Tomato soup

A simple recipe for simply delicious tomato soup.

The great deep flavour comes from a flavour base of garlic, onion, chilli, bay leaf, carrot celery and Romano pepper. A balance of spices – turmeric, cumin, coriander, saffron and smoked paprika adds another dimension. Plum tomatoes, seasoning, a little sugar, basil, parsley and coriander complete this tasty soup.

This recipe works wonderfully with my Easy Homemade Bread recipe.

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Recipe for 4 large portions

Preparation time 15 minutes, cooking time 40-45 minutes

Ingredients and method

4-5 cloves garlic – peel, crush

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 red onion – peel, dice

2 white onions – peel, dice

1 large red chilli – slice (keep seeds for extra heat if you wish)

2 bay leafs

3 carrots – peel, slice

2 sticks celery – slice

1 Romano red pepper – remove stalk and seeds, dice

1/4 tsp ground turmeric

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp smoked paprika

Pinch saffron

6 plum tomatoes – cut in half

1 tbsp. brown sugar

1 tsp dried basil

1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley – plus a little finely chopped as a garnish

Generous handful of fresh coriander  – leaf and stalk

1.5L stock – vegetable or chicken

Salt and pepper to taste

Method: heat the oil in a deep soup/stock pot then add the garlic cloves and fry gently for around a minute. Add the onions red chilli and bay and fry for a further 3-4 minutes. Next add the celery, carrot and romano pepper and fry for a further 4 minutes. Add the spices and stir thoroughly so the spices coat the whole mixture, fry for a couple of minutes but take care not to burn the spices, loosen with a little water if the spices catch on the pan. Next add the tomatoes, sugar and herbs and stir thoroughly, fry for a further 3-4 minutes again add a little water if mixture catches on pan. Add the stock, a generous amount of black pepper but only a little salt – more can be added to finished soup. Bring to the boil then cover, reduce heat and simmer for around 30 minutes. After this remove from heat and carefully remove the lid, use a wooden spoon to remove the bay leaf (can be hard to find but is important!), then use a stick blender to blitz into a smooth soup. Taste for seasoning then ladle into bowls, dusting with a little finely chopped parsley as a garnish. You could also for extra refinement pass the soup through a sieve as an optional last step.

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Tomato and Cucumber salad

A simple salad of tomatoes, red onions, romano peppers, herbs, lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil

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Ingredients

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.

Korean Cucumber Salad with Sesame Dressing

A cucumber salad with spring onion, red onion, red chilli, herbs and a sesame dressing.

This salad is the perfect accompaniment to any Korean dish, especially for people like me that love Korean food but don’t like kimchi. Adding some tofu, grilled chicken or prawns can transform this side dish into a great starter.

The salad is made from cucumber which is deseeded, peeled and cut into crescents. The cucumber is then dried on absorbent paper to remove any excess water and so it takes up the flavour from the dressing. Sliced red onion, red chilli, spring onions along with a mixture of mint and coriander make up the salad.

The dressing makes the salad come alive – it is made from dark soy, honey, vinegar, sesame seed, sesame oil and the magic ingredient gochujang.

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Serves two as a side dish or starter

Preparation time 10 minutes

Ingredients

For the salad:

15cm length of Cucumber – deseed, peel, cut into crescents

1 red bird eye chilli – thinly slice

4 spring onions – thinly sliced

1 red onion – slice into thin strips

Handful of fresh coriander leaf – roughly chopped

Handful of fresh mint leaf – bruise, thinly slice

Method: Dry the cucumber crescents on absorbent paper for a few minutes. Add the salad to a bowl and mix well with your hands. Set aside.

For the dressing:

1 dessert spoon Gochujang chilli paste

1 dessert spoon Dark soy sauce

1 dessert spoon clear honey

3 teaspoons vinegar

2 teaspoons sesame seeds

1 teaspoon sesame oil

Method: Mix the dressing well in a bowl until combined. Set aside at room temperature until ready to serve. When serving drizzle over the salad then mix well with a spoon or your hands. serve and enjoy!

 

 This salad works well with my recipes below:

Korean King Prawn Chilli noodles

Korean beef skewers

Korean crispy Sesame chicken with fried chilli noodles

 

Prawn cocktail

A simple yet delicious recipe for Prawn cocktail. This version of  a Marie rose style sauce is the best I have ever tasted, If I don’t say so myself!

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Sauce recipe

2 tbsp full fat mayonnaise

1 tbsp single cream

1 tsp tomato ketchup

1/4 tsp Smoked paprika

1/2 tsp brown sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp worchester sauce

Juice of 1/4 lemon

A sprinkle of black pepper

 

Method: Combine and mix well in a bowl, taste test and adjust quantities to taste if requited. Transfer to airtight container ready for serving. The sauce keeps well in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Serving: I always use large north atlantic prawns as I think they have the best flavour and texture for a prawn cocktail. I use iceberg lettuce and a nice mixture of good quality baby plum or cherry tomatoes.

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