Roasted tomato, pepper & garlic soup

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It’s New Years Day 2016; the start of a new calander year for us all. Despite a very late night watching a film with my family into the ‘wee small hours’, the body clock kicked in and wouldn’t let me have a lay in, sadly, so it was time to get up, have breakfast and create my first dish of the new year then!

Roasted tomato, pepper & garlic soup

Having bought 3 nets of reduced tomatoes in Tesco a couple of days ago (29p/pack), as well as a pack of Romaro peppers (reduced to 39p), along with a couple of yellow peppers and garlic from my fridge, basil growing in a pot on my kitchen windowsill and some fabulous basil infused extra virgin olive oil from Pomora that I picked up at the BBC Good Food Winter show in November, I set about prepping and making a delicious soup for today’s lunch.  Measurements aren’t an exact science here; it’s more about the flavour and your own personal taste guiding you through to the finished product, but to give you an idea what I threw together to make my soup, here’s what I used:

25 salad tomatoes

2 Romaro red peppers

2 Yellow peppers

4 cloves of garlic

6 Stems of fresh basil (stalks and leaves)

15ml Pomora basil extra virgin olive oil

Pinch sea salt

15ml Tomato puree

15ml Sugar

5ml Turmeric powder

Black pepper

15ml Balsamic vinegar

 

1. Preheat your often to 180℃.

2. Halve the tomatoes. Remove the stalks, seeds and pith from the peppers. Peel the garlic and put all of these into a large, heavy based roasting dish (my Le Creuset roasting pan is ideal for this).

3. Throw in the basil, then sprinkle with sea salt and drizzle with oil.  Toss or stir together until all the vegetables are coated in the oil.

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4. Roast for 30-40 minutes until the tomatoes are soft and pulpy and the peppers and garlic are cooked.

5. Remove the tomato skins into a sieve and squeeze the juices from them back into your roasting dish (no point in wasting that delicious, roasted flavour, eh?!)

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6. Transfer the roasted tomatoes, peppers, garlic etc. from your roasting pan to a blender (I use a Kenwood blender jug attachment on my trusty Kenwood Major Titanium stand mixer).  Add the tomato purée, sugar, turmeric and a good grinding of black pepper, then blitz until smooth.

7. Pour the soup into a saucepan, add the balsamic vinegar and heat through, tasting and adjusting your seasoning if required.

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8. Serve with a splash of double cream and some lovely, crunchy croutons.

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The Pomora Extra Virgin Olive Oil was a free sample I picked up at the BBC Good Food Show.  It was not provided in order for me to develop or publish a recipe on behalf of Pomora.

Have a happy, tasty new year!

Tomato Sauce Pizza Tipping

It’s incredibly easy to make your own tomato sauce pizza topping and then, using any leftover, stir it into your pasta or spruce it up with mince to made a base for your bolognese sauce to go with your spaghetti.  This is how easy it is:

45ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 large Onion, finely chopped
2 cloves Garlic, crushed
1.25ml (¼tsp) Chilli flakes
2 x400g tins of chopped Tomatoes
2.5ml (½tsp) Sugar
Splash red wine (if you wouldn’t drink it, don’t cook with it!)
Basil stalks, chopped

1. In a large saucepan, heat your oil and cook your onions for 10 minutes until transparent and soft.
2. Add the crushed garlic and cook for 3-5 minutes until cooked, but not brown.
3. Add the chilli flakes, chopped tomatoes, sugar and wine.
4. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer then taste and season as required.
5. Add the basil stalks.
6. Cover and simmer for 1 hour until thick.
7. Blitz until smooth.

*Use to top your pizza dough, or transfer into a clean Kilner jar and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
*To make your bolognese sauce, brown mince, and onion and garlic then stir through the sauce and heat until piping hot.

Meatballs with a Spicy Chilli Sauce

Similar to my other meatball recipe, I made this today but had a play with the sauce to spice it up using a Knorr Mixed Chilli Flavour pot.
2 medium Onions
3 cloves Garlic
Generous handful of fresh herbs (I used basil, sage, thyme, oregano & parsley)
2 eggs
100g Dried breadcrumbs
500g Minced Beef
Sauce
Small handful of fresh basil, sage & oregano
540g Passata sauce
1 medium Onion
4tbs tomato ketchup
1tbs Tomato purée
2tbs Cider vinegar
Knorr beef stock pot
Knorr mixed chilli flavour pot
Extra Virgin Olive oil

1. In a food processor, place the onions, garlic cloves, herbs and eggs.
2. Blitz until they form a thick, foamy paste.
3. In a large bowl, place your breadcrumbs and mince.
4. Pour your onion, garlic, herb and egg paste onto the mince and breadcrumbs and mix together thoroughly, using your hands.  Then wash your hands.
5. Without the need to wash the food processor bowl, add the sauce herbs, Passata and onion.  Blitz these together until they form a smooth sauce.
6. Pour your sauce ingredients into a large saucepan and add the ketchup, tomato purée and cider vinegar.
7. Mix the Knorr beef stock pot in 500ml boiling water until dissolved.
8. Add this to the sauce mixture with the Knorr mixed chilli flavour pot (I only used half of the chilli pot, but add more or less according to your own personal taste).
9. Bring the sauce ingredients to the boil then reduce the heat to a simmer.
10. Roll your meatball mixture into small balls, about 2cm in diameter.
11. Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan and brown the meatballs all over.  It’s best to do these in batches so that they brown and don’t steam.
12. Transfer your browned meatballs to the sauce and shake the pan to coat.
13. Repeat until all of your meatballs are in your sauce mixture.  Try to avoid stirring the sauce so that you don’t break your meatballs up.
14. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and add your chosen pasta shape. Return to the boil then simmer until cooked to your liking.
15. Drain the pasta and add to your serving bowl.  Spoon some meatballs and sauce over your pasta.
16. Serve with a generous sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.


Jamaican Jerk Chicken Stroganoff

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2tbs Oil

3 Chicken breasts, cubed
1 Clove garlic, crushed
1 Red Pepper sliced
½ Yellow Pepper, sliced
1 Red onion, diced
1tsp Jamaican jerk seasoning
¼ Knorr Mixed Chillies Flavour Pot (or to taste)
6 Cherry tomatoes, quartered
150ml Single cream
25ml Boiling water
Chopped basil
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped parsley, to serve
Smoked Paprika, to serve
1. Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan.
2. Add the chicken pieces and fry until golden on all sides.
3. Add the garlic, peppers, onion, Jamaican jerk seasoning, ¼ Knorr Flavour Pot and cook until the onion is transparent.
4. Add the cherry tomatoes, cream, boiling water and chopped basil.
5. Bring to the boil and then simmer gently for 15 minutes until cooked through.
6. Taste the sauce and season according to your personal taste.
7. Serve with tagliatelle or spaghetti and sprinkle with chopped parsley and a dusting of smoked paprika.
I only added ¼ of the Knorr Mixed Chillies Flavour Pot as I don’t like really hot and spicy foods, and this provided more than enough heat for me. These Flavour Pots are potent and I would recommend adding less than you think you need and adjusting as necessary with more if it’s not hot enough.