Monday, 30 November 2015

Vegetable soup with tortellini and parmesan

My partner used this recipe for the cooking group she runs at her work and found it very tasty. Though not one of my own, I have to share it here. It will definitely become one of our staples. The original is finished off with pesto and served with garlic bread. We thought this sounded very rich and decided to use 2 packets of tortellini instead of garlic bread. We also grated the vegetables as it speeds up the cooking time and gives the soup a thicker consistency.

(serves 4 as main course)

2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed or very finely chopped
2 carrots, grated
1 parsnip, grated
1 l vegetable stock
1 400-g tin of chopped tomatoes
250 g frozen peas
1 400-g tin of butter beans, cannellini beans, borlotti beans or similar, including the liquid
400-500 g fresh tortellini, e.g. with spinach and ricotta filling
dried mxed herbs
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
grated parmesan to serve
pesto (optional)

1. Heat the oil in a pan. Sauté the onion, garlic, carrot and parsnips for about 5 minutes until the vegetables start to soften.

2. Add the stock and tomatoes, then simmer for 10 minutes.

3. With 5 minutes to go, add the peas and beans.

4. Once the veg is tender, add the tortellini. Bring to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes until the pasta is just cooked. (Tortellin and similar float when ready.)

5. Season to tast with pepper and salt.

6. Serve with a dollop of pesto (optional) and grated parmesan.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Morello Cherry and Amaretto Jam

I'm pretty new to jam making but am really enjoying it. So it's great we've started renting out a room on a bed and breakfast basis that allows me to spoil guests with homemade jam and other continental breakfast goodies.

1 kg morello cherries, fresh or frozen
1 kg granulated sugar
4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
3-4 tbsp amaretto

1. Place a couple of saucers in the freezer.

2. Coarsely chop about 2/3 of the cherries. Place cherries and sugar in a heavy bottomed saucepan, cover and cook over a low heat until the sugar is dissolved. This prevents the sugar from sticking and burning. Stir every now and then.

3. Bring to a rolling boil and boil for approx. 5 minutes. Take off the heat. When the jam has stopped boiling vigourously add  the amaretto, then leave to cool for 5 minutes. This is important if you don't want to burn yourself.

4. Place a little jam onto a frozen saucer and leave for 5 minutes. If it wrinkles when touched it's ready. If not repeat step 3 (minus the amaretto) and 4 until the jam has set.

5. Fill into warm steriliised jars.