Friday, September 13, 2013

Roasting and Soup, autumn is here!

This has been Lucy's first week of kindergarten and although she's striving in the environment, she brought home the inevitable first cold to everyone in the house so my meals have been slightly lacklustre in the creative department and more focused on the warm soups and comfort food.  I also failed to take any worthwhile pictures so you'll have to use your creative mind and just imagine my two offerings this week.
   Didn't get a picture of the food because I was too busy getting a picture of my little kindergartener!

Again, with a Jamie Oliver recipe, adapted slightly for the sake of fewer dishes and simple ingredients.  The proper Oliver title is "Cauliflower Cheese Soup" but for the sake of my cauliflower-resistant kids, I just called it Cheese Soup.  They like cauliflower, but only raw, so this soup is a great way to stretch it a bit farther and get it onto their menus.

Like most good soups it starts with a simple mirepoix of carrots, onions and celery, cooked down until the carrots are starting to soften and the onions are golden.  Along with the mirepoix, add 2 cloves garlic and a large head of cauliflower, separated into rough florets and cook all together for about 10 minutes.  Add enough broth to cover the vegetables and bring to a boil. Simmer for another 10 minutes.
Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper to taste.  Here's the important part: Add a good big handful of cheddar cheese and a good squeeze of mustard.  Now puree the whole thing (immersion blender is perfect tool for this.)
Serve with some nutmeg. 

I think the mustard is the kicker in this one, and making sure it's pureed well.  I really love this simple soup and with some crunchy croutons or some bacon bits, this is the perfect lunch on these cooler, wet days of September.

Picture-less recipe #2 is a new one for me, but so far, I LOVE IT!

I've been stock piling some tomatoes for this Slow Roasted Tomato recipe.  It's so simple, but the roasting adds such a richness to the tomatoes I'm having a hard time deciding how to use them to make the most of them.  I think I'll keep it simple and combine with some of Jen's amazing basil and some good quality parmesan over home-made pasta.
Anyway, it's as easy as preheating the oven to 250 degrees.  Half or quarter tomatoes according to size and place cut side down on a baking sheet drizzled with olive oil.  Distribute the cloves from one head of garlic around the tomatoes and sprinkle with salt.  Roast for 5 hours or until tomato skins start to get too dark for your liking, although keep in mind that you will pluck the skins off anyway (and they literally pluck right off leaving the perfectly roasted tomatoes).

You can do this recipe and take them out after only 45 minutes- 1 hour, but the extra roasting adds so much flavour.  I got nervous about burning at the 4 hour mark so I took mine out then, but once they cooled and I picked the skins off I realized that I probably could have left them in longer.  Then I just used a slotted spoon to scoop half of them into a dish for the fridge and half into a freezer container so I could have a taste of summer during those dark days of winter.

Back in living colour next time!


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