Friday, 9 January 2009

Hot soup for cold days

Since the start of the year it has been very cold where I live. Doing anything outside has resulted in cold paws, frozen whiskers and icicles on my tail.

Its the right time of the year to plant garlic outside but it's been so cold that the ground has frozen. Instead I have planted some in pots and put them on the window sill. Traditionally, in England anyway, garlic is planted on the longest day of the year and harvested on the shortest day, but I don't expect a few weeks difference will matter.

Coming in from the cold is always nice and I love having a bowl of hot soup after being in the cold. I know you can buy a tin or packet of soup, but making your own is really very easy, so this week I'm sharing a recipe for home made tomato soup. From start to finish you can make it in 25 minutes or less, and it tastes delicious!

So, to make your own healthy soup you will need:

2 large onions
1 carrot
2 tbsp olive oil
500g (15oz) fresh ripe tomatoes
1 litre (1 3/4pints) vegetable stock
1tsp sugar
Salt and pepper

And this is what you need to do:

1. Peel and chop the onions into small pieces.

2. Wash the carrot and grate it using a medium to coarse grater.

3. Stab a sharp knife into each tomato to break the skin.

4. Heat two pans of water to boiling boint, then add the tomatoes to one, and the onions and carrot to the other one

5. Allow the tomatoes to cook for two minutes, then transfer themto a bowl of cold water and allow them to cool until you can safely hold them.

6. Peel the skins off the tomatoes and throw them away.

7. Let the onions and carrot cook until they are soft- about 10 minutes.

8. Place the tomatoes in a seive, hold it over a pan, and rub them with the back of a wooden spoon to reduce them to a paste. The pips will remain in the seive and can be thrown away.

9. Add the sugar, salt, pepper and cooked onion/ carrot and allow to cook on a medium heat for 5 minutes.

10. Add the vegetable stock, simmer for 10 minutes and put the whole mix through a blender to reduce it to a smooth and creamy soup.

The soup can be eaten straight away or put into portion sized containers and frozen for use later on. Try it with fingers of buttered bread to dip in it. Lovely!

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

It's Christmas

It's Christmas- and it has been for 12 minutes now- so if you are in California, you still need to wait about another 8 hours!

In 2009 I am going to write here every week to talk about what's happening, recipes I've found and ideas I've been sent.

Right now though, I'm off to my rat hammock to chew on a wheety nibble bar and dream of Father Christmas and his Reindeer, and to hope I've been good enough to get a stocking full of presents in the morning!