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Esurientes - The Comfort Zone

Friday, March 04, 2005

Roasted Vegetable 'Soup'



Without really having any plan or knowing what I was doing, I created something that was so good I've had it for dinner the past three nights!
We had quite a lot of vegetables in the fridge that needed to be used up, and I had vague ideas of making a vegetable stew type dish. Why, then, I chose to add about half a litre of stock to it, is beyond me. I was obviously in my own personal dreamtime....but lucky for me, what was created was just great!
We had broccoli, pumpkin, capsicum, eggplant, an enormous young zucchini, carrot and a large, long, fat chili (I don't know what sort). So, I cut everything up and decided to saute them in some olive oil and a whole head of garlic, cut through its equator into two halves (I didn't bother peeling it...pah! Peeling...who can be bothered?). I didn't have room for the broccoli, so I dry fried that in another pan until it turned crispy and slightly browned, which gives it a great nutty taste.
So, with the vegetables partly cooked I added a tin of chopped tomatoes (they must be Italian - Australian tinned tomatoes are far too acidic) and about half a litre of turkey & ham stock I had frozen after Christmas, when I boiled up the carcass and bones of our Christmas leftovers...how vey thrify of me. My old Home Economics teacher would smile. I added a few large sprigs of fresh thyme put it into a hot oven for about 30-45 minutes. The smell was incredible; it made our house smell just like an Italian restaurant! At that point, I decided to fry up a few rashers of bacon, to complement the smoky flavour of the ham stock; this was an inspired decision as it made the end result even more flavoursome.
Of course, when it came out the vegetables were too soft to eat as a stew, and there was too much liquid anyway so I took to it with my hand held blender thing. I don't know the universal name for one of those; A always calls it a Stab mixer (pick the German influence) and turned it into a chunky vegetable soup.
Topped off with a dollop of pesto and a knob of fresh goats cheese, this made a superb dinner...good enough for three nights worth. It doesn't look too appetising in the fridge, to be honest, and I've been the only one eating it, so I'm just a leeetle bit over it now....!

Roasted Vegetables straight from the oven...too soft for stew

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