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Wednesday, 5 March 2014

ROASTED RED TOMATO SOUP WITH PESTO

Good Afternoon to you,


I was talking to Phyllis earlier in the week, and we touched on the topic of  The Oscars. We talked about our favourite films and of course, it would only be right to discuss the range of beautiful gowns which were on show. I mentioned how fabulous it would be to wear  Sandra Bullock's gorgeous gown, which Phyllis agreed with. She then went on to talk about fashion in the 1940's and about how stylish people were when she was a young woman.

We then went back to talking about  films and I asked Phyllis, if she could remember the first film she saw at the cinema. She said it wasn't called the cinema when she was young, but The Picture House.... and the first film she saw was the 1937, Walt Disney film, Snow White.  Phyllis would have been seven years old at the time. She said it was quite an expedition to get to The Picture House, because she lived out in the countryside.  As a child, she rode her bike everywhere, or if one of her sisters had borrowed the bike, then the alternative was Shank's Pony, which means walking.   So along with her older sisters she went to see Snow White and the seven year old Phyllis, was captivated by the film.

It led me to thinking, about the first time I went to the cinema at The Opera House. The film I saw was  the ballet, Swan Lake and I loved it. From that moment on, I wanted to be like Margot Fonteyn.... yes that was my future, I was going to be a ballerina. Sadly, that was not to be, as I was never going to be tall enough.... once I realised this, I decided I would like to ride horses instead. I'm not sure how I managed to go from ballet to horse riding.... I think it was because I had read and was influenced by the book, Black Beauty written by Anna Sewell.... I was obviously a very impressionable child.

I then asked George, what his first film was called, and he said he went to see The Alamo with John Wayne and Richard Widmark. He said he did not go to the Cinema or The Picture House, but to "The Flicks", along with his dad and his brother and they all loved the film.  Both George and his brother, to this day are avid lovers of Western films and can often be found watching them on a Saturday afternoon.

So I couldnot stop there, I had to ask Natasha and Danielle to remind me of their first film. Natasha said, George had taken her to see The Rescuers when Danielle was a baby.  Danielle was unavailable for comment..... only joking.... she was at work, so I could not get hold of her to ask, but I will find out next time we speak to each other.

So with all this talk of films, it is time to put on the pinnie and the music I am listening to today is,


the soundtrack from The Jungle Book.... yes that's right, really, The Jungle Book.  As children Natasha and Danielle loved this film and they always said that George was like the fabulous bear, Baloo. How could you not love Colonel Hathi's March and The Bare Necessities and I Wan'na Be Like You..... go on.... I dare you..... have a listen and you will smile.... I promise you.

So with Colonel Hathi's March playing..... One, two, three, four.... I am organising my ingredients to make,


this full flavoured Roasted Red Tomato Soup with the added bonus of Pesto. Made with delicious Basil leaves, Parmesan cheese, Garlic and sea salt.

INGREDIENTS
FOR THE SOUP

2kg tomatoes
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 large red onion
1 large carrot
1 celery stick
1 teaspoonful of oregano
2 cloves of garlic
600ml of vegetable stock

INGREDIENTS 
FOR THE PESTO

1 clove of garlic
1 large handful of fresh basil
50g of Parmesan Cheese
2 tablespoonful of Olive Oil

Pre-heat the oven to 180C

HOW TO MAKE
ROASTED RED TOMATO SOUP


Wash and de-stem the tomatoes


Cut in half and place the tomatoes
on a baking sheet
drizzle with 2 tablespoonful of olive oil.

Place in the oven and roast for 1 hour 30 minutes


Meanwhile,
slice the red onion
and 


place 1 tablespoonful of olive oil in a pan
and add the sliced onions.
Cook until the onions reach a nice golden colour.

Whilst the onions are browning,


crush the garlic and add to
the onions when they are golden brown.

Also add the oregano and
cook for 2 minutes.


Wash and chop the celery into four pieces
and set aside for a moment.


Peel and chop the carrots into medium sized pieces,
and set aside.


When the tomatoes have roasted
add them to the onion and garlic mixture.

I also add a small amount of hot water
to the baking sheet, once the tomatoes have been removed,
because I like to add the caramelized flavour
from the tomatoes to the soup.

Or as George's dad would have said,
"The burnt bits are the best"


Place the vegetable stock into the pan,
along with the carrots and the celery,

and cook for 40 minutes.

Whilst the soup is cooking,
it is time to prepare the Pesto.


Grate the Parmesan Cheese


Crush the clove of garlic
with 1 teaspoonful of sea salt


Using a pestle and mortar 
 crush the basil, 
crush the garlic with sea salt, 
and add the olive oil,
and also the Parmesan Cheese.

Or if you have a small food processor
 available to you,
blitz the ingredients together.


and your Pesto is ready.

When the soup is thoroughly cooked, remove the 
celery stalks... I added them for flavour.

Ladle the soup into a food blender,
and blend the ingredients together.
I found I had to do this five times.

Be careful when you are blending, as the
soup is really hot, so each time, I only half filled
the blender .
As an added precaution, I placed a folded
tea towel over the top of the blender.
You cannot be too careful with hot liquid.

Blitz until you have a thick, smooth, consistency.


Ladle the soup into a soup dish

and

add a teaspoonful of Pesto
and a few Basil leaves
to stir into the soup.

We enjoyed this soup with onion bread.

You will have noticed that I did not add any salt to the soup.  The reason behind this is that, I add a teaspoonful of sea salt to the pesto and this, for me, gives enough seasoning to the soup.  But if you find this is not enough for you, please do add more.

Also, as an added thought, if you prefer to remove the tomato seeds.  When the soup is blitzed, pass the soup throw a sieve and this will remove the seeds.
  
Just one final thing I should mention, you will have also noticed that I did not add pine nuts to my Pesto.  I just feel that the pesto without the pine nuts sits well with this soup.

Oh, yes, there is one final thing.... yes it really is the final thing.... I was wondering, what was the first film you saw?  It would be fun to know and I wonder if it is a film I have seen.

So take care and I will see you on Sunday.





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