Red Capsicum Soup

You will need:

  • 3 large raw red capsicums, diced
  • 3 roasted red capsicums, flesh diced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • (Optional) 1 tsp chilli paste
  • (Optional) pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 6 cups stock (chicken or vegetable)
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • Finely grated rind of 1 orange*
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • (Optional) Fresh basil leaves
  • (Optional) ½ cup cream

*I recommend a   plane for this job.  It makes grating child’s play

Method:

  • In a large pot warm the olive oil over a low heat
  • Add the diced raw capsicums and sliced onions.  Cook gently for 15minutes, stirring occasionally
  • Add the diced roasted capsicums, optional chillies and cayenne pepper, and the stock.  Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 25 minutes.
  • Stir in the orange juice and rind, scatter in the salt and ground black pepper, and simmer for another 5 minutes.
  • Puree the soup in batches in a food processor.  Do this carefully. Do not take the lid off the processor to see how it’s going.  Red capsicum soup makes a heck of a mess splashed around the kitchen and over you!  I know – I did that once!

To Serve

Add optional cream and stir through. Scatter optional torn basil leaves over each serving.  This soup is equally delicious as a hot or cold summer soup.

This soup freezes well so once you’ve had a bowl, stash suitable serving sizes into your freezer and you will have an easy lunch or very light dinner at hand.  Isn’t amazing how easy cooking for one can be?

How to Roast Capsicums (Bell Peppers)

You definitely need to add this technique to your file of cooking recipes for one. It’s a great base for all kinds of dishes for yourself or your guests when you get around to entertaining.

Preheat oven to 190 0 Celsius (2000 Fahrenheit)

  • Prepare Capsicums:  Wash and wipe down.  Cut off the stem end – you will end up with a little cap.  Throw out the tough green stem, but dice the flesh of the cap, place in a covered container and store in the fridge for use in other dishes over the week.
  • Keeping the capsicums intact, use your fingers to carefully remove as much of the white membrane of the ‘ribs’ as you can, keeping the capsicum intact.
  • Place capsicums, cut end down, into a baking dish lined with baking paper.
  • Cook for 30 minutes.  At the end of this time the capsicums should be getting slightly black and soft.
  • Turn and cook for approximately another 15 minutes .  They will get blacker and will collapse but that’s okay.
  • Remove the capsicums from the oven and cover with a cloth until they are cool enough for you to handle. (Some people advise putting the hot capsicums into a plastic bag but I can’t bear the thought of plastic on hot food.  It just doesn’t  seem healthy to me.)
  • When the capsicums have cooled enough for you to handle you will be able to easily peel off the skin, leaving delicious flesh for use in your recipes.

Suggested use for an easy starter to share:

Cut the flesh of roasted red and yellow peppers into broad strips to make a colourful platter of roasted peppers, with black olives, fresh basil leaves and a splash of extra virgin olive oil.

 

It’s lovely to meet you all – Let’s enjoy some simple cooking

Well, hello!  It’s great to meet you and I hope you enjoy my site.

For a long time I’ve loved cooking and although I’ve shared many meals with friends and family I’ve often wondered if I would be able to reach out to people beyond my immediate circle. So now I’ve taken the plunge and I’d love to know know what you think.

I suppose my first attempts at cooking were the chunks of buttered bread that, on weekend mornings when our parents were still asleep, my sister and I threw pieces of bread into a pot with some milk and sugar and heated up until it all collapsed into a soft sweet mass.  We thought that was pretty cool, even when we burned the bottom. From there we graduated to English pancakes, even learning to toss them from the pan quite expertly. Sprinkled with lemon juice and white sugar, or spread with jam and whipped cream, then rolled up into a cylinder they were simply delicious… And to this day they still are. They’re actually perfect for someone who is cooking alone as it’s so easy to make up a small batch of the batter.

As slightly older children we loved to cook basic lollies like toffee, butterscotch and coconut ice.  Pikelets and scones naturally followed as we made a little cooking tour of New Zealand’s favourite cook book, the Edmonds Cookery Book.

Fast forward a few years and my parents had separated.  The only cooking I was doing at that time was a Friday evening meal when Dad came around while Mum was still at work and before I dashed out to go to the movies with friends.  The meal was always flounder (a New Zealand flatfish) fried in butter, carefully turned over halfway through the cooking and served with new potatoes and peas. It was basic but tasty, although picking through the fine bones certainly constituted a health hazard!  Years later, during a two year stint in what was then called British North Borneo but is now Sabah, I learned to steam a flatfish over a container of hot water, topping the fish with a little sesame oil, soy sauce, chopped garlic, matchsticks of carrots and ginger and some sliced spring onions which brought out some delicious asian flavours in the finished dish.

Nowadays I am mostly cooking for one, and am finding that being single in the kitchen need not be a lonely chore.  I’m looking forward to having fun cooking with all of you out there!