Roast Tomato Soup
Winter is most certainly here. Treat your tummy to a warming roast tomato soup at lunchtime, packed with rich nutrients and bags of vitamin C. This health-conscious recipe is great for keeping off those extra winter kilos, without sacrificing on flavour. Prepare a large batch on a Sunday evening to enjoy over the week. Serve with a slice of toasted ciabatta topped with basil pesto and mozzarella.
- 1 shallot, sliced
- 2 kg assorted very ripe tomatoes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- ½ tsp sugar
- 1 head garlic, wrapped in foil
- 2 cups good-quality chicken or vegetable stock, warmed
- 1 tsp red wine or sherry vinegar
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the shallot and tomatoes in a roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil. Season lightly and add the sugar.
- Tuck in the garlic and roast for 30–40 minutes. Allow the tomatoes to cool slightly, then peel.
- Tip the tomatoes, onion and all the juices into a large saucepan. Unwrap the garlic and squeeze into the pan. Add the hot stock and vinegar and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Blend using a stick blender and serve.
It's perfectly alright to indulge every now and then. Besides, if you haven't been ordering out, you can afford a few extra calories here and there. This fancy brie, ham and fig jam toasted sandwich is perfect as a quick, yet scrumptious lunchtime treat. If this recipe isn't quite to your taste, get busy experimenting in the kitchen. All you need is a sandwich press or jaffle maker, tons of cheese and good, sturdy bread.
- Knob of butter, softened
- 2 thick slices good white bread
- 1 tbsp fig jam
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- A few slices brie or Camembert cheese
- 1 thick slice hickory ham
- Heat a toastie maker or a small griddle pan. Butter each slice of bread on one side, then spread the other side of one slice with fig jam, and one with mustard.
- Top the fig jam with brie and ham, sandwich with the remaining bread, butter-side up, then place in the toastie maker or the griddle pan.
- If cooking in a pan, squash down a little with the back of a spatula while cooking, flip over after 2 - 3 minutes when golden, then cook on the other side. Serve with a handful of salad leaves on the side, if you like.
Tasty Tuna Nicoise
Joburg winter weather is unpredictable at best. On those sun-shiny winter days, tuck into a hearty tuna nicoise salad with a twist. Seared broccoli, baby potatoes, black olives, tuna, medium boiled eggs and a garlic aioli to top it all off - sounds like a foolproof lunchtime delight to us!
- 1 1/2 cups long-stem broccoli
- 1 can tuna
- 250 g baby potatoes
- 1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives
- 2 medium eggs, boiled
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the garlic aioli
- 1 egg
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- To make the ailoi: Put the whole egg, garlic and lemon juice in the cup of a stick blender. Add the vegetable oil and allow to rest for 15 seconds. Insert the stick blender starting at the bottom of the cup and move it around until the entire cup is filled with a thick white emulsion.
- Pour the emulsion into a medium bowl. Slowly add the extra virgin olive oil in a thin stream while whisking it into the emulsion. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- To make the salad: Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the potatoes until tender, about 20 minutes. Cool and cut into quarters. Place the quarters in a large bowl.
- Boil the eggs for approximately 5 - 6 minutes. Place the eggs in cool water before peeling.
- Rinse the broccoli stems. Heat a large grill pan with a few tablespoons of vegetable oil. When hot, add the broccoli and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 8 minutes. Add additional oil if needed.
- When cooked, place on a baking tray lined with paper towels to drain and add salt.
- Add the tuna, sliced Kalamatas, halved eggs and cooked broccoli stems into the bowl with the potatoes.
- Stir in about a ¾ cup of the aioli and mix until everything is evenly mixed and coated. Add additional aioli, lemon juice, salt and/or pepper to taste, and serve.
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