Roasted Tomato Soup

Soup Club has been something the junior school (Year 1 to 4) at my workplace came up with in the last few weeks of last semester. The teachers of each year level will cook lunch for all the teachers of the junior school on one of the days in that week, and we rotate weekly. Absolutely loving the whole idea! Been trying all kinds of different soups and every one that I had was yummy! Sometimes, the teachers ventured out of soups, and got creative! We even had chilli con carne and curry lentils! Really well fed at my work place. haha

I was part of the year 1 team, and on our first rotation, I made cream of mushroom soup! So glad they all enjoyed it. Always get very nervous cooking for a bigger group of people. Plus I always cook too much! haha The mr and I would end up having soup for the next few days. Whoops! But more is better than less ya? hehe So it was the Year 1s turn again yesterday, and I decided to try something new. Brave, I know! haha I flipped through my recipe books and one of the soup recipes from the Delicious: Simply the best cook book, which I scored at Aldi for $12! hehe

The part that really caught my eye is the addition of asian flavours to this soup. It’s no ordinary roasted tomato soup, the addition of coconut milk, fish sauce, ginger and coriander makes it almost like drinking a less spicy and creamier version of the laksa gravy! Mmmm. AMAZING!

As much as I love the asian influence in this recipe, I have to admit I was a little worried as to how my colleagues will react to the taste. But thankfully, it turned out well and everyone was asking for the recipe! Yay! (: Totally made my day! Oh yes, and did I tell you I’ve never seen and cooked with that many tomatoes in my life because I doubled the recipe below. haha

Roasted Tomato Soup (Adapted from Delicious: Simply the best)

1.5kg tomatoes, quartered (any type you like)

2 onions, quartered

2 capsicum, thickly sliced

Salt & pepper, to season

3 tsp dried basil

1/4 cup olive oil

3 garlic cloves

2 tsp finely grated ginger

400ml coconut milk

700ml vegetable stock

1 tbs tomato paste

1 small bunch of coriander, leaves and steam finely chopped (extra to serve)

1 tbs brown sugar

2 tbs fish sauce

Natural Greek yogurt (to serve)

Steps :

1) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius. Line a baking tray with foil. Place the tomatoes, capsicums and onions on the baking tray and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt, pepper and dried basil. Roast for 1 1/2 hours or until the vegetables are very soft and lightly charred.

2) Meanwhile, heat remaining olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook the garlic and ginger until fragrant (1-2 mins), do be careful not to burn the garlic as it will have a bitter after taste.

3) Add the tomato paste, coconut milk and stock and simmer for 10 mins. Add the sugar, fish sauce, chopped coriander and the roasted tomato, capsicum and onion, plus any of the cooking juices in the baking tray. Simmer for a further 5 minutes or until slightly thickened, remove from heat and allow it to cool slightly.

4) Transfer the mixture to a blender and blend, in batches, until smooth. Serve the soup, garnished with coriander leaves and a dollop of yogurt. Serve with bread or roti.

Enjoy!

PS : This is one soup that is not too heavy but full of flavour! Perfect for a cold winter night! Do give it a try and let me know what you think! (: So dear readers, what is your favourite kind of soup? Would love to know!

Cooking in NZ : Courgette Polpette

As a way to say thank you to my uncle, auntie and cousins for their kind and awesome hospitality. The hubs and I decided to cook dinner for everyone. There were 11 of us that night and needless-to-say I was quite worried with how the menu would turn out. Mum was super worried that there won’t be enough food. But of course, there was always WAY too much!

We were quite daring to try one of the recipes that we saw on a cooking show at Paihia a couple of days before the scheduled dinner – courgette polpette. Simply put, cheesy courgette balls! haha As funny as that sounds, it tasted surprisingly good!

               It wasn’t heavy even though there was quite a bit of cheese added, I didn’t cook the courgettes till they were overly tender, I preferred mine with a bit of crunch! But might actually be easier to roll and combine them when they are softer. haha. Personal preference! (:

Courgette polpette (adapted from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall in River Cottage Everyday)

2 tbs olive oil

3 medium courgettes, finely diced into cubes

1 egg, beaten

2 tbs grated cheddar

1/2 ball buffalo mozzarella, diced

50g breadcrumbs

1 tbs chopped parsley

Ground black pepper, to taste

Steps :

1. Preheat oven to 200ºC and line a baking tray with baking paper.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat and fry the courgettes for about 10 minutes, until tender and golden. Set aside to cool it a little.

3. Combine with all the other ingredients to make a thick, sticky mixture. Season with black pepper.

4. Take a heap teaspoon of the mixture and roll them into balls. Place on the baking sheet and bake for about 15 mins or until it starts to brown. Serve them warm or cold. With bread or with salad. ENJOY!

ps : it’s vegetarian-friendly too! (: