Jun 052011

The Mediterranean tomato soup…
You will need:

1 kg ripe tomatoes
2 peppers, one green, one red
1 red onion
1 white onion
3 garlic cloves
a cup of basil leaves
2 sprigs of thyme
olive oil
salt and pepper
1 cup of veg stock/1 tin of chopped tomato

baking trays
soup pot
chefs knife
good size chopping board
AND here we go!

Turn your oven up to 180 celcius
Chop tomatoes into quarters, deseed your peppers.Roughly chop up the peppers, peel and chop the onions,Chop the garlic up and place all the ingredients on a baking tray/trays and drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with seasalt and black pepper. Add the basil leaves and thyme sprigs. Give it a little mix..
Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes or until the peppers and onions have softened. Meanwhile, heat your stock in a sauce pan, but do not boil.
Once your veggies are done, transfer to your soup pot and add your stock. Let this mix simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes. I find that adding sugar, about 1 tsp will cut the acid taste and bring out the tomato flavours more. Once simmered, transfer to a blender or use a hand blender. Blend until smooth….
TIP: instead of stock you may use 1 tin of chopped tomato….but in this case, do add the sugar. Always taste as you go to ensure that the seasoning is correct.
And Voila, a beautiful tomato soup.

I suggest serving with foccacia.

Do enjoy! And remember…cooking is a joy! not a task!

Much love, Wouter ;)



Copyright © 2011, Wouter de Lange and Adam Highway

Jul 132010

Part One …

There are a great many places in Brighton and Hove to eat, that are fabulous, serve excellent food, great service, good value … but where’s the fun in that? So, this is the first in – hopefully – a series of reviews of the terrible, disastrous, cock-ups!

Piccolo Restaurant

We were wandering around, looking for somewhere for a quick lunch, and came across Piccolo’s Restaurant, which seemed like a great deal – a little cheaper than the place next door, good selection of pizzas, in we went. I wish the write-up on their site were true; “The premier Italian restaurant in the heart of Brighton town centre, Piccolo is one of Brighton´s best-kept secrets.”

Perhaps the second part IS in fact true … if it weren’t a secret, it would surely have gone out of business by now!

I ordered a four cheese pizza; Wouter ordered a vegetarian. We ordered a half bottle of wine between us. The wine came, was opened, poured and the (inattentive) waiter buggered off again, without any chance for us to try it; probably intentionally, since the wine – while not corked – was only slightly better than a nice malt vinegar. Yum.

However, we were still optimistically waiting for our pizzas. What a shame …

The pizzas were about 25% smaller in diameter than every other Italian restaurant I’ve ever visited … so, a false economy there already. Still, perhaps the taste would prove worth it.

Oh dear …

The bases were, essentially, dry biscuits! The tomato sauce … was red, but, flavourless. Thin, watery, bland and tasteless.

And my four cheeses … two were visible, one was mozzarella and the other was … PROCESSED CHEESE! Truly awful. Wouter suffered through a bland, tasteless concoction of mushy vegetables, crappy sauce and pointless “cheese”.

Bottom line; don’t go.