Tomato Soup – from the vine

Tomato Soup

A favourite from Jamie Oliver,  updated to feed 2 adults:

Ingredients

  • 1 carrot
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • olive oil
  • 1 vegetable stock cube / 2 level teaspoons of veg stock powder
  • 1 x 400 g tin of quality plum tomatoes
  • 3 large ripe tomatoes (on the vine ideally)
  • 1/4 bunch of fresh basil
  • Very finely grated cheese (optional)

Method

  1. Peel and roughly slice the carrot, slice the celery, peel and roughly chop the onion, peel and slice the garlic.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large pan over a medium heat, add all the prepped ingredients, then cook with lid ajar for 10 to 15 minutes, or until softened.
  3. Crumble the stock cube into a jug, cover with 750ml (3 cups) of boiling water, and stir until dissolved.
  4. Add the stock to the veg pan with tinned and fresh whole tomatoes, including the green stalks that may still be attached to some of them (these give an amazing flavour – trust me!).
  5. Give it a good stir and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on. Meanwhile, pick your basil leaves.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat. Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper, then stir through the basil leaves.
  7. Using a stick blender or liquidizer, pulse the soup until smooth. Taste and check the seasoning, then serve.
  8. Sprinkle on some freshly finely grated cheese as preferred.

Gnocchi With Tomato Sauce

This simple tomato sauce gets tons of flavor from herbs steeped in olive oil that lusciously coats potato pillows of gnocchi.  With thanks.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (plus 1 tablespoon)
  • 4 stems fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
  • 4 stems fresh oregano
  • 2 stems fresh rosemary
  • 2 stems fresh basil, plus 2 more stems for garnish
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 6 vine ripened tomatoes  (or one can of prepared rich tomatoes)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup heavy cream (optional)
  • 400g gnocchi
  • 200g cherry size mozzarella balls, cut in half
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Add ¼ cup olive oil to a 10-inch high sided sauté pan or a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the parsley, oregano, rosemary and 2 stems of basil and cook for about 5 minutes or until the herbs become crisp.
  3. Remove the herbs and discard then add the onion and garlic to the oil, lowering the heat if needed so the onions cook gently and don’t brown.
  4. Cook until the onions are transparent, about 5-7 minutes, then crush the tomatoes with your hand and add to the pan with juice.
  5. Season with kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and red pepper flakes and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until the sauce reduces and thicken, stirring occasionally.
  6. Stir in the heavy cream and remove from the heat.
  7. Meanwhile, bring a saucepan of water to a boil and add the gnocchi.  Season generously with kosher salt and cook until the gnocchi float to the top of the boiling water.
  8. Drain and then place the gnocchi into the cooked sauce.
  9. Top with the halved mozzarella balls and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese then drizzle the tops of the gnocchi with the remaining olive oil.
  10. Broil (Grill) for 5-8 minutes or until the cheese melts and the tops become crispy.
  11. Garnish with additional basil leaves and serve immediately.

Mushroom and Corn Chowder

Mushroom and Corn Chowder

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Yield 6 servings

An amazingly creamy chowder, loaded with tons of veggies. It’s hearty, nutritious and so comforting!  Thanks

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 pound red potatoes, diced
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 cup corn kernels, frozen, canned or roasted
  • 1/2 cup half and half, or more, as needed*
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Instructions

  • Melt butter in the stockpot or Dutch oven. Add garlic, mushrooms and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in thyme and dill until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Whisk in vegetable broth and bay leaf, and cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in potatoes.
  • Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 12-15 minutes.
  • Stir in spinach and corn until the spinach begins to wilt, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Stir in half and half until heated through, about 1-2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste. If the soup is too thick, add more half and half as needed until desired consistency is reached.
  • Serve immediately, garnished with bacon and parsley, if desired.

Notes

*Half and half is equal parts of whole milk and cream. For 1 cup half and half, you can substitute 3/4 cup whole milk + 1/4 cup heavy cream or 2/3 cup skim or low-fat milk + 1/3 cup heavy cream.

Energy Meal

Serves 3-4 adults

This was a random recipe thrown together today .. it’s colourful, a rich sorce of various proteins, few carbs, lots of goodness, and the person who ate it with me commented that she actually felt energised after eating eat (rather than sluggish as she normally feels after eating a big meal!), hence the name.

Ingredients:

  • 2 heaped tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbs toasted sesame seed oil
  • 1 tsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 large onion, finely sliced
  • 1 red pepper, topped and chopped
  • 1/4 cauliflower, finely sliced
  • 3 medium mushrooms, finely sliced
  • 1 tin kidney beans, drained and washed
  • 10 sugar snap peas, topped, tailed, and chopped
  • 1 small tin of sweetcorn, drained
  • 1 packet of dragon, yellow bean and cashew nut sauce
  • small handful pine nuts
  • 1/2 handful soya nuts
  • 2 heaped tbs hemp seeds
  • 600g Merchant Gourmet ‘mixed grains’

Method:

  1. Fry off the onions in the oil until golden  (in a large wok)
  2. Add the mushrooms, and fry for a couple of minuets
  3. Add the kidney beans, cauliflower, mushrooms and red pepper, and fry for a couple more minutes
  4. Add the yellow sauce & soy sayce
  5. Add the peas, sweetcorn, nuts and seeds, and mix well
  6. Fry for another couple of minutes, whilst cooking the ‘mixed grains’ seperately
  7. Add the pre-cooked mixed grains, and mix well again.
  8. Continue to heat and stir for another couple of minutes.
  9. Serve and Enjoy!