Dover Post food columnist Judi Leaming shares some recipes from the kitchen of a long-time friend. They include Homemade Tomato Soup, Sweet Potato Waffles and Cocoa-oatmeal Cookies.

    In this column I feel privileged to share recipes from the kitchen of my long-time friend, Nancy Shevock. Several Decembers ago I was able to give you an inside peek into Nancy’s kitchen when she and her wild and crazy sisters gathered together for a Christmas cookie baking day. Nancy and her husband Dan always have enjoyed spending time cooking together in their spacious and convenient kitchen, and they cook in quantity, making and freezing meals to have on hand to share with others or for dinner on busy evenings.

    From time to time, Nancy passes along recipes she has deemed successful and, knowing that I had to do some advance column writing to enable Spicer and I to spend three weeks in New Zealand this month, I saved up Nancy’s recipes to share with you in my absence. 

    Thanks, Nancy, for the laughs, tears, wisdom and great recipes that you have shared with me through the many years of our friendship.

Homemade Tomato Soup


2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped celery
1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh basil
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 pounds plum tomatoes, cut into wedges
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons plain low-fat yogurt
3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil


    Combine first six ingredients in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Place half of the tomato mixture into a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid to allow steam to escape; secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid to avoid splatters. Blend until smooth. Pour into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining tomato mixture. Stir in salt and pepper. Ladle 3/4 cup soup into each of the six bowls; top each serving with a tablespoon of yogurt and 1 1/2 teaspoons basil. Makes six servings.

Sweet Potato Waffles
(From The Food Network)


1 1/2 cups peeled and cubed sweet potatoes
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 egg whites, at room temperature
1 cup milk
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
Vegetable spray for waffle iron


    Put cubed sweet potatoes in a steamer basket. Place the basket in a large pot of simmering water that is no closer than two inches from the bottom of steamer. Allow potatoes to steam for 20 minutes or until fork tender. Mash cooked potatoes and set aside. (Nancy cooked sweet potatoes in her microwave.) In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. In another bowl combine the sweet potatoes, milk, brown sugar, butter and grated orange rind (A little ground cinnamon would be a worthy addition here). Stir the sweet potato mixture into the flour mixture and thoroughly combine. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gradually fold egg whites into batter 1/3 at a time. The batter will be thick. Scoop a scant half-cup of the batter onto a preheated, oiled waffle iron and cook until lightly browned, about five to six minutes.

Cocoa-oatmeal Cookies
(From Family Circle magazine)


3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup)unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup nuts, chopped
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips


    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl. In a large bowl, beat butter and both kinds of sugar until creamy, about three minutes. Beat in eggs and vanilla. On low speed, beat in flour mixture then stir in oats, nuts and chocolate chips.

    You can form the cookies in several ways depending on the size desired. To make large cookies: place 1/4 cup of batter on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake for 17 minutes. To make small cookies: place about one tablespoon (one small scoop) on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake for approximately 11 to 12 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet for five minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Email Judi Leaming at