Tuesday, 15 June 2010
Another cold, windy and wet day here today. What happened to June??? It seems to be passing us by and leaving in it's stead a taste of March or April!!! Brrr . . . when it is damp like this I really feel the chill and want something warming and comforting.
When I was a child tomato soup and grilled cheese did it every time. It was a special combination of flavours that made me feel very safe and toasty warm . . . and very much loved!
Of course, as an adult I still love the combination although I do up the amps on it a bit by cracking it up a knotch or two, or even three!
This tasty tomato soup has a bit of a kick from the red chilli . . . not a lot, but just a touch of heat. Not at all unpleasant . . . that is unless you lick your fingers after cutting the chillies . . . that has quite a burn, so wash your hands well after handling them, and do not . . . I repeat, DO NOT rub your eyes under any circumstances!!
Of course we like cheese on toast with this, but not just any old cheese on toast. I amp that up a knotch too with the addition of a layer tangy sweet chutney just beneath the cheese. Oh my, but this is some good!
I hope you'll give it a try and if you do, let me know how you like it!
*Tomato and Chilli Soup*
A warming and delicious soup with more than a little kick of exitement!
1 (410g) tin of chopped Italian tomatoes in juice
1 tomato tin of a well flavoured chicken stock
1 TBS olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
2 sticks of celery, chopped
1 small red chili, seeded and finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
a pinch of saffron
1 tsp sugar
sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
50 ml (1/4 cup) single cream
additonal chicken stock as needed
Croutons to serve if desired
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, celery, chili and garlic. Cook and stir over medium low heat until softened. Add the tomatoes, water and chicken bouillon sachet. Bring to the boil. Stir in the vinegar, sugar, saffron and season with some salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Liquidize the soup in your blender in batches, or with a stick blender right in the pot. Return to the hob and whisk in the cream and additional stock as needed to give you the right consistency. Season and adjust seasoning as required. Serve in heated bowls with several croutons floating on top if desired.
*Top Knotch Cheese on Toast*
Delicious cheese on toast with the added surprise of a tangy layer of chutney beneath the cheese. We like Mango, but you can use any type of chutney you favour!
4 thick slices of a rustic white bread
4 TBS chutney
8 thick slices of strong cheddar cheese
Heat the gril to high. Pop the pieces of bread on a grill pan and toaste beneath the grill, first on one side and then the other until light brown. Spread 1 TBS of chutney over one side of each piece of toasted bread and then cover the chutney with the sliced cheese, using two slices for each piece. Pop back under the grill and grill for several minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly and beginning to brown slightly in spots. Remove from the grill and serve hot.