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Creamy Tomato Soup with Gorgonzola and Roasted Tomato Bruschetta

July 20, 2014 in bread, Crush mag recipes, Snacks, Soups, vegetables

 

Cream of tomato soupI included this creamy tomato soup as one of my monthly “Midweek Meals” recipes for Crush online magazine’s Art Issue (41). This truly is my favourite soup of all time, so much so that I’ve been making it for years! In an attempt to shoot a stylish take on “soup and bread”, I served this soup with garlicky bruschetta topped with gooey gorgonzola and slow roasted assorted baby tomatoes. I think I achieved the “yum, I need to eat you now factor”, yes?

If you’re not a fan of gorgonzola, replace with mozzarella, creamy goat’s cheese or Fairview’s Cambozola. What I love about this soup is that it’s easy with no faffing involved. It’s thick, rich and creamy with just the right amount of sweet and tartness. Try this combo and let me know what you think.

Keep warm!!

Cream of Tomato Soup with Roasted Tomato and Gorgonzola Bruschetta

Serves: 6

Ingredients:
Soup:
4 large leeks, sliced
2 sticks celery, chopped
2 T (30 ml) butter
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 cans whole tomatoes
2 T (30 ml) tomato paste
1 large potato or sweet potato, peeled and cut into small cubes
1 ½ (375 ml) chicken stock
1 T (15 ml) sugar
¼ t (1.25 ml) of freshly ground nutmeg
2 bay leaves
handful of basil leaves, chopped
+- 125 – 250 ml cream or milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Bruschetta:
250 g assorted baby tomatoes
1 T (15 ml) olive oil
1 T (15 ml) balsamic vinegar
1 t (5 ml) brown sugar
1 t (15 ml) parmesan infused olive oil or extra virgin olive oil
3 T (45 ml) chopped basil leaves
8 slices of ciabatta
Olive oil
1 peeled clove garlic
125 g creamy gorgonzola, sliced
basil leaves

Method:
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
In a medium pot, sauté the leek and celery in butter until softened. Add the garlic, tomatoes, paste, potatoes and chicken stock. Cover and bring to the boil then reduce to a gentle simper for + – 40 minutes – or until potatoes are tender (will take longer due to the acidity in the tomatoes).
Place the baby tomatoes on a baking tray drizzled with olive oil and balsamic. Season and sprinkle with sugar. Roast for +- 25 minutes. Place into a bowl and add chopped basil leaves and oil. Season to taste.
Remove soup from the heat. Add the basil leaves and puree with a stick blender until smooth, add the cream while blending until you’ve reached your preferred consistency and creaminess.
Place back onto the heat to warm through.

Hop over to my Bits of Carey website to see how to prepare these delicious gorgonzola and slow roasted tomato bruschettas.

Posh Sloppy Joe’s for Father’s day

June 14, 2013 in bread, Crush mag recipes, Meat

Since it’s Father’s day on Sunday, it’s only fitting to post something that most men will enjoy. These buns of deliciousness are so simple to make, so no stress for the cook here!  Who doesn’t love a squishy roll stuffed with chunky bolognaise, crispy bacon, greens and Parmesan?  Posh Sloppy Joe’s are the way of the future, yes?  :-)  Happy Father’s day to all the dad’s out there xxx

Posh “Sloppy Joe’s”

Mince:
500 g lean beef mince
1 T (15 ml) sunflower oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves, garlic, chopped
1 t (5 ml) smoked paprika
2 tins whole tomatoes
50 g tomato paste
½ c (125 ml) red wine
1 T (15 ml) sugar
1 T (15 ml) balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

250 g streaky bacon, grilled in the oven until crispy
6 small ciabatta or Portuguese rolls
100 g baby spinach or rocket
¼ (60 ml) parmesan shavings

The mince: In a medium pot, heat the oil and fry the mince until it nice and brown. Then add the onion, garlic and paprika and continue frying until onions are soft and glossy. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer uncovered for +- 30 minutes. Season to taste.

To assemble:  Cut the rolls in half and lightly toast them in a pan. Fill each roll with a bed of baby spinach, mince, crispy bacon and parmesan.

Recipe by Carey Boucher Erasmus. Published in Crushmag online Issue 20

 

Rich tomato and olive bread soup

June 3, 2013 in bread, Crush mag recipes, Soups, vegetables

I am a big fan of the food show, “Two greedy Italians” on DSTV. Not only are Gennaro and Antonio a laugh a minute with all their banter, I love their passion for traditional Italian food and everything they cook makes my mouth water. Watching this show makes me want to hop onto the plane and visit Florence again. Out of all the places we visited in Italy, I must say my heart is with Florence. It was there when I first came across a traditional Tuscan bread soup, ribollita. I loved the whole idea of creating a hearty soup from leftover vegetable/minestrone soup, bread and cannellini beans. The locals generally make different versions with whatever leftovers they have available to them, it’s quite the speciality and absolute comfort in a bowl.

This is my version of a ribollita, a rich tomato and olive bread soup. Feel free to add cannellini beans, a variety of veggies and streaky bacon (or pancetta), either way this soup will definitely warm the belly and soul. I enjoy my soup served with loads of grated pecorino, fresh basil leaves and a good drizzle of grassy extra virgin olive oil. YUM! Enjoy and stay warm xx

Rich Tomato and olive bread soup with fresh basil and pecorino
Serves: 6

Ingredients                                                                                                                                                                         45
45ml (3Tbs) olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 chilli, chopped and seeds removed (optional)
3 x 400 g cans whole peeled tomatoes in juice
+-750 ml good quality chicken or vegetable stock
45 ml (3Tbs) tomato paste
30 ml (2Tbs) balsamic vinegar
30 ml  (2 Tbs) brown sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
6 slices of stale ciabatta, broken into pieces
A handful of roughly chopped basil
A handful of roughly chopped parsley
1 pkt Calamata olives, pitted and halved

To serve:
Grated pecorino cheese (as much as you like!)
Extra virgin olive oil

Method:
Sauté the onion, garlic and chilli in the heated olive oil until soft and aromatic.
Add the tomatoes and heat through briefly.
Add the stock, paste, balsamic vinegar and sugar. Cover and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Place the bread pieces into the soup, cover and simmer for another 15-20 minutes. If too thick, add more hot stock.
Remove from the heat and add the fresh herbs and olives.
Serve topped with plenty pecorino and drizzle with olive oil.

This recipe was published in Crush online magazine

 

 

Lunch in Paternoster and a thyme and rock salt “cake”

September 2, 2010 in bread, out and about, Restaurants

We ended off our weekend by driving through to Paternoster for the day. And what a perfect day it was, the sun was shining and the sea breeze was so refreshing.

And of course, as a fellow blogger, how could I not go and introduce myself to Kobus(Sardines on Toast) at his lovely farm stall, Oep vir koep!(Winkel op Paternoster) What a nice guy, he made us feel so welcome from the second we walked in.

And when I saw his menu, we had to sit down in the relaxing garden and have us some lunch!

I was being a “oink oink”, so I had the mussel soup with two helpings of addictive olive ciabatta( J played part in that too!)

This soup had such a fresh flavour, almost broth like with a dash of cream. Heaven.

And then(oink oink) I had to try his dune spinach and buttermilk ricotta open ravioli with a sage butter. Now I have never tried Dune Spinach, so I did not know what to expect, but man was it was delicious! Kobus gets the spinach from his friend’s garden! The pasta was freshly made and just melted in my mouth. The subtle flavours married beautifully. The buttermilk ricotta was so light, absorbing all the other flavours. And of course, a must, a few shavings of Pecorino.  What a delight!

Here’s a close- up!

J had the vegetable lasagne with a fresh wild rocket salad on the side, of course I tasted, and it was so yum, I need the recipe please Kobus!!

We washed all this delicious food down with some deliciously cold vino!

The lighting at this place is fabulous for taking photies! I had a ball!

Had to get myself a bag of Fleur de sel too :-)

I am so glad we took a drive and spent the day there.  It really was fantastic to unwind in this fishing village and we definatley plan on visiting more often in the near future!

Thanks for your hospitality and inspirational food Kobus! Top class ;-)

So when we got home on Sunday late afternoon, we couldn’t face eating a full on meal, and I felt inspired to bake a quick bread and soak it up with the olive oil and balsamic we got from Kloovenberg, so this is what I did…

A thyme and rocksalt “cake”

I just call it a cake, because it looks like one!

It’s just a quickbread with fresh lemon thyme and rocksalt

You will need:

500 g self raising flour

+- 500 ml beer

2 pinches of rocksalt

3 sprigs of thyme, chopped

A glug of olive oil

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees

Mix all the ingredients together until well combined then place into a greased( I used olive oil) +- 24 cm round baking dish.

Top with sprigs of thyme and sprinkle with rocksalt.

Bake for 1 hour.

Because it looked like a cake, I serve it like a cake, quite cheeky – ha ha!!  Served with a little bowl of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Warm fresh bread, with little bursts of saltiness and thyme dunked into olive oil and balsamic, what else do you need?

Lovies

C xx

Stunning Homemade pizzas – good enough for restuarants! Promise!

August 16, 2010 in bread, Pizzas and flat breads

I love pizza, the proper Italian way, crispy base with loads of fresh simple ingredients. So, on Sunday night, I decided to prepare our fave pizzas for dinner, a Caprese for J and a Proscuitto, parmesan and rocket(from the garden….aah. um..) for me! And it really isn’t a mission to prepare at all! I made my own pizza dough, but you could always buy ready made dough from your local store’s bakery. For those of you that don’t have pizza ovens…the trick is to preheat your oven at the highest temperature and “par bake” your bases before putting the other toppings on…this will ensure crispy bases everytime! Because the flavours are so simple, I enjoy devouring these pizzas with extra virgin peppery olive oil and balsamic vinegar – something to mop the crusts in!

This is what you will need to make dough for 2 large pizzas

4 cups cake flour

2 t salt

2 t instant dried yeast

2 t sugar

2 T olive oil

+ – 350 ml luke warm water

Combine all the ingredients together to form a dough, then knead until smooth and elastic (+ – 5 minutes). Place back into a bowl, cover and allow to proof(rise) in a warm area for +- 30 minutes (should double in size). If you don’t want to use the dough straight away, refrigerate to stop the dough from rising more and use within 2 days. 

This dough can also be used to bake a loaf of bread – Bake at 180 degrees for +- 40 minutes, make little rolls – 180 degrees for 10 -15 minutes or use for “braai broodjies”.

Preheat the oven to 230 degrees.

Divide dough into 2 balls, then stretch and spread the dough out onto two greased baking trays (you can make your pizza round or rectangular). Prick holes into the dough with forks and brush with olive oil. Bake for 5 minutes(this prevents the base from getting soggy).

Tomato sauce for the bases:

Combine 200 ml passata/tomato puree with mixed herbs, sugar, salt and pepper to taste.

Caprese:

Spread one base with tomato sauce. Top with a large handful of grated mozzarella and about 125 g halved rosa tomatoes. Sprinkle with a bit more cheese and some dried mixed herbs.

Bake for +- 10 minutes

For the Proscuitto pizza:

Spread the other base with tomato sauce and a handful of grated mozzarella cheese.

Bake for +- 10 minutes

Top Caprese pizza with Fresh basil! Wala!

Top baked base with Proscuitto slices (+- 8 slices) , Parmesan shavings and fresh rocket. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Season with freshly ground salt and pepper.

You can’t get fresher than this! Who needs take out?

Here’s to another week people!! :-)

lovies C x

Dumplings anyone?

June 17, 2010 in bread, Soups

Big, soft and stodgy dumplings in homemade split pea soup – what could be more comforting?

BACON AND SPLIT PEA SOUP

2 cups split peas, soaked for 30 minutes and rinsed

Oilve oil

250 g diced bacon

2 onions, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

+- 1.5 L chicken stock

Salt and pepper

Freshly ground nutmeg

Heat a bit of olive oil in a large pot and saute the bacon until crispy. Add the onions and garlic and cook until soft.

Pour in the stock, cover and simmer for +- 1.5 hours or until split peas are soft and mushy(would be quicker in a pressure cooker!). Use a potato masher to loosen and break up the peas – no need for a blender. Add more hot water if too thick. Season.

HERB DUMPLINGS

1 cup of self raising flour

+ – 200 ml water

1 egg

Salt and pepper

1 t dried mixed herbs

Combine all the ingredients together and form into “dumplings” with 2 tablespoons and drop into the hot soup, cover with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes.

No need to serve with bread, enough starch there – believe me! Although I love to eat buttered white bread with pea soup.

I posted this today, because I am indeed in need of some comfort! I’m not one to moan, groan and blog about my personal life, but it has really been a trying 2 weeks! So please excuse me:

My mom went into hospital 2 weeks ago to have her gal bladder removed(which is apparently a standard thing), but ended up staying in hospital until yesterday! She had many complications, but we were relieved to find out she could come home. However shortly after that news, I got a phone call from my dad saying that my eldest brother was in surgery – he was in a bad car accident! So mom’s out, brother’s in! So I went to see him after the surgery,  my big brother, so pale and fragile – it broke my heart! Broken arm, both feet are injured and his knee – he is going to need reabilitation for months. He is still in ICU for monitoring, fortunately his vitals are good. It could have been worse, we are all grateful that he survived! I’m worried about my mom though, she should be in bed resting, but she is understandably freaking out!

So if anyone is feeling as drained as I am( or you are feeling defeated from the soccer game last night!), do yourself a favour and make yourself a pot of soup with comforting dumplings!

Just a thought I need to share, when tragedy hits, you reflect:

Life is so fragile, we take it for granted that we could lose our loved ones in an instant. We should slow down and appreciate who and what we have everyday. :-)

Lovies C x

FRENCH TOAST STACK

June 1, 2010 in bread, Breakfast, Snacks

 Good morning all! Try this for brekkie, Slice up some french loaf, dip it in a seasoned egg/milk mixture and fry in butter until crispy. Layer with crispy bacon bits, grated cheddar cheese and chopped tomato! Make sure the honey or maple syrup is on the table too!

Nom noms!

 

Cx

Rugby Sub

May 26, 2010 in bread, Snacks

This has to be the biggest sarmie I have made to date! Last Saturday we made this for the rugby! No cooking, no salads and no dishes! Just one huge French loaf filled with salad, cold meats, cheddar, Biltong slices and good ‘Ol Mayo!

 

What more do you need?  An ice cold beer of course!(yes, I admit… I do enjoy a Windhoek light every now and then!)

 

 

The Rugby Sub:

 

Serves 4 – 6

 

1 long french loaf

butter

mixed salad leaves

1 onion, sliced into thin rings

3 tomatoes, sliced

8 slices of ham

8 slices of salami

1 heaped cup grated cheese

1 heaped cup of biltong slices

Woolies garlic mayo

Freshly milled black pepper

 

Fill the buttered loaf with the ingredients, starting from the salad leaves and ending with the pepper.

 

Wash down with an ice cold beer or crisp white wine!

 

Be sure to try it out this Saturday!

 

C xx

 

 

Quick and Easy Bread for soup days or any day for that matter

May 10, 2010 in bread

Since so many soups have been shared, I felt it’s about time to share this “Quick bread” recipe with you all. Minimum effort, maximum results. Even the hubby can do it! It guarentees perfect bread everytime. Crispy crust and soft and spongy crumb, delicious with lashings of butter.

 

Freshly Baked Rosemary Bread

 

All you need:

 

500 g Self Raising Flour

500 ml Plain yoghurt

50 ml olive oil(I like to include this as it keeps the bread moist for longer)

5 ml salt

Black pepper

3 sprigs rosemary, chopped or 10 ml dried

 

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees

 

Mix all the ingredients together into a large bowl, combine well to form a soft dough.

 

Shape the dough to fit into a greased medium loaf tin. Sprinkle with left over rosemary and bake for 1 hour.

 

Remove from the tin and allow to cool slightly before cutting.

And…woweee! Perfect.

 

This bread lasts up to 4 days.

 

Other variations:

Replace the yoghurt with beer or buttermilk

Add cheese, sundried tomatoes, olives, fried onions to the mixture.

 

On day 3…

 

Delicious topped with Colchester cheese and grilled or microwaved…yum yum

 

 

P.s. Well done hubby! Your bread was amazing xxx