Yesterday I started off by making Nigella’s Hot Cross Buns. The texture is actually more of a scone type bun than a shop bought one, but rather tasty and delicious when toasted.
Posts Tagged ‘soup’
This is my catch up post as I’ve been lazy!
Over the last two weeks I have made a tomato curry, took my first (self-taught) lesson in sugar craft, made more soup (roasted tomato and pepper with tarragon) and made up a claire original butternut squash tart. So here goes…
Tomato Curry – it turned out ok but definitely needed more sauce to it..
I made the curry on a Friday night & I will add the recipe when I can lay my hands on it. It was tasty just a bit too dry.
Cake Art – this is something I hope to play with more over the coming months. I’d really like to be a able to bake and decorate some really nice cakes. Anyway this was my first attempt at icing sugar paste and making flowers…
Next on my list of accomplishments is another soup (sorry if I’m getting boring here, but it’s that time of year).
This time it was Slow-roasted tomato and red pepper soup – it was really tasty & we have 2 servings in the freezer…
Ingredients (Serves 4)
- 4 Red Peppers, halved lengthways & deseeded
- 3 tbspn extra virgin olive oil
- 1kg vine tomatoes
- 2 garlic bulbs – halved horizontally
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 400ml vegetable stock, hot
- 1 tbspn sundried tomato paste
- 1 tbspn chopped fresh tarragon
Serving suggestion – toasted baguette with a slightly melted topping of Crottin de Chavignol AOC (Goats Cheese)
How to Do It
- Preheat oven to 200 °c
- Put peppers in a roasting tin & drizzle with 1 tbspn oil
- Put tomatoes and garlic in another roasting tin, drizzle 1 tbspn oil & season
- Put peppers on top shelf of oven with tomatoes & garlic underneath – roast for 30 minutes
- Transfer the peppers to a plastic bag, seal & leave for a few minutes to allow the skins to peel off
- Heat remaining oil in a large pan, add onion and gently fry for 5 minutes
- Squeeze in the roasted garlic and add the tomatoes
- Discard the pepper skins & add the flesh to the pan
- Add the stock, sundried tomato paste and tarragon – bring to the boil & then reduce the heat
We served with crusty bread & butter.
The tarragon added a creamy sort of taste – it really was very nice. Possibly one of my favourite tomato soups.
Lastly we have my original Butternut Squash Tart… based on Simon Rimmers Feta & Spinach Free-form pie in Septembers Delicious Magazine. I made it to use up the left over butternut squash from the soup the other day.
Ingredients (Serves 4)
- 1/2 packet of filo pastry
- 3 tbspn melted butter
- 1 butternut squash
- 1 sprig rosemary, finely chopped
- 1 tbspn olive oil
- 100g feta
- 5 shallots, cut into quarters
- 3 tbsn balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
How to Do It
- Preheat the oven to 180 °c
- Cut the butternut squash into about 8 large chunks (spooning out the seeds)
- Place the pieces of squash on a baking tray, drizzle with the oil & sprinkle over the rosemary + a pinch of salt
- Roast the squash for 45 minutes then take it out & leave it to cool down
- Once cool, scoop of the flesh & cut into smaller sized chunks
- Mix the butternut squash with 2/3 feta cheese, season with pepper
- Meanwhile 1tbspn melt the butter in a small saucepan & add the shallots
- Once the shallots are glossy and starting to warm through add the sugar
- Leave for 2 minutes but keep an eye on them and mix them about
- Throw in 2 tbspn of balsamic & keep the shallot pieces moving until the balsamic has thickened to a glossy coating
- Put the shallot pieces in with the main mixture & add the last tbspn of balsamic vinegar. Put to one side.
- Heat up 2 tbspn butter
- Using a loose bottom cake tin – firstly brush the tin with melted butter, then add a layer of filo pastry brushing on butter in between each layer
- Add the butternut squash mixture & crumble the remaining feta over the top.
- Lift the overhanging pastry on top of the tart & scrunch it up
- Cook for 20-25 minutes
Today it was dark when we got home. How depressing.
To cheer us up I made the Pumpkin Soup from the November Sainsbury magazine – a recipe by Tana Ramsay. The recipe says that you can you use any squash so we picked up two butternut squashes – I think all the pumpkins must have gone to good homes in time for Halloween.
Ingredients (Serves 6)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 10g butter
- 2kg (4lb 8oz) squash of your choice – diced
- 3 sprigs rosemary
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 litre chicken stock
- optional – 2 Parmesan rinds
How to Do It
Heat oil & butter in large pan
Add garlic & rosemary
Add the squash and let it cook for a few minutes until the squash starts to colour (If you are adding the Parmesan rind pop it in at this stage and let it melt a little bit)
Let everything simmer for 25 minutes – the squash will be soft
Cool slightly then remove the stalks from the rosemary and the Parmesan rind
Using a liquidiser or hand held blender blend until smooth
Warm the soup back up & serve with crusty bread
I have to hold my hands up & say I ended up making half the quantity above, cutting a raw butternut squash is blumin’ hard work!
Now I need to find a recipe that calls for roasted squash – I think I’ve seen one with feta cheese lying around here somewhere…
The nights are drawing in and soup is most definitely the order of the day. This years soup making started up in Scotland when I made a hearty pan of Yellow Split Pea Soup – it was thick and filling and extremely tasty.
I think one of the best things about soup is that simple ingredients produce flavours that normally exceed your expectations. For example tonight I made Butternut Squash & Rosemary soup:
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 1 Butternut Squash
- Few sprigs Rosemary
- 150g well rinsed red lentils
- 1 onion, finely chopped1 1/2 Pint Vegetable Stock
- salt & pepper
How to Do It
- Set oven to 200 °C
- Halve squash – scoop out the seeds & fibrous flesh, then cut squash into large chunks
- Put squash pieces on baking tray, season with salt & pepper and sprinkle with rosemary
- Cook for 45 minutes
Whilst the squash is in the oven -
- Rinse lentils well then put in a pan & cover with water – boil rapidly for 10 mins. Drain well
- Wash out pan & then put lentils back in with the chopped onion and vegetable stock
- Simmer for 5 minutes
- When squash is cooked, carefully scoop out the flesh & mash with a fork.
- Add squash to soup & simmer for 25 minutes
- Serve with crusty bread.
We both had a hearty bowlful for tea and now there should be enough left to take to work for lunch.
Since we have been back from Scotland I’ve made soup at least four times & I’ve made enough to take for a lunch. We bought some cheap flasks from Tesco & so far they work very well. I may even invest in something a little more substantial as ‘real soup’ makes such a difference to a ‘cup-a-soup’ which is what I have resorted to in the past.
I’ll post some more recipes soon, but so far we have tried & thoroughly enjoyed the Yellow Split Pea soup and Fennel & Lemon soup.
I also have quite a few parsnips in the cupboard which I need to use up, so if you have any good parsnip soup ideas let me know!
I’ve been full of a horrible cold all bank holiday weekend & I’m feeling no better (if not a bit worse) today. I’ve had to call in sick to work as I am not up for anything except dozing in bed & watching bad daytime TV.
So to make myself feel a little bit better I made my myself a traditional lunch for such occasions! Chicken sandwiches with Heinz Cream of Mushroom soup.
We have a birthday to attend later tonight – luckily I have to move nowhere as Liverpool is celebrating its 800th Birthday with a firework display right opposite our settee. How very kind of them, I dont even have to get dressed properly! With any luck some we may get some good pictures.