Menu Page for my soup recipes
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Menu Page for my soup recipes
Click on links below for recipes
Pasta shells cooked in a delicious tomato sauce, topped with béchamel sauce and cheddar cheese then finished under a hot grill.
Serves two people
Preparation and cooking time 30 minutes
200g dried Conchiglie – cooked to al dente as per packet instructions
150g mature cheddar cheese – grated
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 heaped dessert spoon plain flour
Approx. 500ml semi skimmed milk
Dried oregano – 1 tsp for tomato sauce, 1/3 tsp for béchamel
1 tsp dried parsley
4 round tomatoes
4 cloves garlic
1 stick celery
1 red bell pepper
1 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp tomato puree
Black pepper for grinding
Sea salt – to taste
You need a food processor or mini chopper for the tomato sauce
In a large flat non stick frying pan dry fry over a medium heat, 4 tomatoes, 4 cloves garlic, 1 stick celery and 1 red bell pepper, turning occasionally until charred.
Remove from the pan and allow to cool on a chopping board. Then remove the garlic skins and the stalks/seeds from the bell pepper.
Transfer into a mini chopper along with 2 tbsp. olive oil, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp dried parsley, 1 tsp brown sugar, 2 tsp tomato puree, 1/2 tsp ground black pepper and 1/2 tsp of sea salt. Blitz until a smooth sauce is formed, set aside ready to cook.
Melt approx. 75g butter in a sauce pan then add 1 heaped dessert spoon of flour and stir into a paste.
Add a small volume of milk, 1/3 tsp dried oregano, 1 bay leaf, 4-5 turns of a pepper grinder and stir well until a smooth sauce is formed.
Increase heat slightly and add approx. 250ml of milk, stirring well to keep a smooth sauce (Tip: you can use a whisk or silicone spatula to help keep sauce smooth).
Keep stirring as the milk heats and the sauce thickens, once it becomes thick add another 150ml milk and keep stirring as sauce heats again. Bring the sauce to the boil, if the sauce is too thick add a little more milk, stir well and bring back to the boil then fish out the bay leaf and remove the pan from the heat – set aside ready to add to the dish.
With a béchamel you want to keep adding milk whilst heating the sauce until it no longer thickens as it reaches boiling point. I have listed the milk as 500ml, however you may need slightly less or more – cooking a béchamel is one of those things that it is difficult to list an exact quantity for.
Start by cooking the pasta to al dente as per packet instructions, then drain and set aside ready to add to the pan.
In a deep wide frying pan add the blended tomato sauce and gently heat through until it bubbles and simmer for 4-5 minutes.
Add the pasta to the tomato sauce, stir well and simmer the pasta in the sauce for 2-3 minutes.
Pre heat your grill on a medium to hot setting (3/4 setting).
Give the pasta and tomato sauce another good stir then drizzle the béchamel sauce over the pasta, making sure the béchamel is distributed over the whole dish. Top with the grated mature cheddar.
Place under the hot grill and cook until the cheese melts and starts to colour, this should take 6-8 minutes depending on your grill. Once the cheese melts and colours like a pizza topping the dish is ready, remove from the grill and serve.
We had this dish with a leafy green side salad and some green beans, although it works just fine by itself – I hope you enjoy.
Linguine pasta with king prawns, in a delicious sauce made from red pepper, tomato, garlic, basil, oregano, onion, flavoured with a stock made from the prawn heads and shells.
In this dish I use a simple stock made from prawn shells and heads to get every bit of flavour from the prawns. This is added to a flavour base (red pepper, garlic, tomato, basil, oregano, tomato pure, olive oil and onion) and cooked down to intensify the flavour. The sauce is completed with seasoning and a little sugar for sweetness. The raw prawns are gently cooked in the sauce, then the pasta is added to the sauce for the final few minutes of cooking, then finished with a little lemon juice.
I am really proud of this recipe and hope you like it as much as I do. Its very easy to make and certain to impress friends and family.
Preparation time 15 minutes, cooking time 12-15 minutes
150g good quality dried linguine – cook as per packet instructions to al dente
250-300g Raw whole King Prawns – see method
1-2 tbsp. olive oil
1 red bell pepper – remove stalk and seeds
1 large beef tomato – remove core
12 basil leaves – plus a few extra for a garnish
1 medium size red onion – peel
4 large garlic cloves – peel, crush
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp. tomato pure
1 tsp brown sugar
Freshly ground black pepper – see method
Salt to taste – season at end once stock has reduced
Juice of half a lemon – cut other half into wedges to serve
You require a mini chopper of food processor for this recipe
Method: Begin by removing the shells and heads from the raw prawns, devein the prawns and set aside.
Pour 250-300ml of water into a sauce pan and bring to the boil, add the prawn shells and heads and simmer for 10-15 minutes until stock has reduced to 200ml. Unlike stocks from vegetables or animal bones stocks made from shellfish absorb all the flavour very quickly. Once reduced set aside ready to add to the dish.
Make the flavour base by adding the red pepper, basil, oregano, garlic, tomato, tomato pure, onion and olive oil to the mini chopper, blend until a smooth sauce is formed. Set aside ready to add to the pan.
Cook the pasta as per packet instructions (around 10-12 minutes), as soon as this starts begin to cook the pasta sauce. Heat a non stick frying pan over a medium heat and add the blended sauce, stir frequently and cook for 5 minutes to bring out all the flavours in the sauce. Take care not to burn the sauce and if it begins to catch on the pan add a little of the prawn stock to loosen it.
Next add the prawn stock to the pan, stir well, increase heat to bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add a tsp of brown sugar and a generous amount of black pepper, do not add any salt until the dish is reduced. Keep simmering and stirring occasionally until sauce has reduced in half (should take 4-5 minutes), then taste test and add salt to taste.
Once the pasta is cooked drain it and set it aside ready to add to the pan.
Add the raw prawns to the simmering sauce and gently stir until they change from grey to pink (60-90 seconds), take care not to overcook them. I would recommend deliberately undercooking them here as they will finish cooking as you add the pasta.
Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and gently stir the sauce through the pasta and cook for 1 minute. Finish the dish by adding juice of half a lemon and stir through to lift the sauce.
Serve immediately and garnish with a few torn basil leaves.
Pan roasted chillies, tomatoes, peppers and garlic along with the spices give this soup a very special deep flavour.
The tomatoes, red peppers, orange pepper, red chilli and garlic are roasted in a dry pan until slightly charred to bring out the deep flavours. This is then added to a soup base of celery, carrot, white onion, red onion and bay leaf which has been softened in a little oil. Spices, herbs, seasoning and chicken stock are then added. After a simmer the bay leaf is removed then the soup is blended until smooth.
This may look like a simple soup but it has a depth of flavour that lifts it up to a new level.
Makes 4 large portions
Preparation time 15-20 minutes, cooking time 40 minutes
1 orange bell pepper – seeds and stalks removed, roughly chopped
1 red bell pepper – seeds and stalk removed, roughly chopped
6 cloves garlic – leave in skin
5 round tomatoes
2 red chillies
Method: Heat a deep wide frying pan and add the vegetables. Dry fry for around 8-10 minutes, tossing the pan occasionally, until the garlic is softened and char marks appear on the chillies, tomatoes and peppers. Remove the garlic and chillies on to a chopping board to cool, then remove the garlic skins (should peel easily) and the chilli stalk, return to pan to add to the soup base.
2 sticks celery – sliced
1 white onion – diced
1 red onion – diced
4 medium sized carrots – peel, sliced
2 bay leaf
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground turmeric
Handful fresh coriander (leaf and stalk)
10 basil leafs
2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 and half dessert spoons brown sugar
1.5L chicken stock
1-2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp sea salt – plus extra to taste
Black peppercorns – for grinding
Method: Add 1-2 tbsp. of olive oil to a deep soup pan and heat to medium hot. Add the celery, carrot, onions and bay leaf and fry for 6-7 minutes until softened. Add the paprika, cumin, coriander and stir through the softened vegetables. Now add the pan roasted vegetables into the soup and stir through. Add the chicken stock then add the herbs (coriander, parsley and basil), bring pan to the boil for 2-3 minutes then reduce to a simmer. Add one and a half dessert spoons of brown sugar then add a teaspoon of salt and a generous amount of black pepper. Cover the pan, reduce heat to a gentle simmer for 25-30 minutes. Before serving use a stick blender to blend until smooth. After blending taste the soup and add more seasoning if required.
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A simple salad of tomatoes, red onions, romano peppers, herbs, lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil
3 plum tomatoes – sliced
2 small red onions – sliced
10cm cucumber – sliced
1 red romano pepper – diced
10 fresh basil leafs – bruised, chopped
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
Juice of half a lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Drizzle of good quality olive oil
Method: layer the tomatoes, red onion, cucumber and romano peppers in a flat serving plate or casserole dish. Season with a little salt and pepper then add the herbs. Finish by drizzling a little olive oil over the salad, this will help bring out the flavours. Cover and set aside at room temperature for 1-2 hours before serving, during this time the flavours will intensify.