Summer Tomato Soup

Summer Tomato Soup

 

With local tomatoes now in abundance, this is an ideal time to make a pot of summer tomato soup. This recipe produces a thin, flavoursome soup with just a hint of basil. Just right for a light lunch with some crusty bread.

 

Summer Tomato Soup
Prepares: 8 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 30 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 60ml (2 fl oz) extra virgin oil (¼ cup)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 16 large ripe tomatoes
  • 240ml (8 fl oz) chicken stock (1 cup)
  • handful fresh basil leaves, plus extra for garnishing
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Equipment
  • large saucepan (a stock pan works well)


  1. Method
  2. Heat the oil in the pan over a medium heat.

  3. Add the onion and garlic. Stir to coat with the oil and then reduce the heat and cook gently for 3 minutes.

  4. Quarter the tomatoes and add to the pan. Increase the heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally while also breaking down the tomatoes. A potato masher works really well for this.

  5. Stir in the chicken stock, basil leaves, and seasoning and let it simmer for a further 10 minutes.

  6. Remove from the heat and let it cool. Strain through a sieve, pushing through all the juice from the vegetables.

  7. In a clean pan, reheat the soup and serve garnished with a few basil leaves along with some crusty bread.

 

Mediterranean Chicken

Mediterranean Chicken

 

There is just so much flavour in this chicken dish which is served with fettuccine.

Peppers are cooked first to bring out their flavour and sweetness, then added with the chicken to a garlic and basil tomato sauce with courgette/zucchini slices and onions.

 

Mediterranean Chicken
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 35 minutes
  • Cooking time: 50 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 1 red pepper, quartered and deseeded
  • 1 yellow pepper, quartered and deseeded
  • 4 chicken breasts, skinned
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut into half-moons shapes
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 courgette/zucchini, halved lengthways then cut into 1cm/½ inch slices
  • 2 × 400g/28 fl oz can chopped/diced tomatoes
  • 20g fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 1 tsp light brown soft sugar
  • salt and pepper

  • To serve
  • fettuccine

  • Equipment
  • a large sauté pan


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the grill/broiler for 10 minutes.

  3. Place the peppers on a baking tray, skin side up, then grill/broil until the skin has blackened and blistered. Remove from the heat and place in a plastic food storage bag using tongs. Seal the bag and leave to become cool. (The steam that is released helps to lift the skin away from the flesh.)

  4. Meanwhile, season the chicken. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the pan. Add the chicken and, over a medium heat, brown on both sides. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.

  5. Add the other tablespoon of oil to the pan, reduce the heat to low, add the onions and cook until softened and coloured around the edges, 10 minutes.

  6. Next, add the garlic and courgette slices, cover the pan and cook for a further 4–5 minutes, until the courgettes have started to soften.

  7. While the vegetables are cooking, peel off the skins of the peppers and cut the flesh into thin strips.

  8. Finally, add the tomatoes, half the basil, sugar and peppers to the pan and season. Bring the sauce to a simmer, then return the chicken breasts to the pan, pushing them down into the pan. Cook, uncovered, over a gentle heat, for 20 minutes, turning the chicken halfway through.

  9. Serve with fettuccine and the remaining basil scattered on top.