Saturday, 28 April 2012

Red alphabet soup

I was thinking that it was about time that I posted a savoury recipe, you know, something with vegetables or meat in it! I do love to bake, so it tends to be what I most enjoy blogging about. However, opting not to blog about the meals that we make in the Thermomix would be contrary to how I use it most!  Almost every night I recruit the Thermomix to prepare and cook our family dinners. In fact, to simplify dinner preparation, I have converted many of our family favourites for the TM, and many of our new favourites are TM recipes that I have adapted slightly from the Thermomix series of cookbooks. 

Over winter, I probably make a soup a week because the Thermomix is outstanding in this role. I love how I can weigh, chop and cook all in the one machine, plus I absolutely adore using Thermomix-made stock. Have you ever read the ingredient list on a box of stock cubes?! They often contain additives such as colours, flavours, even MSG! I would always try to purchase the most natural ones I could find, and although I should have made my own stock from scratch on the stovetop, which I have done once or twice in the past, I was never fond of doing this, so it never really became a habit. These days of course I make my own in the Thermomix . . . much more enjoyable, so unbelievably easy and the result is fresh, nutrient-rich, flavoursome, absolutely divine stock concentrate! I try to use the freshest organic ingredients to make both vegetable and chicken stock paste, which I store in sterilised glass jars and always have on hand in the fridge. They really bring something extra to any dish that requires stock. I will never ever purchase commercial stock again! 

So now for this week's recipe, my girls usually enjoy it with my Spinach, fetta & rice fingers . . . . we call it Red soup with alphabet pasta!  The 'red' originates from the days when my younger daughter refused to eat tomato. But red soup quickly became a favourite, and mummy soon revealed what it was made from :)

I have been making this recipe for my girls for a few years now, but have recently adapted it for the Thermomix. Originally the recipe was very fussy and fiddly and involved de-seeding the tomatoes, chargrilling the capsicum & removing the skin . . . no longer with my Thermie! It is so powerful that it grinds the seeds and capsicum skin so that they are completely unrecognisable by my most loyal critics and mummy is grateful of the added nutrition (plus less fiddle & mess) of keeping these bits in!

I'm sure that your children will love this delicious, sweet roasted tomato (& red capsicum) soup with fun alphabet pasta. But it certainly isn't just for children! Often I reserve half of the soup to enjoy without the addition of the alphabet pasta or I use rissoni in it's place.

Red soup with alphabet pasta

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, quartered
1 kg vine-ripened tomatoes, halved
1 red capsicum, seeds removed, chopped roughly
3 garlic cloves
1 tbsp sucanat (rapadura) sugar 
2 tbsp TM vegetable stock concentrate
600g filtered water
100g alphabet or risoni pasta

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
  2. Add the onion to the TM bowl and chop for 2-3 seconds on speed 7. Add 1 tbsp olive oil and sauté for 3 minutes at 100°C on speed 1.
  3. Add tomatoes, red capsicum, garlic cloves and sugar to the TM bowl and season well with freshly ground black pepper. With the lid in closed position, press the turbo button 2-3 times. 
  4. Empty the contents of the TM bowl into a deep casserole dish and roast uncovered in the oven. The mixture will be quite sloppy. Open the oven a couple of times to stir the tomato mixture. Remove from the oven after 20-25 minutes.
  5. Carefully pour the roasted tomato mixture into the TM bowl. Hold the TM cup firmly in place and slowly wind the dial up to speed 10 and puree for 1 minute
  6. Add the stock paste and water and mix for a further 30 seconds on speed 5. 
  7. Add the alphabet pasta and heat for 7-9 minutes (or as per instructions for the pasta) at 100°C on reverse, speed 1.
  8. Ladle soup into bowls or large mugs to serve. Enjoy!

No Thermomix? 

Roast chopped vegetables as I have described after sautéing the onion on the stovetop, and puree using a stick blender or food processor. I would char-grill the capsicum separate, peel and add at the blending stage. As mentioned, I would also de-seed the tomatoes.
Use 2 stock cubes or 600ml of liquid stock in place of the TM vegetable stock concentrate.

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