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!

Lemon, Rosemary and Citrus Olive Oil Cake

This recipe was developed from my original adaptation of the Olive oil, Rosemary & Lemon cake that I found on the Olive Oil Times website which was contributed by Mooney Farms.
I made this version using using Soralina’s Italian Citrus Olive Oil which is a wonderful cold pressed combination of Italian fresh olives, Sicilian lemons, mandarins, oranges and pink grapefruits which are crushed together, releasing the amazing citrus oils directly in to the oil, imparting their amazing flavour and fragrance, without the need for artificial additions.  Soralina were awarded the Theo Paphitis Small Business Sunday Winner on 25th May 2014. When I met them personally at the BBC Good Food Show in May, this is clearly something that the family owned business are incredibly proud of. Mo and Sylvia were kind enough to let me have a sample of their oil to take home and try.

 

I know I’ve made this cake and published the recipe before using a fabulous Spanish Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil which turned out beautifully, but I was curious to see how the Citrus oil would enhance the flavours of the lemons used in the cake.  Time was of the essence in getting this made and into the oven, so this time, I made it using the ‘all in one’ method.
385g Self raising flour
1½tbs Fresh rosemary, finely chopped
2tsp Baking powder
½tsp Bicarbonate of soda
½tsp Salt
370g Granulated sugar
125ml Soralina Citrus extra virgin olive oil
125ml Milk
2 Lemons, zested
60ml Lemon juice
1tsp Vanilla extract
3 Large eggs
Icing
150g Icing sugar
15ml Lemon juice
1. Heat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C.
2. Line a 22cm/9″ springform tin with a cake case (I buy mine from Lakeland).
3. In a large bowl, place all of the cake ingredients.
4. Whisk together using an electric mixer for about 5 minutes until until smooth.
5. Pour the mixture into your prepared tin and bake for 60-70 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out cleanly.
6. Remove from the oven, but leave in the tin for 10 minutes.
7. Remove the cake from the tin, leaving it in the parchment cake case, and place on a wire cooling rack and leave until cold.
8. For the icing, mix together the icing sugar and lemon juice until you get a smooth, soft paste.
9. Spread over the top of the cooled cake. If the icing is a little too stiff, you can heat it in the microwave for 10 seconds which will make it easier to spread.
10. Decorate with a small sprig of fresh rosemary.
11. Serve and enjoy in thin slices.
As a thank you to Mo and Sylvia, I made another of these cakes for them, which I took down to the Taste of London festival in Regents Park on Sunday 22nd June.  They shared a few slices with customers who were interested in this oil, but Mo decided very early on that he was going to enjoy this gift and share it with his family.  I hope he did share it too!!!

 

The oil was generously supplied to me by Soralina.  I adapted my original posting of the recipe, initially as a family cake for myself prior to making one for Mo & Sylvia. I was under no obligation to blog this recipe or to give a favourable review of their product.  The views are my own and are a genuine reflection of how I found their oil.