Delicious dinners

Dan CanTeen

Ok, I'll kick things off with my delicious tomato soup with melted bocconcini! This is a dish that I use to impress people all the time and fool them into thinking I am a great cook, but the jokes on them, because this meal is not only super easy, but super cheap to make, and will last you about one million meals. (Give or take - but at least 10 serves which is still pretty boss!)

What you'll need:

  • 12 Roma tomatoes, cut in half
  • Pinch of caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (plus extra to drizzle for maximum fanciness)
  • 12 cherry tomatoes
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 2 each onions, carrots, celery stalks and garlic cloves, chopped
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste (optional - I don't really know what this does)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 basil sprig (plus extra leaves to garnish - again, let's get masterchef on this thing!)
  • 1L (4 cups) vegetable stock
  • 12 baby bocconcini

How to do it:

1)  Preheat the oven to 160°C. Place Roma tomatoes, cut-side up, on a baking tray. Top with sugar, drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes until softened.

2)  Add cherry tomatoes to the tray, drizzle with a little more oil and season. Return to the oven for a further 10 minutes or until lightly charred and softened. Set aside.

3)  Once done, heat butter and 1 tablespoon oil in a pan over medium heat. Cook onion, carrot, celery and garlic, stirring, for 2-3 minutes until softened. Add canned tomatoes, tomato paste, bay leaf, basil, stock, roasted Roma tomatoes and any cooking juices. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20-25 minutes until vegetables are tender.

4) Take out the basil sprig and the bay leaf, cool slightly, then blend the soup in batches (it's great to get it as smooth as possible, and I used to pass it through a sieve to make it especially so, but lately have just been blending it super fine because YOLO). Once done put it back to cook over low heat, stirring, for 2-3 minutes until warmed through. Adjust the seasoning as necessary.

5)  Place the bocconcini on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake for 2 minutes until just warm and lightly melted (do not overcook or the cheese will melt completely). Ladle the soup into serving bowls and scoop molten bocconcini into each one. Garnish with the roasted cherry tomatoes and basil leaves, drizzle with oil to serve.

It's a cheap, relatively easy (though not necessarily quick) flavour sensation!! You're welcome.

What else have you guys got??