Monday, 12 October 2009

Two tomatoes for a TV dinner

I wanted to counger up a little domestic warmth this weekend, and perhaps the scents and sense of a more Mediterranean climate as the barometer drops outside.

In the spirit of frugality I am attempting to limit my fridge waste. A treaty packet of mi-cuit tomatoes has done us well recently, with delicious stuffed chicken breasts, mozzarella and basil sandwiches, and a tasty rice stuffing. I thought of making tomato bread with the remainder, but when it came to it I found I was without yeast (a shocking kitchen omission I know). So the bread turned into scones, and was paired with this yummy soup, another exercise in 'waste not want not' using half a bunch of coriander left over from a Friday night curry.

Tomato, Lentil and Coriander Soup


  • 1 fat garlic clove, squashed
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • A small bunch of coriander, stems separated and chopped finely
  • 1 cup split red lentils
  • 1 tin cherry tomatoes in juice
  • 1 tin good quality chopped tomatoes
  • 750ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Heat a little oil in a saucepan with the garlic, until the smell wafts up.
  • Add the chopped onion and coriander stems and cook gently, stirring often, until soft but not golden.
  • Add the lentils and stir well to cover in a slick of oil.
  • Add both the tins of tomatoes and the stock, bring to a boil, and then turn down and simmer for 20 minutes or until the lentils are very soft and the liquid has reduced.
  • Add the coriander leaves. Turn off the heat and allow to cool.
  • Once cooler, remove three cups of soup to a blender and pulse until smooth.
  • Return the puree to the saucepan and reheat gently. Season with a good squeeze of lemon to taste before serving.
Feeds 2 hearty eaters for a TV dinner.

Cheese and Tomato Scones

  • 250g plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 40g unsalted butter
  • 150ml milk
  • Handful of mi-cuit or sunblush tomatoes, chopped roughly
  • 40g grated mature cheddar
  • Preheat the oven to 210C/410F and line a baking sheet with parchment.
  • Sift together the flour, salt and raising agents.
  • Cube the butter into the flour and rub in well using the pads of your fingers until fine sand forms.
  • Add the milk all at once and bring the dough together, first with a wooden spoon and then with your hands. Try not to work it too much.
  • On a floured surface knead in the cheese and tomatoes.
  • Roll out the dough to a thickness of 3cm and cut 6cm rounds using a metal cookie cutter. Place them on the baking sheet. With re-rolling you should get 6 scones.
  • Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes until golden on top and cooked through.
  • Allow to cool on a rack before eating.
Makes 6.

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