Panzanellaish salad.

I had some stale sourdough bread and some tomato juice drained from a tin of chopped tomatoes. I thought I’d make panzanella with it. I had no red onion or cucumber, so this is my version. it’s panzanella ish.

juice from 16oz tin of chopped tomatoes
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
25 black olives, pitted and halved
1 tablespoon small capers
1/2 a stale sourdough loaf, torn into large chunks
100g mange tout, blanched
350g good ripe tomatoes
5 spring onions, chopped
a big handful of torn basil leaves
sea salt
ground black pepper
squeeze of lemon juice

Whisk the tomato juice, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper together in a large bowl. add the bread and toss to coat every piece.

Leave to stand for five minutes.

Toss the rest of the ingredients, apart from the basil, into the bowl so that everything is coated in the dressing.

Leave to stand at room temperature for about 20 minutes.

Add basil, adjust seasoning and serve. It’s delicious.

Rosemary and bay scented onion, garlic and potato soup

Lots of garlic!
Lots of garlic!

I’ve been meaning to start sharing soup recipes again for ages. This morning I made a soup so delicious I just had to share it more widely.

3 tablespoons light vegetable oil (I used sunflower oil)
5 medium onions, chopped finely
about a dozen fat cloves garlic, chopped finely
3 large white potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1cm cubes
2 pints vegetable stock
good handful of white urid dal
2 bay leaves
3 large sprigs fresh rosemary
juice of half a lemon
ground white pepper

In a large saucepan, gently saute onions until translucent. Do this on a low heat, slowly, being careful not to colour the onions.

Add the garlic and continue to cook until the garlic is soft.

Add the potatoes, and coat on oniony, garlicy oil.

Soup simmering gently. Smells wonderful.
Soup simmering gently. Smells wonderful.

Add the stock, bring the boil, and add the bay leaves and rosemary, together with the white urid dal (you could leave this out if you can’t find it, it thickens the soup, and adds a bit of protein, but the soup will be just as tasty without it).

Season with salt and white pepper.

Simmer gently until the dal and potatoes are soft.

When cooked, blitz until smooth.

Add a good squeeze of lemon juice, and check seasoning. You’ll probably need to add a bit more salt and white pepper.

You can add a bit of cream/soya cream/ milk/soya milk if you like your soup more creamy.

Smooth, creamy, sweet and delicious.
Smooth, creamy, sweet and delicious.

Serve with some delicious crusty bread.

This soup is surprisingly sweet and complex in flavour.

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