Category Archives: Pepper

Recipe: Basil and Tomato Soup

Great on a cold winters day

Ingredients;

1 anchovy
1 clove of garlic – very finely sliced
1 small onion – finely diced
1 large carrot chopped roughly
2 sticks of c
elery chopped roughly
500g of ripe tomatoes – cores removed and chopped roughly
3 large handfuls of fresh basil – leaves ripped up roughly, stalks kept and chopped finely
400g tin of plum tomatoes
1L chicken stock
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

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In a large saucepan, gently fry the anchovy and garlic until the anchovy breaks up and starts to vanish. Do not let the garlic burn, but a little bit of browning is okay.

Add the carrot, onion and celery and fry gently till soft – about 10-15 mins.

Add the fresh tomatoes and let them stew for about 5 mins while stirring slowly.

Next add the tinned tomatoes and stir.

Add the chicken stock – enough to cover the mix and bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 mins, stirring at 5 minute intervals.

Take this opportunity to tidy up, trust me it’s easier than having a messy kitchen to clean and tidy later!

Finally, add the basil leaves and chopped stalks and continue to simmer for another 10-15 minutes.

At this point, allow it to cool for a few minutes and season well with salt and pepper.

Now, it can get messy if you’re not careful, grab a ladle and push it down into the soup gently so you fill it with liquid, but try not to get any of the solids in it, using this method remove (and keep) as much of the liquid as possible, this will allow you to control the ‘thickness’ of your soup in the next step.

Next pour the remaining ‘soup’ into a blender, avoid an enormous mess akin to a Freddy Krueger slashfest by NOT over filling the blender and also placing your hand on top of the blender when starting it. Blend it until it’s smooth and creamy looking and pour into a saucepan, keep doing this until all the soup has been blended and you should have a bowl of really, really thick soup. Now start stirring this and adding back in the liquid that you removed until you get the ‘thickness’ you want and you’re done. If you add all the liquid back and your soup is still too thick use some more stock to thin it a little more.

Simply heat the soup and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil or cream, a small sprig of basil and serve with some chunky ultra fresh bread or Crostini with pesto.

Recipe: Pesto

Pesto

Ingredients;

1/2 clove of garlic, finely diced
3 large handfuls of basil
1 handful of lightly toasted pine nuts
1 handful of parmesan, freshly grated
extra virgin olive oil
lemon juice
salt
pepper

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Pound the garlic with a pinch of salt and the basil leaves in a pestle and mortar.

Add the pine nuts and pound again.

Next, add half the parmesan. Stir gently and add olive oil – just enough to bind the sauce and get it to an oozy consistency.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add most of the remaining cheese. Pour in some more oil and taste again.

Keep adding a bit more cheese or oil until you are happy with the taste and consistency.

Finally, add a squeeze of lemon juice and you’re done.

Recipe: Scrambled eggs on toast

Scrummy!

Ingredients;

2 fresh eggs
1 knob of butter
salt
pepper
2 slices of toast

Serves 1

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Take a small Frying Pan and crack the eggs into it before heating the pan. Add the butter (you can use a herb butter for extra flavour) and season well with salt and pepper.

Put the pan onto a medium heat, next take a whisk and start beating the eggs, don’t let them sit still. This gets air into the eggs and makes the finished product ‘fluffier’.

After a minute or two the eggs will start to scramble and you should switch to using a spatula to keep the eggs moving and turn the heat down a bit. At this point put your bread in the toaster.

Once the eggs have scrambled to your preferred consistency, simply serve half on each slice of warm buttered toast and garnish with some chopped chives or a sprinkle of dried oregano.