Sunday soup - Roasted Tomato and basil and Strawberry mousse

Sunday, 7 July 2013
Ah, this weekend has been yet another haze of lovely weather.  Who can remember the awful spring that we faced?  Well, probably all of you but at least Britain seems to be making up for it now.  The weekend was spent at a school fête and then wandering through Newbury, home of Newburyfest.  We were held for quite some time watching Ernest Magnifico (transplanted from Covent Garden) trying to convince a Chinese man that he wouldn't set him alight in his finale trick.  All rather amusing and D was captivated - watching the entirety of the show.

Street theatre is really such a lovely way to spend some time - although I'm a keen fan of theatre in any guise.

Today was all about preparation - early roasting of tomatoes and making of strawberry mousse and then enjoying a gorgeous lunch outside of Carluccio's.

 This is one of my favourite things - whoever invented affogato, a mixture of icecream and espresso, is frankly one of my favourite people.

Then it was a short time in the park and watching the gloriousness that was Murray's win.

This week's soup is all about simplicity but patience - a full hour for the tomatoes to roast but very little being done with it otherwise.  It only makes four servings, so I'll be whipping up a batch of broccoli and crème fraîche to take me through the week.  Each serving comes in at 2 pro points/points plus.  I've adapted Covent Garden's Slow roasted tomato and basil recipe, taking into account the lack of a red pepper, some spare cherry tomatoes and my usual fondness for reducing the stock content.

Ingredients: - 
1kg plum tomatoes, halved
150g cherry tomatoes, halved
2tbsp olive oil
2tbsp balsamic vinegar
1tsp sugar
200g vegetable stock
A handful of fresh basil, torn

Follow instructions as on the recipe link provided.  I served it cold to D.  I've never seen such a disgusted face!

Sunday also felt like an appropriate day to have a go at Broccoli and Rice Cakes's Simple strawberry and vanilla mousse.  Strawberries and Wimbledon are synonymous for me - I tend to judge when it's proper strawberry season based on the tennis!  I'm a complete snob about strawberries - I pretty much avoid them out of season.  This time of year is just perfect though.  The poor weather seems to have generated some of the nicest, sweetest strawberries that I've had in years.  Silver lining to every cloud I guess!  The other point to note about this recipe is that it contains tofu.  Tofu is an ingredient that I've shunned for a long time.  As a child I remember having it in meals - my Mum valiantly tried to make it edible but even tablespoons of chilli powder didn't work.  I have to say, I grudgingly eat the little bits that I find in Asian cooking (well... mostly Wagamama if I'm honest!) but I just don't like it.  Forcing myself to buy it for this recipe was quite an undertaking but I did and I'm so very glad about that.  This is an excellent dessert and I'll be experimenting further with it as a base.  Delighted to say that it doesn't taste of tofu at all.  The acid test is D - and he's got through his in double-quick time.  I'm considering making use of rhubarb - my boss keeps bringing in huge handfuls and it isn't something I've cooked with before.

This recipe comes to 2 propoints/points plus per serving if you make it three servings.

(It's all about the mugs this week...)

Good news this week is that I've reached a stone's loss.  That's 14.5lbs in ten weeks.  At this rate I'll be at goal by the beginning of the new academic year - my more realistic aim is that I might get there by my birthday at the beginning of October.  I'm actually not too far from wedding weight now, which is gratifying.

Good time for a gratuitous wedding shot I think: -

Next weekend we're off to Butlins, Bognor Regis for a Friday-Monday holiday.  I actually work on Mondays though, so we'll be back on Sunday.  Sunday soup might be slightly delayed as a result, although it should be a corker - teaser is that it'll be an orange soup.

Weekly plans (there are generally a few points spare and not all meals are planned!  Every day usually involves a banana and an apple.): -

Monday: - Alpen ready to go fruit and nut (6pp), Slow roasted tomato and garlic soup (2pp), Graze British Barbecue (3pp), veggie stirfry with extra water chestnuts, half a sachet of Blue Dragon's Restaurant special pepper sauce and 150g Sharwoods' Ready to Wok Thai Noodles (7pp).
Tuesday: - Alpen ready to go porridge fruit and nut (6pp), Broccoli and crème fraîche soup (2pp), Graze's Tomato Dipinetti (3pp), Tesco's Moroccan cous cous bake (8pp) and 30g of my own garlic rice - recipe at a later date- (4pp), cauliflower or green beans
Wednesday: - Graze Apple and Cinnamon porridge without honey (2pp plus 1pp for a serving of skimmed milk), broccoli and crème fraîche soup (2pp), Pumpkin macaroni cheese (10pp)
Thursday: - Alpen ready to go porridge fruit and nut (6pp), Graze's cracking black peppercorn (3pp), broccoli and crème fraîche soup (2pp), Pizza Express Giardiniera (with the olives picked off!) (11pp), salad and possibly something from the Count on Us dessert range - post-weigh in treat.  Or maybe three mini meringues, some strawberries and half fat crème fraîche.
Friday-Sunday: Away!

Hope you all have had a lovely weekend too.

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