Roast Vegetable & Tomato Soup with Basil





































I had a few vegetables to use up and my friend Audrey kindly gave me some courgettes from her garden. I was a bit stuck to think of what I was going to make, but now I am back in soup mode, so I decided to roast the vegetables and turn them into soup.

Roast Vegetable & Tomato Soup with Basil

3 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, quartered
1 aubergine, sliced
3 courgettes, sliced thickly
3 bell peppers, red and orange, cut into large chunks
3 salad tomatoes
1 400g tin tomatoes
2 cups vegetable stock
2 tbsp tomato puree
fresh basil
salt
pepper


In a large bowl toss together the prepared vegetables, olive oil, salt, pepper and a few basil leaves. Pour the vegetables into a roasting pan, that has heated through in a pre-heated hot oven. Roast for 20 - 30 minutes until the vegetables have started to char at the edges. Turn the vegetables once during this time.

Spoon the roast vegetable into a blender, along with the tin of tomatoes and whizz until smooth. Then pour into a pan, add the stock and tomato puree and warm through while stirring. Add a handful of shredded fresh basil and season to taste.

Serves 4 - 6

This soup is lovely and rich served as it is, but I think it would be even more satisfying with a swirl of cream or yoghurt.

It would also be a great pasta sauce. Just think of that roast vegetable and tomato flavour in a thick sauce, coating the pasta and topped with feta cheese. Mmmmmm! It would actually be good with a few reserved roast vegetables added to the sauce at the end for texture as well. If you are making it into a sauce, then use half the quantity of vegetable stock.
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Roast Pepper & Sundried Tomato Pasta Salad with Feta



I usually take my own lunch to work, but occasionally I have to pop out and get something and I really enjoy Marks and Spencer sandwiches and pasta salads. Believe me, this is lunchtime haute cuisine in Dundee, especially if you only have half an hour to purchase and eat said lunch!

There is one pasta salad in particular that I enjoy, a pasta salad with a small spiral pasta, sunblush tomatoes and feta chesse. So I did what any self-respecting blogger would do. I had a look at the list of ingredients and set off home to recreate it myself and boy it is good. It has a real strength of flavour with the roasted peppers and sundried tomatoes, top this off with feta and you are in pasta heaven. It is a great standby recipe as it uses jarred roasted peppers and sundried tomatoes.








Roast Pepper & Sundried Tomato Pasta Salad with Feta

Ingredients

Dressing

½ clove garlic
1 roasted pepper plus 1 tbsp oil from jar
4 sundried tomatoes plus 1 tbsp oil from jar
1 ½ tbsp tomato puree
1 ½ tbsp red wine vinegar
a few basil leaves
salt and pepper

Topping

sundried tomatoes
basil
feta

Method


  1. Whizz up the dressing ingredients and taste for seasoning, then set aside.
  2. Cook your desired pasta until al dente, then cool under cold water, to stop the cooking process.
  3. Toss the cold pasta in the dressing and then fold in some chopped sundried tomatoes, fresh basil and crumble in some feta.


Enjoy!

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Lemon Sponge Cake with Lemon Cream & Strawberries

...AND A PRIZE DRAW OPEN TO UK BLOGGERS.


















I made this cake the same day I saw it on Sylvie's blog - A Pot of Tea and a Biscuit. I mean how could I resist? I am sure you have all experienced that immediate lust when you see a recipe and fall in love. Store cupboard permitting, it just has to be made the same day!

It was serendipity! I was trying to decide which cake I should make and take along to my parent's house that evening and low and behold there it was in all it's sumptuousness!

I changed it into cup measures, because I prefer baking this way now, but if you would like the cake recipe in metric, visit Sylvie's blog for the original recipe.


















Lemon Sponge Cake with Lemon Cream & Strawberries

Cake

1 cup self-raising flour
1 tbsp baking powder
100g/ 1 stick butter
½ cup caster sugar
2 tbsp lemon curd
grated rind of 1 large lemon
2 large eggs, whisked
1tbsp lemon juice


Topping

1 cup whipping cream
2 tbsp of caster sugar
juice of ½ lemon


(tweak this until it is to your own taste, by adding a little lemon juice at a time)

Strawberries

Method


Preheat your oven to 175 C/Gas 3-4

Grease and line a 2 lb loaf tin or round cake tin.

Put all the cake ingredients together into a large bowl & mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon and then a hand held mixer for a maximum of 3 minutes.

Pour into the prepared loaf or cake tin & bake for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Once the cake has cooled, whip up the cream with the sugar and lemon juice and spread across the cake. Sylvie mixed some lemon curd and icing sugar into double cream for her cake, which sounds great too.

Finally top with halved strawberries.

Making this cake was a piece of cake, please ignore the pun! It was just so easy and quick to put together, but with stunning results. It got high marks from my parents and from Graham. Although Graham would have preferred the cream without the lemon juice, but then he is never a huge fan of lemon.

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On another note, I have just learned of a rather brilliant competition open to UK Bloggers.

Those lovely peeps over at Gaviscon Double Action are offering fabulous prizes in their The Nations Favorite Double Act Competition.

First Prize is a £200 voucher for two, to dine at Anthony Worrall Thompson’s restaurant, The Greyhound, in Henley-Thames, plus one night’s stay at the Hotel du Vin in Henley, and £100 toward travel expenses.

33 runners-up will receive a signed copy of ‘Fast Family Food’ by Anthony Worrall Thompson.

Not bad as far as prizes go, huh?

In a recent survey done by Gaviscon Double Action (a heartburn and indigestion remedy), they discovered that Apple Crumble & Custard is the nation’s favourite Double Act pudding. Now who is going to argue with that? It is perfect comfort food.

Apparently, 58% of Brits admit that they would not turn down the offer of a pudding under any circumstances and 16% of men are eating their favourite pudding once a month compared to 17% of women. Those poor men musn't have a food blogger living with them or I am sure the percentage would be much, much higher!

All you have to do to enter this prize draw, is to choose from the 11 favourite puddings listed and then enter your details. It is too good an opportunity to miss!
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