There are a couple of things I was reminded of while cooking & baking last night.
Hot things, like pans that have just come out of the oven – they will burn you if you touch them
The old adage that my Gran used to be a big fan of, more haste less speed, its very true and it works.
Cake flour is easy to make, don’t panic if you have a cake to make and you don’t have any. You can start panicing if you don’t have any regular flour or any cornflour.
Last night I went for a run after work. First pain free run in AGES, woohoo! 🙂 I went really slowly and just relished every minute of it. It was awesome. I couldn’t stop smiling for like 3 hours afterwards. But a consequence of running really slowly is that you don’t get done quickly. So I only got home at 7:20, and I had a big cake to make, cake filling to make, and my daring cooks challenge to make. So after a moment of ‘I don’t know where to start’ flappiness. I took a deep breath, and just started. More haste less speed. And thats when I remembered another important thing. Women can multi-task. And thank heavens for that!
Renata of Testado, Provado & Aprovado! was our Daring Cooks’ April 2011 hostess. Renata challenged us to think “outside the plate” and create our own edible containers! Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 17th to May 16th at http://thedaringkitchen.com!
I was into the soup idea for this challenge from the beginning. I am a big fan of soup and as I am trying to eat relatively healthy this week, soup fits the bill perfectly.
As far as soup varieties go, I’m a tomato girl all the way. Butternut has its place, as does a brothy prawn hot and sour soup, but for a ‘make a big batch and eat it daily’ soup, tomato is always my first choice.
I was in the Cheshire Smokehouse at lunch time the other day. Its a local farm shop/deli/bakery/smokehouse where I feel like a kid in a candy store. I wasn’t there for anything besides a lunch time ‘get out of the office’ excursion, its just nice to go there and walk around. The fact that I cannot possibly go there and walk out empty handed is just a side effect of the gorgeousness of the stuff in there. The cheese, the smoked salmon, the veggies, the bread. Oh the bread. ‘Artisan’ bread they call it. And if that bread isn’t art then I don’t know what is. Anyway, I was in there the other day, just browsing, and I saw some tomotoes. The colour of them was just the most vivid, tantalising red. And they had the most lovely on-the-vine smell. I couldn’t resist. And then I saw the beast. The huuuuuge tomatoes next to the cute viney ones. And they were a match made in heaven. Tomato soup in a tomato bowl. Sold!
The beauty of a soup like this is that you don’t ned a recipe, and its soooo tasty. Roast some tomatoes. Fry up some onions and garlic. Throw in some stock and the roasted tomatoes. Add some hers and sseasoning. Cook for a while. Blend. Serve. Or for this challenge, hollow out mega huge monster tomato and serve in that. It may not seem the most adventurous of creations for this challenge but last night, while making phase one of my birthday cake (blog post to follow on completion) it was a great choice. Easy and yummy.
Roast Tomato Soup and Fresh Basil Soup
What you will need:
1kg ripe vine tomatoes, washed & cut in half
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
500 ml good quality stock
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
large handful of fresh basil
What to do:
Preheat the oven to 200 C. Place the tomotoes in a roasting tin and sprinkle over salt, pepper and 2 tbsp olive oil. Roast for 30 – 45 minutes or until the tomatoes start to darken around the edges.
Fry the onions and garlic in the reminind 1 tbsp of olive oil until the onion starts to brown and has softened, 10 minutes or so. Add the stock, roasted tomatoes and dried herbs. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
Let the soup cool for 15 mins or so and then blend with the fresh basil to your preferred consistency. Some like it chunky, some like it smooth. I like it in between. Season to taste. Serve sprinkles with more fresh basil and crusty bread.