Friday, 27 March 2015

I have been living off Cadburys Creme eggs and Lindt chocolate for the past few weeks, and my waistline is starting to protest.

That, and the fact that I have developed a dreaded air-con cold, left me feeling in desperate need for something healthy, warm and comforting. I decided to head to the mall after work to pick up ingredients to make soup from scratch.

Unfortunately, I chose a bad day to hit the mall. Fridays at Carrefour are always chaotic at the best of times, but I was having a bad anxiety day so the whole trip stressed me out massively - I was a nervous wreck, and scooted round the aisles as quick as my wonky-wheeled trolley would allow so that I could get the heck outta there.

Back in the comfort of my kitchen, I got to work....and by work, I mean chopping. This is soup-er easy. So easy that even I (worlds worst cook, FACT) can make it, so you would have no excuse.

My measurements were enough for two portions. Perfect if you're cooking for you and your man-friend, your mate, your mum (...i've run out of M's), or you want to keep the whole lot for yourself.

To re-create, you will need:
Three medium sized beef tomatos. Not too big, not too small.
Two good sized red peppers.
One small red onion.
Garlic - I used four cloves because I'm a garlic fiend.
One stock cube - veg or chicken.
Olive oil.
Salt 'n' pepper.
Dried basil.
Chilli flakes.
A sprinkle of goats cheese to garnish. (optional..I forgot at that moment that I was supposed to be being healthy)
Fresh bread.

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees and line a baking tin with foil.

Get chopping those veggies! Once your toms, peppers, and onions are all roughly chopped up, lay them all out on the baking tin. Throw in a clove of garlic here and there with the skins on, and drizzle the whole lot with olive oil. It doesn't matter if they cosy up and overlap each other. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper, and pop the tray in the oven.

I roasted mine for about 30 mins whilst FaceTiming my mum, then pulled them out after around half an hour when they were soft and the edges of the peppers had charred a little.

Take the tray out, and gently remove the peel from the garlic cloves with a knife and fork (they come off super easily). I leave the skins on my tomatoes, but this would be the point to remove them if you so wish.

Boil the kettle, add the stock cube to a jug, and fill with water, stirring the stock cube until it dissolves.

Transfer the veggies into a deep pan on the hob, being careful not to carry over too much excess olive oil if you can help it. Top the pan up with the stock, until the veggies are covered. Add a sprinkle of chilli flakes and dried basil to taste, and leave to simmer for 15-20 mins.

[EDIT: I forgot that at this moment I also added a glug (technical term) of balsamic vinegar!)

The perfect opportunity to butter yourself some nice fresh bread from the bakery!

Give everything in your pan a good stir, before ladling it into a blender and mixing for a good couple of minutes until smooth.

Transfer to a bowl, and top with a sprinkle of goats cheese.


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