Tag Archives: roasted tomato soup

Roasted Tomato Soup

2 Nov

Tomato Soup Oregano

I recently served this dish with a 7 course dinner whilst in Vancouver. I was trying to replicate a soup which I had at Starbucks at Muir Woods, just outside of San Francisco. Yes Starbucks! To be honest, I was quite surprised to see that just about everything on their menu was either organic, fair trade, pesticide-free or gluten-free.

It may have been the contrast of coming in from the cold weather to a warm cup of soup that made it really special. Not sure. Nonetheless, this soup took us back to that moment, is tasty and very easy to make.

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 250g of cherry tomatoes (any tomatoes will do, I just happened to have baby cherry)
  • 3 tbs of olive oil
  • 1/2 white onion, diced finely
  • 1 small clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp of dried oregano or thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method

Roast tomatoes in an oven for about 30 minutes at 180C (350F) then remove skin.

In a saucepan, saute onion in olive oil until translucent, then add garlic and cook until garlic is soft.

Add tomato flesh, saute for another 5 minutes. Add stock, stir and simmer uncovered until consistency is thick (I like my soup thick, similar to a smoothie).

Take off the heat, add oregano. Use a stick blender or food processor to blitz until smooth.

Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm with oregano croutons and garnish with dried oregano.

Tip: When frying croutons in skillet, just add the desired herb or spice to the oil to infuse the croutons.

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7 course dinner…at home

28 Oct

tasting menu

Recently, I spent last the 2 weeks of summer in Vancouver. Whilst I did get to savor some amazing food at several restaurants, I also had that one chance, to put my skills to the test and baptize a new kitchen.

A friend of mine had told me about a 5 course dinner that he had cooked to woo his girlfriend. I had to go one step further and cook an elaborate 7 course dinner. I have never cooked something so elaborate before and never in a kitchen I am unfamiliar with, but then I was not going to let that daunt me. I love challenges!

Leading up to the big day, I’d sourced enough ingredients to make 5 courses but needed to decide on another 2. Fortunately, two nights prior, I’d been watching an amazing documentary Step Up To the Plate. It provided plenty of inspiration, but in no way was it going to turn me into a 3 star Michelin chef overnight!

I still needed 2 more entrees. I narrowed it down to dishes which I thought would be hearty but not the stuff-you-silly kind. Soup it was. Besides, it was miserable outside, summer was coming to an end and rain, wind, cold was setting in.

Some of the dishes I made up, others I drew on inspiration and from participation at the Mondo Organics cooking class. Detailed recipes to follow.

Kale pesto on sourdough (original recipe by Brenda Fawdon)

Leafy green salad with semi-dried cranberries, pecans, goat milk fetta with a balsamic and agave dressing

Roasted tomato soup with thyme croutons

Wild mushroom soup with saffron croutons

Roasted pumpkin spelt gnocchi with sage butter sauce

Beetroot pearl barley risotto (adapted from original recipe by Brenda Fawdon)

Chocolate tofu tarts (adapted from original recipe by Brenda Fawdon)

Out and about in Vancouver and San Francisco

16 Oct

The abundant seafood along with many immigrants from the far east has created the perfect environment for eating sushi in Vancouver. There are probably more sushi restaurants per capita in Vancouver than any other city in the world, perhaps even more than in Tokyo! They are literally on every city block, in shopping centres, food courts, etc…

Could Vancouver be the sushi capital of the world? We’ll I don’t have the statistics to support such a statement but one thing I can vouch for is that it was some of the freshest, tastiest and cheapest sushi I’d ever eaten! If only I had my camera on all the occasions that I’d been eating sushi.

Sushi and Sashimi Porn…

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donburi vancouversamurai avocado

tofusushi vancouver

Not only did I come across many sushi restaurants in Vancouver but also a wide variety of Chinese, Malaysian and Thai restaurants too. Unfortunately I only have one stomach and am limited to eating 3 times a day so I wasn’t able to rival my sushi indulgence with other Asian delicacies. I did however sample a few dishes like hand-cut noodles, chili-garlic eggplant and salty-spicy tofu at The Peaceful; kacang ikan bilis (fried anchovies with peanuts) and roti canai at Tropika; probably the best laksa of late at Hawkers Delight; and, some decent papaya salad at Bob likes Thai Food.

Hawkers Delight Laksa…

hawkers delight

The food choices in Vancouver weren’t limited to Asian either: fine dining vegetarian at the Acorn and the well established West, my first Thanks Giving Dinner experience and I even stepped up to the plate to prepare a 7 course dinner!

The Acorn…

vancouvervegetarianthe acorn

Thanks Giving Dinner…

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Samples from the 7 course dinner…(through the eyes of my exclusive diner)

kaleagave dressingTomato SoupIMG_0294

IMG_0290wild mushroomsIMG_0314IMG_0275

And it wasn’t all about Vancouver too. San Francisco offered some of the best Mexican food I’d tasted outside of Mexico. Sadly, the camera wasn’t always on hand to capture what was delighting my taste buds and nourishing my stomach. Two vegetarian restaurants worthy of a mention were Greens (the longest standing) and Millennium (contemporary).

Tacolicious Mission SF…

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