasonings then use immersion blender, blend soup to desired consistency. Pour into bowls. Garnish with healthy serving of shredded cheese and top with a little more basil.

Open Faced Cheese & Ham Finger Sandwich Recipe

That title above sounds like a martial arts move; but it is just a side dish.

– French baguette
– sliced Swiss cheese
– sliced deli ham
– olive oil

Slice baguette in slanted thin slices and lightly toast pieces. Drizzle with olive oil, place slices of cheese and ham on the bread, and melt cheese lightly. Serve 4 to 6 per person with soup.

Black Forest Lager Review

By Saranac

From the brewery:

Beer Style: Bavarian black beer
Malt Selections: Two-row & caramel malt
Hop Selections: Mount Hood & Hallertauer
Color: Dark Brown / Black
Mouthfeel / Body: Medium
Alcohol By Volume: 5.3%
Original Gravity: 13

I poured this beer into a pint glass from a bottle.

Appearance: Dark colored black, with a translucent body, that allows light to pass through in an amber color. Medium sized head, with white lacing, with lower head retention.

Smell: Roasted barley and caramel malts up front. Sweet and mild smelling, with crisp lager yeast on the end.

Taste: The first thing through is a balance between the sweet and roast, with a drying finish from the caramel malts. Caramel is not one of my favorite ingredients, that I often find overbearing, such as in Saranac’s Caramel Porter; which I can’t hold against them when they stress the use of an ingredient in the name of the beer. This beer, the Black Forest Lager, uses the perfect balance of this malt with the roasted.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and refreshing with small fine carbonation; decent size mouthfeel, especially for a lager.

Drinkability/Palitability: This is a perfect session beer you can drink quite a few off. It is very smooth and well balanced and not too heavy.

Notes: This beer was best at a slightly warmer temperature than most other lagers; slight rise in temp allowed for finer notes to come out. To replicate temperature, remove beer from fridge 20 minutes or so before serving.


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