Tag Archives: herbs

Quick Tomato Soup

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When I served this soup to my brother-in-law, Firehouse Junior, a couple of weeks ago he confessed something to me. I cooked the family a meal at some point, soon after his brother and I had first started dating. Walking into the kitchen he had discovered me chopping pumpkin and concluded that pumpkin soup was on the menu. He promptly walked away, secretly dismayed at the thought of eating pumpkin soup for dinner. It was not his favourite thing to eat. Being the polite young man he was, he dutifully waited for me to finish cooking, and ate the soup given to him…and enjoyed it. He tells me he has been a pumpkin soup fan ever since. Furthermore, he will now try the food I put in front of him with an open mind.

I don’t think he had any strong feelings towards tomato soup prior to my serving this, but suffice it to say, the man is now a fan. On describing the recipe, he was also convinced it was easy enough for him to make…and healthy enough for lunches. As Firehouse Junior faces the prospect of living solo later this year, I think these recipes will come in mighty handy.

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Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tin chopped tomato
  • 1 bottle passata
  • 5-6 piquillo/roasted peppers chopped
  • honey/salt/pepper to taste
  • fresh basil and cream to serve

Method

In a large pot, heat the olive oil and soften the onions and garlic. When softened, add the chopped carrots and celery and cook till softened. To the softened vegetables add the balsamic vinegar and oregano. Give the vegetables and herbs a good stir and add the tinned tomatoes, passata and peppers. Fill the passata bottle with water and add that to the pan as well.

Bring the pot to a low boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Puree the soup in a blender (for a very smooth texture) or using a stick blender (a slightly thicker texture) and taste for seasoning. Adjust as necessary. Finally, place the soup back on the heat and add the honey to slightly sweeten the soup and balance the acidity of the tomatoes and vinegar.

Serve with some cream and garnish with basil to serve.

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Filed under Non-Sri Lankan Food, Soup, Soups, Vegetable Dishes

Roast Vegetable Quiche

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Mr Firehouse gave me a challenge this week. When I accused him of being not very keen on vegetarian cooking, he asked for a vegetarian dinner. This is a vegetarian quiche with cream cheese pastry, so really, double the cheese! It’s delicious, nutritious and colourful!
I’ve always loved the Exclusively food version of quiche and this recipe is based on that recipe. I’ve made modifications, but if you’re looking for the original, you know where to look.
Note: I’ve also successfully made this quiche with gluten free flour.
Ingredients
  • 500g of chopped vegetables to roast (I used zucchini, onion, eggplant capsicum and mushroom)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. of olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 125 g cream cheese at room temperature
  • 125 g butter at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 cup whole meal flour (feel free to use all plain if you want)
  • 1 tbsp fresh herbs of your choice
  • 5 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 1 /2 cups shredded cheese (I used a combo of tasty cheddar and part-skim mozzarella)

Preparation

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Doesn’t that just look like health on tray?

Preheat the oven to 350 F or 180 C. Place the chopped veg, vinegar, oil and dried thyme into a baking dish. Mix and place in the oven for 45 mins. Make sure you turn the veges over every 15 minutes or so to get a good colour all round.

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Mmmm…roast veges. FYI, Mr C loves these just as is….no need to mess around with pastry and cream with him.

While the veg is roasting you can make the quiche base. I use my kitchenaid, but you can easily use a food processor. Place the cream cheese and butter in the bowl and mix until it’s all combined and uniform.

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Once you hit that stage, start adding the flours, a little at a time. You might not need the whole lot, so add a little at a time.You want a wet dough that you can press into the pan, not one that comes altogether as if you’re going to roll it out. When it’s nearly done, add the fresh herbs and mix.

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I make my quiche in a Pyrex pie dish. It’s easy to work with, I can put it straight in the diswasher and it’s the perfect size for this recipe. I spray it generously with some oil before I start, just to be on the safe side. Once greased, push the dough it into the dish until you have a thin layer all around the dish. If I have extra I reinforce the edges, to make them nice and crispy and thick.

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Into the pan place a third of the cheese, and lay half the roast veg on top. Arrange them so that whatever slice you get, you get a good mix of veg. Now add another layer of cheese, the rest of the veg and finally the last of the cheese.

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First a 1/3 of the cheese

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Then the roast veges

In a jug, mix the eggs, cream, salt & pepper and the nutmeg. Now pour the cream and egg mixture into the quiche. Give the liquid time to settle and get into all the nooks and crannies.

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Don’t worry if it looks like it’s not full, it’s egg remember, it will puff up.

Bake for 50 minutes at 180 c or 350 F.

Serve warm with a nice green salad, or really, just on it’s own is perfectly okay too. I tend to make extra of these vegetables as Master C is a huuuuge fan!

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Filed under Non-Sri Lankan Food, Vegetable Dishes