Saturday, 21 May 2011

Roast Tomato Soup

I've recently started making soups with roast vegetables and have found that they're easy to make and very tasty.

1.5 kg vine tomatoes, halved
1 small red chilli, deseeded (optional) and finely sliced
5 large garlic cloves, greated
freshly ground black pepper
sea salt
a few sprigs of fresh thyme
extra virgin olive oil
500 ml vegtable stock or stock of your choice
2 handfuls of breadcrumbs

1. Scatter the thyme sprigs into a non-stick roasting tray.

2. Place the tomatoes cut side up into the roasing tray. Seasson with pepper and salt. Scatter the garlic and chilli on top. Drizzle with olive oil.

3. Place in a pre-heated oven and cook at gas mark 6-7, 200-220° C, for 15 minutes. Then turn the tomatoes cut side down and cook for a further 20 minutes or until the tomatoes are soft.

4. Transfer everything into a saucepan. Add the breadcrumbs and stock, then purée. Check the seasoning and serve.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Boozy Bolognese

Okay, so the Italians call it ragù and baulk at the idea of eating spaghetti, this is a very tasty recipe. Just use a pasta type that'll catch all the lovely juices :)

500g mixed mince (half pork, half beef if possible)
1 onion chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
dried basil
freshly ground black pepper
sea salt
curry powder
paprika powder
Worchester sauce
100g tomato purée
125ml red wine
1 tin (440ml) chopped tomatoes

1. Sauté onion, garlic for 5 minutes until soft but not browned. Add the basil, stir for 30 seconds, then add the meat.

2. Brown the meat all over. This should take about 10 minutes. Add seasoning.

3. Lastly add the tomato purée, red wine and chopped tomatoes. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Serve with enough pasta for 4.

Multi-Layer Vegetable Bake with Asparagus

1 aubergine, cut into 1-1.5 cm thick slices
1 red pepper, cut into chunks
4 large vine tomatoes, sliced
500 g boiled potatoes, sliced
6 mushrooms, sliced
250 g green asparagus, whole with woody bits snapped off
1 red chilli, deseeded and sliced
extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
sea salt
a small handful of freshly grated parmesan.

a few tbsp of rocket oil (see variation of the basil oil recipe)

1 quantity of béchamel sauce

1. Heat 1-2 tbsp of olive oil in a large non-stick pan and fry the aubergines, if necessary in batches. Don't use too much oil. It's okay for one side to brown in a dry pan.
2. Place the aubergines with the oily side down into a large oven-proof dish,covering the bottom of the dish. Season with a little pepper and salt.
3. Place the peppers skin-side down into the hot pan without adding oil. Remove after a minute or when they have browned a little.
4. Distribute the peppers on top of the aubergines.
5. Scatter the mushrooms and chilli. Season with a little pepper and salt.
6. Cover the vegetables with sliced potatoes.
7. Drizzle the potatoes with 1-2 tbsp. of rocket oil.
8. Cover the potatoes with the tomato slices.
9. Drizzle the tomatoes with 1-2 tbsp. of rocket oil.
10. Place the asparagus on top.
11. Cover with the béchamel and a small handful of freshly grated parmesan.

Bake in the oven at 175-200°C or gas mark 5-6 for approx. 45 minutes, covering the dish for the first 35 minutes to prevent the sauce and cheese from burning.