Jamie Oliver’s 30-minute meals: Tomato soup, chunky croutons, guacamole and sticky prune sponge puddings
By JAMIE OLIVER
Last updated at 1:20 PM on 20th September 2010
This hearty, autumnal menu is perfect comfort food as the nights draw in.
TOMATO SOUP AND CROUTONS
- 1kg (2lb 4oz) ripe cherry tomatoes on the vine, red and yellow
- 4 large tomatoes
- 1 fresh red chilli
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 ciabatta loaf
- 2 small red onions
- 4tbsp balsamic vinegar
- A small bunch of fresh basil
- A few dollops of créme fraîche, to serve
- A handful of mixed-colour cherry tomatoes
- 1-2 fresh red chillies
- A handful of fresh coriander
- 2 ripe avocados
- 2 limes
- ½ bulb of fennel
- 1 carrot
- ½ cucumber
- ½ a 125g pack of grissini or other breadsticks
- Olive oil
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt and black pepper
- 1 x 290g tin of pitted prunes
- 100g (3½oz) plain flour
- 50g (1¾oz) soft dark brown sugar
- 50g (1¾oz) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 heaped tsp ground ginger
- ½ level tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 75ml (2½fl oz) milk
- 1 egg
- Golden syrup and créme fraîche, to serve
TO START: Get all your ingredients and equipment ready. Turn the oven on to 220C/gas 7 and put a large saucepan on a low heat. Put the standard blade attachment into the food processor.
TOMATO SOUP: Pull the tomatoes off the vines, but leave some of their green tops on. Quarter the larger tomatoes, then put all the tomatoes into a roasting tray. Drizzle over a good lug of olive oil and season.
Halve and deseed the red chilli and add to the tray. Crush in 4 peeled cloves of garlic. Quickly toss everything, then put on the top shelf of the oven for 12 to 15 minutes.
CROUTONS: Get another roasting tray and rip the ciabatta loaf into 8 equal chunks. Add a good lug of olive oil, a pinch of salt and whack on to the bottom shelf of the oven.
TOMATO SOUP: Peel and roughly chop the onions and put them into the hot saucepan with a lug of olive oil and a good pinch of salt. Turn the heat up to medium and leave to soften, stirring occasionally.
PRUNE PUDDINGS: Get 4 cups that will all fit into your microwave at the same time. Tip the prunes into a bowl, then spoon 1tbsp of their syrupy juice into each of the cups. Divide all the prunes between the 4 cups.
TOMATO SOUP: Stir 4tbsp balsamic vinegar into the onions and let it cook away and reduce down.
PRUNE PUDDINGS: Put the flour, sugar, butter, ground ginger and bicarbonate of soda into a food processor and whiz. Crack in the egg, then add the milk. Let it whiz until smooth (you may need to scrape round the edge and whiz again), then divide between the cups (they should be two-thirds full) and put to one side.
GUACAMOLE: Squeeze a handful of cherry tomatoes on to the biggest board you have, then finely chop up the flesh with 1 to 2 red chillies and a handful of coriander leaves, including the top part of the stalks.
TOMATO SOUP: Take the tray of tomatoes out of the oven and add everything to the pan of onions.
CROUTONS: Check them – if they are crisp and golden turn off the oven, but leave them in there to keep warm.
GUACAMOLE: Halve and stone the avocados, then squeeze them over the board so the flesh comes out of the skins. Discard the skins, add a pinch of salt, squeeze over the juice of 2 limes and chop everything together until fine. Taste and adjust the flavours if needed, then use your knife to sweep everything to one side of the board.
Cut the ½ bulb of fennel into wedges. Peel the carrot, quarter lengthways and cut into batons, then do the same with the cucumber. Sprinkle over a pinch of salt, then arrange the vegetables next to the guacamole.
Put a handful of grissini into a glass and take them to the table with the board of guacamole.
TOMATO SOUP: In two batches, carefully pour the vegetables from the saucepan into a liquidiser. Add most of the basil, put the lid on, cover with a tea towel and whiz to a fairly rustic consistency, pouring the mixture into a large pan or serving bowl as you go.
Once finished, mix well, season to taste and top with a dollop of créme fraîche, a few basil leaves and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Take to the table with a stack of soup bowls and the tray of croutons from the oven.
PRUNE PUDDINGS: Just before serving, pop the puddings into the microwave to cook on full power for 6 minutes.
TO SERVE: Put a crouton or two in the bottom of each soup bowl. Ladle the soup on top, then dig in and let everyone help themselves to the guacamole.
When the desserts are ready, bring to the table, drizzle over a little golden syrup, top with créme fraîche and go for it (use a spoon to turn them upside down in the cups and you’ll be in for a treat).