If all your tomatoes have ripened at once or there are bowls of them going cheap on the market stalls, now is the time to make tomato soup – so different and so much better than the canned variety.
cook 25 minutes
1 medium-sized onion
1 small potato
2 cloves of garlic
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp tomato paste
450ml (¾ pint) vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste
Tip: Good quality stock will always improve any soup. Knorr Stock Pots are not bad as a substitute for real homemade stock.
Chop the onion and potato; quarter the tomatoes.
Melt the margarine and sauté the onion until transparent.
Add the potato, tomatoes, garlic, bay leaf, tomato paste and stock.
Cover and simmer for 20 mins.
Take off the heat, stir in the milk and remove the bay leaf. Blend in a liquidiser or use a handheld blender to give a smooth consistency. Taste to adjust the seasoning
Reheat to serving temperature.
Turkish Turlu Turlu
(adapted from Moro by Sam and Sam Clark)
This is a great early autumn dish: a slightly different take on roasted veg.
cook 45 minutes
3 medium courgettes, cut into 2cm discs
1 aubergine, cut in half lengthways and then each half cut into 4 wedges lengthways
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, thickly sliced
2 green peppers, halved, seeded and thickly sliced
3 medium carrots, peeled, halved across, each half cut lengthways and then cut into thick sticks
200g turnips, cut into 2cm wedges
2 medium potatoes, cut into 2 cm cubes
3–4 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp ground allspice
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 bunch each flat-leafed parsley and coriander, chopped
Salt and pepper
Prepare all the veg as above. Sprinkle a teaspoon of sea salt on the courgettes and aubergine and let them stand for 20 mins before rinsing them under cold water.
Preheat the oven to 200C.
Put the aubergine, garlic, onion, peppers, carrots, turnips and potatoes in a large bowl. Add the oil and turn the vegetables over in it, then add the allspice and coriander seeds and a little salt and pepper.
Now spread out the vegetables in a large roasting tray in a single layer. I find I need two trays to do this. They are to roast, not steam. Put the trays into the hot oven.
Gently turn the vegetables in the tray after 15 mins and again after another 15 mins. They should be looking quite well roasted by now, in which case add the courgettes for the final 15 mins.
Meanwhile, put the chickpeas in a pan with the passata and heat up gently to a simmer.
When the roasted vegetables are ready, combine everything into one big dish or tray with the chickpeas and passata and the chopped fresh herbs all stirred in.
Serve some lovely crusty bread with this to help clean the plate at the end!
Meatballs in Tomato Sauce
There are likely to be good deals on minced beef and minced lamb in many shops. Although Waitrose has a reputation for being expensive, they have a very ethical approach to animal welfare and sustainable farming and even they have special offers. These meatballs shouldn’t be too expensive and they do taste very good.
cook 2 hours 20 minutes
500g minced lamb (or beef if you prefer)
1 large onion, minced or very finely chopped
1 heaped tsp turmeric
½ tsp ground cinnamon
2 heaped tsp ground cumin
1½ sea salt flakes
Large handful currants
40g flat-leafed parsley, finely chopped
2 eggs, beaten
1 onion, chopped
3 or 4 large tomatoes, quartered
Make the sauce first. Heat the oil in a large pot and soften the onion, stirring. Add the fresh tomatoes and the garlic. Stir and cook for about 5–10 mins, then add the spices, sugar, salt and pepper; stir again and continue cooking for up to 10 mins.
Now add the tinned tomatoes. Bring the pot up to a simmer and finally add the half Stock Pot and 250ml of water, stirring everything again. Now let the sauce simmer on a low heat for at least an hour, maybe 2 hours.
To make the meatballs, simply put everything except the oil in a bowl and use your hands to mix it all together very thoroughly, massaging and squeezing it to make a smooth, well-combined mixture.
Now form the mixture into balls about the size of a table tennis ball – you should get around 16. Drizzle some oil into a frying pan over a medium heat and cook the meatballs for a few minutes on each side so there is a nice crust on the outside. Don’t overcrowd the pan – cook them in more than one batch.
When they are cooked, pop them straight into the tomato sauce and let them simmer in the sauce for a further 20 mins or so. Serve with couscous or rice.
2 tbsp of oil
1 bulb of garlic cloves, peeled & bashed
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp sugar
400g can chopped
250ml lamb or beef stock made with half a Knorr Stock Pot