Saturday, January 17, 2009

Italian Tomato Soup

As I write this post, I am halfway through cooking Italian Tomato Soup.

As a child, I never liked cooking. I was always afraid of the stove as in Malaysia its a real flame stove and I just found it dangerous. I could not understand how my mother could stand in front of that stove and fry chicken with the oil splashing everywhere. I used to be really really nervous about hot oil and the cooking flame. The most I did in the kitchen was make instant Roti Pratha and microwave Maggi Mee or Campbell's soup.

It was in Australia that I discovered the joys of cooking. In the beginning it was just to see what it was like to make myself a meal because food was provided in the residential college that I lived in. Later I moved to the block where food was not provided and had to share a kitchen with 3 other people. That's where I used to cook daily. Usually the simplest meals were the tastiest - pasta, stirfried noodles, fried rice, fried fish fillet with rice and japanese rice seasonings, instant noodles - the staple food of the average student. Slowly, I started to make more difficult dishes like chicken curry (I made fish curry once and it was a disaster. Took me 2.5 years to attempt to cook it again and now I can safely say it is tasty, but not as good as my mother's fish curry.) and fried beehoon.

Now, in Oslo, I cook a lot. I try to eat in at least 5 days a week because the cost of living in Oslo is expensive, hence, eating out is expensive too. Lately my favourite dishes are Tomato Soup, Veggie Nachos, Pasta with Chicken Tikka Masala (don't knock it unless you've tried it ;)), Chicken Curry and Mint Rice, Chilli Prawn Linguini, etc.

Here's the recipe I use for the Italian Tomato Soup:


1 can chopped tomatoes (approx 400 grams)
2 tablespoons olive oil
100 grams of mascarpone
1 onion (medium sized)
2 cloves garlic
500 ml of tomato juice
3 tablespoons of tomato puree
1 teaspoon of Italian herbs (I use a combined version containing basil, oregano, parsley, thyme, etc.)
Salt and pepper to taste
A little bit of basil pesto (for garnishing)

--- Serves 3

Chop onion and garlic.
Heat oil in cooking pot. Fry onion and garlic until fragrant and soft.
Add in tomato puree. Stir until the onion and garlic bits are coated in the puree.
Add in chopped tomatoes and herbs. Reduce the heat, let it cook well, till the oil comes out.
Add half the tomato juice. Simmer on low heat for 10-15 minutes.
Add in mascarpone.
Use the remaining tomato juice to adjust the consistency according to your liking.
Add salt and pepper.
Stir and simmer for 2 minutes.
Blend the soup mixture in a blender.
Garnish with pesto and serve.


At 1/17/2009 04:15:00 PM , Blogger the Constantly Dramatic One said...

I'm just learning to cook now. Don't want to starve now do we?

At 1/19/2009 07:44:00 PM , Blogger Fieran said...

@CD: Aha, very true :)


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