This is a delicious cold summer soup from Andalusia, Spain.
So easy to make, you will also get your 5 a day!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Chill: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Yield: 6 Servings
3 lb. ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, coarsely chopped
2 slices of white bread, crust removed
2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, coarsely chopped
1 small red onion, coarsely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 green bell peppers (or any sweet green pepper)
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
salt to taste
1 tsp each of cucumber and green pepper, finely chopped
3-4 croutons (optional)
Soak the bread in a small amount (few tablespoons) of water. Gently remove and “squeeze” dry.
Tip: The easiest way to peel tomatoes is to boil water in a medium saucepan. As soon as water boils, turn off heat and place the tomatoes into the hot water for 1 minute. Carefully remove hot tomatoes. The skin will rub off easily.
Place the tomatoes, bread, cucumbers, onions, garlic and peppers in a blender. Blend until the mixture is smooth. All the ingredients may not fit at one time, so you may have to fill the blender several times.
Once gazpacho is completely blended, pour it into a large non-metallic bowl. Stir in the oil and vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Garnish with the chopped vegetables and croutons, if desired. Serve gazpacho chilled.
I am always looking for new sauces for pasta that are healthy. I saw this in Delicious Magazine and I think it looks worth a try! It is a healthy type of pesto sauce using delicious winter greens.
A tasty healthy pasta sauce. A good one to use up the winter veggies.
- 100g kale, shredded
- 100g brussels sprouts, quartered
- 75g hazelnuts, toasted
- 25g pine nuts, toasted
- 85g pecorino (or vegetarian alternative), grated, plus extra
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 125ml olive oil
- Juice of a lemon
- 400g spaghetti
- Whizz the kale, sprouts, toasted nuts, pecorino and garlic in a food processor. Gradually drizzle in the oil as you whizz, then add the lemon juice to form a thick paste. Season well. If the mixture is too thick, loosen it with a splash of water.
- Cook the spaghetti according to the packet instructions until al dente, then drain and return to the saucepan with 2 tbsp of the cooking liquid. Toss through the pesto you’ve made, then serve scattered with extra pecorino.
In case you have a huge bowl of uneaten brussel sprouts and carrots left over from Christmas do not despair.
Fry 2 cloves of crushed garlic in olive oil add 1 tin of chopped tomatoes. Add the sprouts and carrots, sprigs of fresh thyme, a little rosemary if you have it, a stock cube mixed with a few TBSP of water. Let it heat through and you will have a yummy vegetable leftover dish!
A delicious old fashioned fruit Trifle pudding that will be a hit with the entire family. I have added a secret ingredient to give it a delicious sweetness. It is easy to make and can be prepared a day in advance, but leave the decoration on the top until you serve it.
A delicious and easy trifle for the entire family.
Ingredients for 12
- 2 packs of sponge fingers or trifle sponge
- 2 x tins of apricots in juice (234g pots)
- 2 packets of raspberry jelly
- 1 1/2 pints of custard (add 1/2 tsp vanilla essence)
- 3 Bananas sliced
- 4 meringues.
- 800ml of whipping cream (whipped until soft peaks drop easily from the spoon)
- Use a glass dish or bowl (I have used a bowl)
- Melt the jelly either in a microwave or in a saucepan with a little water.
- Liquidize the 2 tins of apricots and make up to 2 pints of liquid by adding water.
- Mix the apricot liquid into the jelly.
- Dip in the sponge fingers or biscuits into the apricot jelly and line the base of the bowl and a little up the sides.
- Gradually add the rest of the jelly on top of the sponge fingers and layer up with the remaining sponge fingers.
- Make the custard according to the instructions and when as thick as double cream, whisk in the vanilla essence.
- Pour over the sponge fingers.
- Slice the banana and spread them out over the custard.
- Crumble up the meringue and put over the bananas (see below)
- Last but not least add the whipped cream on the top, sprinkle with hundreds and thousands or chocolate strands and serve!
Meringue sprinkled on top of the banana
Ready to serve
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
- 1 cup melted butter
- 1/2 tsp. saffron threads, finely crumbled (or 1 tsp. powdered saffron)
- 1 cup milk
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 pkg. dry active yeast (4 1/2 tsp)
- 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs, well-beaten, plus one egg white
- raisins or currants to decorate
Crumble saffron threads into melted butter. Let sit 30 minutes to an hour (this intensifies the saffron flavor).
Heat milk to a light boil, turning off heat when it reaches the scalding point (with small bubbles across the top). Stir in melted butter, sugar, and salt. Pour mixture into mixing bowl and allow to cool until “finger-warm” (still quite warm, but just cool enough to touch). Stir in yeast and let sit for 10 minutes.
Mix 3 1/2 cups flour into liquid. Stir in two well-beaten eggs. Add enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough (just until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. You don't want to add too much flour).
Transfer dough to a large greased bowl and turn to coat all sides. Cover with a clean towel and allow to rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
Punch down risen dough. Lightly knead two or three times on a floured surface. Pinch off small handfuls of dough (about the size of a racquetball) and roll into "snakes." Shape snakes into "S"-shaped buns or other desired shapes (please see my photo gallery of Lucia buns for traditional examples). Place on a lightly greased baking sheet, cover with the towel again, and allow to rise until doubled (about an hour).
Decorate buns with raisins, brush with egg white, and bake in preheated 375º oven about 15 minutes, just until brown. Yield: 20 St. Lucia Buns ("Lussekatter") St. Lucia buns may be made ahead of time, frozen, and quickly reheated in the microwave before serving.
As always I was in a hurry and the children were hungry. As it happened, I had ready rolled shortcrust pastry in the fridge so I decided to make a cheats Pizza!
cooked and ready to eat!
- 1 pre-rolled shortcrust pastry placed onto a rectangular baking tray.
- Pre-bake it in the oven until it is almost cooked (about 15 mins). The reason I do this is so that the base is not soggy.
- Don’t worry if it makes bubbles, when you take it out of the oven just pierce them with a knife.
- Tomato Sauce. You can use pre-made Dolmio or any good supermarket will have their own brand. I made my own tomato sauce from the tomatoes I had left on the vine. (8 lg tomatoes roughly chopped, 3 cloves of garlic crushed, olive oil, salt and pinch of sugar) I put all of the ingredients into a hi-sided frying pan and let it cook until it was syrupy and the tomatoes soft. Refrigerate for a couple of days if you think you might need it or freeze it until you know you do!
- Spread the tomato sauce over the pizza base (if you prefer a smooth sauce, liquidize it before you use it.)
- Grate cheese over the top. Sadly the mozzarella I thought I had lurking in the fridge was mouldy! So I resorted to the pack of Gruyere which was easy to grate and a delicious surprise.
- Put in the pre-heated oven 180 deg until ready about 10 minutes.
Serve with salad
Did you know that you can make delicious and quick pastry in a food processor?
A top tip is to use the pulse setting, so that you avoid over handling the mixture which can result in hard, dry pastry – a common fault in pastry making.
Ingredients for 10oz of pastry
- 200g / 7 oz plain flour
- Pinch of salt
- 110g / 4 oz butter, cubed or an equal mix of butter and lard
- 2-3 tbsp very cold water or 1 egg yolk mixed with a little water (this makes a richer pastry)
- Place the the flour, butter and salt into the bowl of the processor.
- Using only the pulse setting, pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Avoid over mixing if you can,
- Through the funnel on the top of the processor, slowly add the water a little at a time until the mixture comes together in a ball.
- Wrap the pastry in Clingfilm / plastic wrap and chill as above in the hand-made method.
After 1/2 hour you can roll it out and use.
Remember when you roll out use a little flour, just enough to stop the pastry sticking and remember to flour your rolling pin too.
These is the most delicious pseudocereal, neither a grain nor cereal but seeds that behave like coucous. They swell up when cooked and have a delicious nutty flavour.
- Rinse and cook the Quinoa according to the cooking instructions.
- Fry 1.5 Tablespoons of pine nuts and sunflower seeds (or whatever seeds you may have lurking in the larder) and put aside.
- I steamed fresh broad beans, broccoli and courgette (don’t overcook them, they need to retain their crunchiness) then drained and refreshed with cold water to keep the colour.
- Chopped up 3 lg tomatoes and mixed into the quinoa. Chop up herbs (parsley, thyme, chives) use any or all of these and mix them into the quinoa.
- Put the quinoa into a dish and mix in your favourite oil and vinegar dressing. If you prefer a oriental flavour why not try this dressing:
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger root
3/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup water
Assemble the salad by mixing the quinoa with the herbs, place the quinoa in the dish making a well in the centre for the vegetables. Sprinkle with the nuts and you are ready!
This looks as good as it tastes and would be a great way to use up any left over chicken. Surround it with a collection of lettuce and pile the chicken and broccoli in the centre.
Delicious oriental flavored chicken salad
- 3 chicken breasts or the meat off 1 pre cooked chicken.
- 1 .5 heads of broccoli
- 1/5 pack of sesame seeds browned in a frying pan
- 1.5 TBSP Soy sauce
- 1tsp nut oil mixed with 4 TBSP light olive oil
Shred the chicken pieces into a bowl. Steam the broccoli and refresh under cold water (this keeps the colour) and mix with the chicken. Brown the sesame seeds in a frying pan. Mix the soy sauce and oils (adjust this to your taste and add chili peppers if you like it hot) and add it to the sesame seeds. Mix the chicken with the soy/sesame sauce (make more if you need it) Put the salad leaves on the outer edge of a dish and pile the chicken mixture in the middle. Serve with crusty bread.
The recipe for this is just a guide so you can change it to suit your tastes!