My Ultimate Tomato Soup

My ultimate tomato soup – oven roasted tomatoes, garlic, chillies, red onion and Romano peppers give this soup the deepest of flavours.

I wanted to make a tomato soup which tasted differently to my other versions, which are quite heavily spiced. With this soup I oven roasted the vegetables and added them to a soup base of fried celery and carrot along with some stock and herbs. The result was a true tomato soup with a real depth of tomato flavour.

To accompany the soup I made some simple croutons out of a couple of slices of sour dough bread – rubbing the cubes in the same tray as the roasted vegetables helped imprint the flavour into the croutons.

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Gives two large portions

Preparation and cooking time less than 1 hour

Ingredients and method

2 sticks celery – slice thinly

3 medium carrots – peel, slice thinly

1-2 tbsp. olive oil – plus a little extra to drizzle on croutons

6 round tomatoes

3 small red onions

1 Romano pepper – remove stalk and seeds before roasting

1 large red chilli – remove stalk and seeds before roasting

4 cloves garlic – keep in skin for roasting (prevents it burning)

1 litre stock – chicken or vegetable

2-3 tsp brown sugar

salt and pepper

2 slices of sourdough bread

4-6 basil leafs

1 tbps chopped parley

2 bay leafs

Method: start by preheating your oven to around 200°C, space out the tomatoes, onions, chillies, Romano peppers and garlic on a non stick backing tray then roast for 15-20 minutes then remove from oven and set aside to cool.

In a deep stock/soup pot warm 1-2 tbsp. of olive oil over a medium heat then add the bay leafs, celery and carrot. Fry for around 5 minutes until the carrots and celery begin to soften then remove from the heat. Once the roasted vegetables are cooled remove the skins from the pepper, tomatoes and garlic then add (along with the chilli) into the soup pan and return to the heat. Fry for a further 5 minutes then add the stock followed by the herbs (basil and parsley), bring to boil then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes.

As the soup simmers make the croutons – cut the sour dough into 2cm cubes then tip them on to the same baking tray used to roast the vegetables, rub the cubes of bread into the tray to absorb and juices or residue left from the roasted vegetables then drizzle with a little olive oil. Place in the oven at 200°C and bake for 8-10 minutes until golden and crispy, remove from oven and set aside to cook.

Remove the bay leafs from the soup then use a stick blender to blitz the soup until smooth. Add 2 teaspoon of brown sugar, a generous amount of black pepper and season with a little salt. Taste test and adjust seasoning to taste. Heat the soup through then ladle into soup bowls, adding a generous handful of croutons just before serving. Enjoy.

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White Cabbage Soup

A delicious healthy soup. Easy to make and a pleasure to eat.

White cabbage soups are far creamier and less bitter than green cabbage soups. White cabbage along with carrots, leek, onion, peas, celery, bay leaf, parsnips and garden peas make a flavourful filling soup that is perfect for cold winter nights.

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4-6 generous portions

Preparation 20 minutes, cooking 60 minutes

Ingredients

1 white cabbage – outer leafs and stalk removed, roughly chopped then washed

2 large white onions – diced

3 sticks celery – sliced

1 leek – split, washed then sliced

4-6 medium sized carrots – peeled, sliced

3 medium sized parsnips – peeled, sliced

60g garden peas – defrost if using frozen

Small handful flat leaf parsley

1.5L chicken or vegetable stock

1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 bay leafs

Salt and pepper to taste

Stick blender required for this recipe

Method: start by heating 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a deep soup pot. Add the leek, carrot, parsnips, celery and onion then fry for 4-5 minutes over a medium heat until softened. Add the peas and cabbage and fry for a further 3-4 minutes then add the stock. Add the parsley and bay leaf along with a generous amount of seasoning, bring to the boil, cover then simmer for around 45 minutes. Next remove from the heat, remove lid and take out the bay leafs. Use a stick blender to blend into a smooth soup. Taste for seasoning and add extra if required, if too strong add a little water to balance. Before serving heat through, then serve with some nice crusty bread – enjoy!

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Mee Goreng

The noodle version of Nasi Goreng, this dish uses the same paste and flavours for those that prefer noodles to rice. A truly authentic Bali flavour.

In this recipe I use some pre cooked chicken and some different vegetables to the Nasi Goreng recipe although the flavour of the dish is really very similar. This recipe is a great way to use up pre cooked chicken, alternatively pre cook some diced chicken or use prawns instead. I have added some green beans, broccoli stems and baby corn to add a little texture to the dish.

I froze half the paste from my Nasi Goreng recipe, which defrosts well and retains that wonderful flavour of Bali. If you are cooking this dish first either freeze the remaining paste and defrost before cooking or store in an airtight container in a fridge for up to 7 days.

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Serves two people

Preparation 15 minutes, cooking time 15 minutes

Ingredients

For Mee Goreng paste:
1 tsp black peppercorns
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
Handful peanuts
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 tsp turmeric
2 white onions – peeled
Thumb of root ginger – peeled, roughly chop
2 stalks lemon grass – discard outer husks, thinly slice
6 cloves garlic – peel
2 large red chillies
1 tsp shrimp paste
1 dessert spoon brown sugar
1 Tbsp Ketchup manis
Juice of 1/2 a lime
Method: Use a min blender to blitz into a smooth paste. Chopping the tough ingredients before blending helps make a smooth paste. Only use half for this recipe, the remainder can be frozen or stored in the fridge (see notes above).

For the main dish:

2 portions of pre cooked medium thick egg noodles
2 portions of pre cooked chicken – see notes above for alternatives
Vegetable oil – 2 tbsp for dish plus extra to shallow fry prawns and fry egg
1 carrot – cut into thin batons
4 birds eye chilies – keep whole
1 red onion – cut into thin strips
6-8 baby corn – thinly sliced
6-8 broccoli spears – trimmed
8-10 fine green beans – trimmed, cut into 2-3cm lengths
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tbsp. ketchup manis
1 tbsp. light soy sauce
2-3 tbsp. peanuts
2-3 tbsp. onion flakes
5cm cucumber – deseed, peel, cut into crescents
2 round tomatoes – cut into eighths
Handful coriander leaf – roughly chopped
2 eggs – fried sunny side up

Method: Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a wok or deep-frying pan until smoking hot, add the curry paste and stir fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the baby corn, broccoli, green beans, carrot, onion and birds eye chillies and fry for a further minute. Next add the pre cooked chicken and stir fry until heated through. Add the pre cooked noodles and stir through until combined with paste, chicken and vegetables. Add a tablespoon of tomato paste, ketchup manis and light soy sauce and stir into the noodles until combined then add the onion flakes and peanuts. Stir fry for a further minute until dish is heated through. Add the coriander, tomatoes and cucumber, stir through the dish then turn off the heat. In a separate pan add a little oil and quickly fry 2 eggs sunny side up. Serve immediately with the fried egg on top of the noodles.

 

Pan Roasted Tomato and Pepper Soup

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.

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Makes 4 large portions

Preparation time 15-20 minutes, cooking time 40 minutes

Ingredients

Pan roasted vegetables:

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.

For 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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