Monthly Archives: June 2013

Italian tomato soup with meatballs & vermicelli

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Here’s soup number 3 in my soup segment. I think this is world’s favourite soup. Kids love it, adults love it- it’s very versatile and healthy.

I make my variant with beef/pork meatballs and serve it with vermicelli pasta.. you’re allowed to serve it with whatever you want- cheesy croutons,garlic croutons,ciabatta or plain italian style bread is always a winner. Turkey or chicken meatballs are delicious too.. I’m however sticking to the authentic italian meatball recipe.

This soup is very easy, it does have a few steps though- best to make a day in advance.

Let’s get going:

for 6 people you will need:

soup:

8 large, ripe tomatoes – cut into eights

about 200g of ย sundried tomatoes (from oil preferably)

1 can of san marzano tomatoes

1l of vegetable stock

3 onions – sliced

5 cloves of garlic

3 stalks of celery – diced

1 large carrot- diced

paprika powder

sugar

pepper

salt

olive oil

balsamic vinegar

italian herbs- rosemary, oregano, basil, thyme

1 tbsp of mascarpone cheese

italian meatballs:

500g of beef-pork mince

100g of grated parmezan cheese

1 tsp of ground fennel seeds

1 tsp of paprika

3 cloves of garlic

100 g of breadcrumbs

1 tbsp of italian herbs

salt,pepper to taste

1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar

1/2 tsp of chilli flakes

1 egg

start by cutting your tomatoes and onions into rough slices, and putting them into a roasting tin in a single layer. sprinkle them with salt, sugar, pepper, add a generous splash of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. add your garlic- sliced or whole, doesn’t matter. Add your italian herbs, and mix the lot.

Roast until the tomatoes shrink a bit,they’re a little charred, the vinegar has reduced (about 45min in 180C).

Once the tomatoes are roasted I put them aside to cool slightly. Then I heat up a tbsp of olive oil in a heavy-based soup pan, and fry off my celery and carrot for about 5 min.

I add the roasted tomatoes in, making sure I use all the juices leftover from the roasting tin. I add sundried tomatoes and canned tomatoes. I season to taste and cook the lot for about 30 min.

Once all the vegetables are cooked, I blend the soup , then I strain it, pushing through the strainer with the back of a wooden spoon,making sure all the goodness from the vegetables lands in the soup, and thickens it naturally. What you should be left with is dry looking pulp- 2-3 tbsp tops.

Your soup is almost ready. I heat it up one last time,checking the seasoning for sugar,salt,pepper and balsamic vinegar. The tartness of tomatoes will need some sugar to balance it out, so don’t leave the soup too sour! At the very end I add 1tbsp of mascarpone cheese and mix it through.. it will make the soup thicker and richer in flavour.

For the meatballs simply mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Be gentle on the salt, as parmezan is already pretty salty. make sure you mix it well, but don’t over mix.

Roll into small balls (I get 40 out of 500g) and fry off in olive oil until brown from the outside-and soft & cooked through inside. (about 10-12 min).

Lastly, I cook my vermicelli pasta- make a mound in the middle of the plate- serve my soup around it..place the meatballs and a spring of basil on top.

I hope you enjoy it! ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

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Mexican style corn soup with chicken and tortilla chips

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Soups are great as summer dinners..and this one is no exception. You can make it way ahead, and have a delicious meal in 5min, when you’re ready to serve.

It’s simple,fast and tasty-nothing too fancy..so if you want to find out how I made my mexican corn-soup, keep reading ๐Ÿ˜‰

ingredients for 4 people:

1l of chicken stock

2 cans of sweet corn- drained (you can also use about 600-700g of frozen corn)

2 onions- diced

3 cloves of garlic

1 rec chilli, thinly sliced

1 bunch of coriander – for topping

2 chicken fillets- grilled and diced-(you can also use leftover bbq or roast chicken)

a bag of natural or salted, corn tortilla chips

sour cream or creme fraiche for topping

salt,pepper,cumin powder,coriander powder,paprika powder,chili powder

grated cheese-optional.

So, this is so easy- start off by frying your onions and garlic , until they’re soft. (about 5min) add your paprika,chili,cumin and coriander powder( about a tsp of each,if you want it spicier-add more). fry the spices with the onions for about 2 min more then add your corn and your chicken stock.

Let it come to a boil,and cook for 3-4min.Season to taste with salt and pepper. Turn the heat off and blend your soup as smooth or as course as you want to.You can also strain it.

Place some diced chicken in the middle of the plate and cover it with soup.Mount some tortilla chips in the middle, sprinkle chilli and coriander, put a few blobs of sour cream on the surface of the soup. You can grate some cheese over it, or serve it with a lime wedge and tabasco sauce. Some fresh avocado slices would also taste great with it.

I hope you like it! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Cream of green asparagus soup, with asparagus tips and bacon

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Asparagus season is over in a couple of weeks, so I’ve decided to add a very straight-foreward asparagus recipe, to profit from this vegetable’s amazing flavour,while we still can!

Here’s my speedy cream of asparagus soup, with carmelised bacon.

 

ingredients for 4 people:

700g of green asparagus – blanched for 4 min,roughly cut, tips cut off and saved for decoration.

2 shallots- diced

2 garlic cloves- sliced

100ml of dry white wine

500ml of chicken or vegetable stock

salt,pepper

50ml of heavy,whipping cream

1tbsp of butter

about 12 pieces of bacon- pan fried-until dark,brown colour-set aside.

 

Start by frying your garlic and your shallots in butter, until they soften slightly-about 2-3 minutes.

Add the white wine and let the liquid reduce by half before adding the stock. When the stock comes to the boil, turn it off and add the asparagus in. let them warm through, before blending the soup until smooth. Add the cream, season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve with the asparagus tips on the side or in the soup, and a few bacon slices on top.

This soup works great with green or white asparagus. Enjoy ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

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