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I often do a quick soup on a Monday night, usually using real chicken stock from Sunday's roast. However, this super quick recipe requires no stock or water at all and I use the term 'recipe' lightly as it's really just an assembly job. It's so simple that CoCo practically did the first part herself.
The girls asked for tomato soup and soldiers for supper on the way to school today - and my version of the popular brand is so much more delicious, nutritious and far less sugar. And it genuinely takes about five minutes longer than opening a tin of something rhyming with Shines.
Whenever I cook, Paul asks when everyone else is arriving. I think it makes good sense to batch as much as you. Whilst I love cooking, there are plenty of other things that I love more and it's always good to have delicious left overs for tomorrow's lunch. I tend batch cook soup once a week which means that there are always three or four varieties in the freezer - ready to throw into my work bag any given morning or feed the children on a night I can just about face operating the microwave. I’ll share some of my other favourite soup recipes soon
Whenever we have chicken, salmon or beef for dinner - I cook double. Steak and green beans is re-incarnated into an Asian beef salad for work the next day, chicken en papilotte into a chopped chicken salad and salmon steaks into a gorgeous nicoise with the left over cold veggies. It's a really good time saving habit to get into - and it reduces the temptation of buying sandwiches that do nothing for me other than want me to take a nap under my desk. It also pretty much ensures that you double your vegetable quota, which is a great thing. I always, always put cold crunchy veggies into my salads, which make them so much more substantial, and unlike my mother’s salads of 1985. Our work kitchen is full of beautiful oils, vinegars, toasted nuts and seeds, capers, olives, nut butters for dressings and plenty of limes and lemons - meaning you can turn the most depressed leftover into something that you wouldn't mind serving to Ottolenghi. It's a really good habit to get in to, whether you work in an office or at home.
This soup is a Vitamix creation which I use all the time. I often roast along with some garlic whatever is left in the vegetable drawer, blend it in the Vitamix and it’s delicious. I absolutely love my Vitamix. I was one of many things I purchased in the wee hours of the morning breastfeeding one of the girls – and the only thing that wasn't returned promptly after my cooling off period. They cost a fortune – but I have used mine every day for five years and it’s one of the things I would save if my house were burning down. It blends soups and smoothies down so intensely that it heightens the flavour of everything you put in it. I did an experiment with the same soup once with a hand held blender and a Vitamix and the taste difference was astounding. Save up for one – they’re fabulous. I may even share with you my chocolate almond nut butter recipe with you one day.
Anyway, I digress. Tonight’s soup.
o Throw 12 large tomatoes into a roasting tin, with 3 red peppers (whole, don't bother de-seeding it but do remove the stickers although I have left these on before and it was fine) and a bulb of garlic cut in half (unpeeled)
o Add a glug of olive oil, really good balsamic, a teaspoon of Malden sea salt or Kosher salt and a good grind of pepper.
o Roast at 200 degrees for 20 minutes and leave to cool for 5 minutes.
o Empty into a good blender, ideally a Vitamix (I am not on commission although quite frankly I should be), along with 1 teaspoon of Truvia and another glug of balsamic.
o Blend for 2 minutes (be careful and do keep a tea towel over the lid as it’s molten hot and goes badly with Farrow and Ball)
o Serve with cubed beetroot, crumbled goats cheese, capers and toasted almonds.
Just remember that if you’re following a Louise Parker Programme, your Dietician will be watching to see you add protein – so either top it with some leftover chicken, some crumbled cheese, a dollop of Total Greek or a handful of tinned cannellini beans. It’ll keep you in that beautiful fat burning mode that we always speak of.
For the girls or skinny guests I pan fry sourdough in olive oil, salt and pepper and do enormous croutons, which are delicious and perfectly acceptable if you’re in maintenance and not on The Optimum Weight Loss or The Intensive. If you are still in weight loss mode, keep tomato-based meals to once or twice a week, as the concentrated sugars will slow down your weight loss a tiny bit. But it’s very good to eat cooked tomatoes as the cooking process increases the antioxidant activity, which is great for fighting disease and basically keeping you beautiful.
Enjoy! Please tweet me @figuremagician or leave a message on my Instagram page (also @figuremagician) if you have any questions or topics that you would like me to blog about.