Seeming as Al isn't here I can please myself and eat what I want and that includes soup (which he isn't overly fond of). There have been other benefits to not having my lovely bloke around, but I best not list them or it might look like I actually prefer not having him here (which, my darling I definitely don't) He he! Al landed in SA in one piece, his flight was uneventful except for the fact that the guy he sat next to rank body odour (urgh!). Al is sharing a flat with 2 folks and his room over looks the sea. Though it is winter in SA the weather is more like the end of our summer. He has his first day at the hospital tomorrow, I hope he settles in OK.
So back to the recipe. I have always been a soup head, thick or thin, hot or cold, summer or winter, soup is good. I love the way that it can be a meal in bowl and you don't have to concentrate too much on your food as you shovel spoon mouthfuls in and at the same time you can read a book/do your crossword/even chat with your sister.
This is a made-up soup, but it probably is just a version of a tomato soup. It really does taste like pizza, minus the doughy base. You probably have the ingredients for it right now (which beats going to the boring grocery store). Oh and it's very low in fat, but it fills you up (woo what is this black magic soup?) Also this soup is a good way to con the kids into eating their veggies - I've yet to meet a child who didn't love pizza...
You will need:
- 1 x can of plum tomatoes - the larger sized can
- 1 x can of red kidney beans or whatever beans you like - the larger sized can
- 1 x pepper - red or yellow if you have 'em (they're sweeter)
- 1 x med - large onion
- as many garlic cloves as desired. I LOVE garlic so use fooouuurrrr large cloves in this soup
- big pinch of mixed herbs
- A good glug of olive or veg oil
- half a chicken or veg stock cube
- salt and pepper, and a pinch of sugar (though you shouldn't need sugar if your veggies are ripe)
- Large handful of cooked meat leftovers (with fat removed) that you might have hanging around in your fridge; ham, bacon, chicken, chorizo sausage, roast beef, whatever, this soup isn't fussy.
- vegetarian folks can of course load up on different veggies in place of the meat
- good splash of Tabasco (or equivalent) sauce will give the soup a nice little kick (optional)
- any sort of melty stringy cheese (the stringier the better, kids love the stringy stuff). I'm quite partial to Gruyere myself.
Putting the soup together
- Cut up all of your veggies quite small and to roughly the same size. Mince the garlic.
- Heat a good splash of olive oil in a med saucepan and throw in all of the cut up veggies and garlic. Cook gently without colouring for 10 mins.
- Drain and rinse the beans. Add beans to the pan and cook all gently for a further 5 mins. Add a little water if things are getting a bit dry.
- Add the half of stock cube to the pan. Mush it up so it melts into the mixture.
- Tip the tomatoes into the pan and break them up with your spoon. Fill can full of water and add to the pan.
- Add meat leftovers and a few splashes of Tabaso to taste (if using). Give everything stir. Mmm smelling yummy! Turn heat down to a simmer, partly cover with lid, and cook for a further 15 - 20 mins.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Hopefully your onion and pepper were sweet, if not you might need a small pinch of sugar in the soup. Add a big pinch of mixed herbs.
- Ladle into soup bowls and grate some stringy cheese on top. If you have guests coming around pop a basil leaf or two on top. If you're on your lonesome forget the basil, get your spoon out, and pick up where you left off with Oscar & Lucinda. Ah bliss!