Kathy's Cookbook

Dr. Jennifer Brown, a cardiology fellow at University of Maryland Medical Center, is seeing through the wish of her late mother-in-law to produce "Kathy's Cookbook," which is tailored for heart-healthy living. (Kim Hairston, Baltimore Sun / February 21, 2012)

4 teaspoons olive oil

2 onions, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

3 garlic cloves, chopped

2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves

6 cups low or no salt chicken or vegetable stock

2 12-ounce jars roasted red bell peppers preserved in water, drained (these can normally be found with the Italian food ingredients; sometimes called antipasto peppers)

1 potato, peeled and coarsely chopped

1/2 cup white wine

1 tablespoon sugar or sugar substitute

Freshly ground pepper

1 teaspoon salt or Mural of Flavor seasonings blend from Penzeys or Mrs. Dash's blend

1 to 11/2 cups loose turkey sausage or chopped Morning Star meatless sausage patties (optional)

1/2 cup mascarpone cheese (optional)

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots, garlic and thyme and saute until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the broth, bell peppers, potato, wine, and sugar or sugar substitute. Bring to a simmer over high heat.

Decrease the heat to medium-low. Partially cover and simmer until the potatoes are very tender, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.

Cool the soup slightly. Puree the soup in a blender in batches. Season the soup with pepper and salt or spice blend. Return to pot and heat. If desired, add the chopped sausage or meatless sausage patties and heat. Serve with a dollop of mascarpone cheese in each bowl, if desired.

Baked spaghetti

Makes 4-5 servings

1 cup onion, chopped