Archive | December, 2013

Minestrone maybe? Chunky tomato soup

29 Dec

Cooking 4 Cheats tomato soup

I was craving tomato soup last night so I dived into the pantry to see what I could find. I came up trumps – a tin of crushed tomatoes and a bag of arborio rice. We’re off to a flying start! <insert tomato and rice photo>

Who doesn’t love a flavoursome, chunky tomato soup on a cold winter’s day?
(Or hot summer’s night as the case may be here in Australia.)

This one is so versatile, you can chuck almost anything you have in your fridge or pantry into it, and make a tasty dinner at very little cost. And if like me, you always end up with leftovers for lunch the next day, see my little tip at the bottom about making lunch extra tasty and a little different.

Here’s my recipe:

Ingredients:

(serves 2-3)
1 400g tin crushed tomatoes
1L water2 tsp chicken stock powder
1 tsp minced garlic
1 stick celery, sliced
1 small carrot, diced
1 rasher bacon, diced
1/2 a small onion, diced
2 shallots/spring onions, sliced
1 tsp Gourmet Garden basil
1 tsp Gourmet Garden thyme
1/2 cup arborio (risotto) rice
1/4 cup frozen peas and corn

arborio rice   vegeta chicken stock   thyme and basil tubes

Method:

1. Add water, chicken stock, garlic, celery and carrot to a medium-large saucepan, and turn it on high to start boiling.

2. Put the bacon, onion and the white ends of the shallots in a small frypan and cook about 5 mins until bacon becomes a bit crispy. Add this to the saucepan. Add the basil and thyme to the saucepan.

3.  Add 1/2 cup of arborio rice to the saucepan.

4. Turn the heat down to about three quarters and allow to simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

5. Add the frozen peas and corn, and simmer for a further 5 minutes.

6. Add salt and pepper to taste.

7. Serve sprinkled with the green sliced shallots and a side of crusty bread with lashings of butter.

Leftovers tip:

If you are going to have leftovers for lunch the next day, serve up the soup at dinner with more of the liquid in it. Why? The rice will continue to absorb water as it cools in the saucepan, so eventually it will soak up most of the soup. If you serve a little extra soup liquid at dinner time, what you will be left with the next day is a risotto-esque lunch you can eat with a fork. Add a hearty amount of parmesan cheese and some Castello blue cheese (my absolute favourite blue cheese!) for a taste sensation.

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