chips n gravy

Posts Tagged ‘tomato

Last Saturday edition of Herald Sun’s Weekend Food has a recipe of Jamie Oliver’s Sweet White Bean and Roast Tomato Soup. Which reminds me of my own version of a similar soup. My photos may not look as great as the one in the paper, but I hope this will not stop any of you reading this post to deter from making it. The ingredients are easy to get and the soup are so simple to prepare. Jamie suggest you make a grilled crostini with homemade pesto to go with the soup. I serve mine with homemade Black rye Guinness sourdough, toast/grill and serve with your best butter. I will include Jamie’s recipe for those that does not read Herald Sun and also my own recipe.



MY version of the soup.


  • 800gm tinned cannellini beans, drain 1 tin, and reserve the liquid of another.
  • 1 tin whole Italian Roma tomatoes
  • 500gm really ripe fresh tomatoes
  • 1 brown onion, chopped
  • 1 whole clove or a generous handful of garlic pips. (I used really lovely and fragrant purple elephant garlic)
  • 750ml chicken stock
  • fleur de sel
  • 1 big handful of chopped Italian or curly parsley
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • sugar
  • 3 tbsp of Ketchup
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • few sprig of fresh thyme
  • white wine or balsamic vinegar

To serve:

  • Shaved parmesan
  • Guinness dark rye sourdough or any toasty bread for a satisfying meal.


  1. make a cross at the bottom of your whole tomatoes and core the tomatoes.
  2. Gently crush your garlic pips/cloves.
  3. Place both tomatoes (bottoms up) and the garlic with the skin on and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with some sea salt and crushed black pepper on a piece of parchment lined baking tray.
  4. Roast them at 200C for 45 minutes.
  5. Remove and pinch the skin off the tomatoes and garlic.
  6. Heat some oil (I prefer a higher smoking point and neutral cooking oil like canola to cook) and saute your onion until softened but not really coloured. Add in the garlic and saute together with the softened onion, and mashing the garlic on the way.
  7. Add in the sprigs of thyme with the whole roasted tomatoes and saute for a few minutes.
  8. Deglaze with white wine and toss in your tinned tomatoes and beans. Still continue to saute for a few minutes before adding in your stock. Mash your tomatoes into pieces and bring to boil.
  9. Reduce heat, add in salt and sugar to taste, also dashes of vinegar and the ketchup. Stir well and simmer for 30 minutes.
  10. Stir in chopped parsley and served sprinkle with shaved parmesan and toasted/grilled Guinness dark rye sourdough on the side.



Breads are not my strong point, and sourdough are difficult to master. But despite it all, this lovely bread is a winner every single time and I have to say, is my favourite bread of all.


Part One: Soaked rye meal

  • 67 grams cracked rye or coarse rye meal
  • 113 grams water

METHODS: Soak overnight.

Part Two: Rye-Guinness soaker

  • 255 grams rye/whole rye flour
  • 227 grams Guinness beer (what you can do is boil the beer and cooled it to reduce the gassy-ness)
  • 14 grams LIVE sourdough starter (I got them from the organic market)

METHODS: combine ingredients and mixed til smooth. Dust lightly with more rye flour. Cover and let stand overnight.

Part Three: The dough

  • Part One
  • Part Two
  • 212 grams of LIVE sourdough starter
  • 1- 1/2 tsp blackstrap molasses
  • 128 grams high gluten flour
  • 227 grams rye flour
  • 2 tsp instant yeast (non rapid rise)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp dutch cocoa powder


  1. Combine all ingredients and knead. If you are using a stand mixer, use the paddle to mix and the dough hook to knead the dough for about 5 minutes on low. Then up the speed to medium and knead for a further 5 minutes.
  2. Desired temperature of the dough should be about 25C.
  3. Transfer the now sticky dough to a lightly dusted surface and shape your dough. Alternatively you can use a loaf pan dusted with rye flour.
  4. After shaping, transfer dough to a dusted tray if not using loaf pan and dust top of dough with rye flour. Cover and let rise for an hour.
  5. Bake at 240C for 15 minutes (20 minutes for my weak oven) and then 190C for for another 40-60 minutes.
  6. Do not be alarmed if the bread is slightly gummy. Let it sit for a day before slicing. This is a very yummy bread.

Jamie Oliver’s version


  • 1kg ripe tomatoes, halved
  • 6 cloves garlic, skin left on
  • Olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 1 litre vegetable or chicken stock
  • 400g tin cannellini beans, drained
  • small bunch fresh flatleaf parsley
  • EVOO

Serve: 4-6 Prep time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 50 minutes


  1. Preheat oven to 200C. Place tomatoes, skin side down, in a large roasting tray with the garlic cloves and a drizzle of olive oil.
  2. Season and roast for 30 minutes until the tomatoes are sticky and browned around the edges.
  3. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a pan. Add the onion and celery and cook for about 10 minutes on a low heat until softened but not coloured.
  4. Take the tray from the oven and pinch the skins off the tomatoes. Discard the skins, then add the tomatoes to the pan with the onion and celery.
  5. Squeeze the garlic out of its skin and add to the pan with the stock and beans.
  6. Bring to the boil then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  7. Roughly chop the parlsey leaves and stir into the soup. Drizzle with EVOO and serve with a slice of crostini smothered with pesto.

Jamie Oliver’s Grilled crostini and homemade pesto.


  • 1/4 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 large handfuls of fresh basil leaves
  • A handful of pinenuts
  • A large handful of freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 lemon
  • EVOO
  • 4 slices of ciabatta


  1. Pound the grlic with tiny pinch of salt and a handful of basil leaves in a mortar and pestle until you have created a paste.
  2. Add the rest of the basil and pound again until all the leaves have been used up.
  3. Add the pinenuts and pound until finely crushed. Alternatively, you could pulse in a food processor.
  4. Turn the mixture out into a bowl and add the parmesan, a small squeeze of lemon juice and enough EVOO to achieve a nice pesto consistency- you want semi wet but firm.
  5. Season to taste
  6. Griddle ciabatta slices, drizzle with a little EVOO and smear some pesto over the top.

Do you love mussels? Flavourful but quick dish that you can make and impress ina hurry? (Think less than 30 minutes from start to finish).

Today, I was at the Victoria Market doing a spot of fresh produce shopping, walking around, the mussels looks great beside the rest of the frozen mollusc (they are also the only one thats ALIVE). I weaved my way through the stores and looked and compare the mussels, cleanliness and also the price. In the end, they are all about the same, so I bought a Kilogram worth (at $5.00 aud) from the one that looks like the most clean.

The thing with mussels is that, as with any other seafood, it is important not to overcook it. How many times have I ate rubbery deep fried mussels from the fish & chips shop? Its so bad, but for some reason, I seem to have amnesia, because I kept eating them. LOL

Anyway, it is important to clean the beards from the mussels and scrub them clean because if you don’t, you might catch some nasty food bug.

A tip: you can use a mussel to clean another mussel. Just use the flat bill part of the mussel and scrape the beard off the other mussels.

Ok, proceed to my quick and easy to impressed meal.


  • Mussels (obviously I have a kg)
  • Fresh basil (just pluck a few leaves and roughly torn them)
  • Flat leaf parsley (roughly chopped a handful)
  • 2 ripe tomatoes (roughly chop)
  • Bacon trimmings
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/3 onion, chopped
  • A handful of button mushroom, quartered
  • Red capsicum, small dice
  • Half a zucchini, small dice

Seasoning: (note all cups measurement are in Australian standard cups)

  • Ketchup ( 1 tablespoon)
  • White wine (1 1/2 – 2 cup). I used a dry white chardonnay. If you do not have white wine, you can use beer. I prefer Lager.
  • Fish stock or vegetable stock or Chicken stock (1/2 cup)
  • 1 piece bayleaf
  • Few sprig of fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp curry powder (yes, I swear it is good)
  • Pinch of sweet paprika
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Pinch of coriander powder (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar to taste


  1. Heat up about 2 tbsp of oil in a high pot, I like a non intrusive flavour oil like canola. I only uses olive oil for dressing salads or finishing up a meal or a few drizzle before serving, never use it to cook because I do not like how it low it’s flash point is and how it likes to rob mild flavoured food of flavours.
  2. Fry the bacon trimmings briefly until slightly golden brown.
  3. Toss in onion and garlic. Saute onion and garlic together for a few quick minute, until you can smell the fragrance and onion is slightly translucent
  4. Add in all the herbs, zucchini, capsicum and mushroom. Give it a quick stir fry.
  5. Toss in the tomatoes and season with the spice. Give it a good fry until you can see the ingredients is a semi mush.
  6. Now, add in your cleaned mussels and with the heat on high, deglaze with the white wine, give a quick stir to coat evenly, and pour in your stock. (you can add extra stock, if you like the juice with the mussels, which I did)
  7. Mix in 1 tbsp of the ketchup and season with sugar. Cover the pot with a lid and on high heat, cook the mussel for 5-6 minutes, giving it a few shakes to cook them all evenly.
  8. Season with salt and discard unopened mussels.
  9. Serve with crusty bread and a slice of lemon.

If it ain’t good, I would not recommend it. 3 of us each ate 2 bowl. 😀



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