DO­MES­TIC DILEM­MAS

Don’t be daunted by that diva de­meanour – Fri­day’s very own chef Silvena Rowe is happy to an­swer all your kitchen queries

Friday - - Good Food -

QI

was in­spired by last week’s ar­ti­cle on soups be­ing the new juices when it comes to the lat­est health trends. Can you share a recipe for a fresh, light soup? AI

love this roasted red pep­per soup; by roast­ing the pep­pers, you get a de­li­cious depth of flavour. Here’s how I make it:

Pre­heat the oven to 200⁰C. Slice four large red pep­pers in half, place them skin side up on a lined bak­ing sheet and roast un­til the skins blacken. Set aside to cool, then peel off the skins and chop into large pieces.

Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large pan. Sauté one chopped onion and 1 clove of garlic un­til translu­cent. Add 400g of tinned chopped toma­toes, the pep­pers and 1 litre of veg­etable stock. Bring to a boil, then sim­mer for 20 min­utes.

Al­low to cool slightly then blend un­til smooth. Sea­son well and serve gar­nished with fresh basil.

I some­times scat­ter cubed feta cheese in the soup be­fore serv­ing – ideal if other mem­bers of the fam­ily aren’t join­ing you on your health kick.

QHow

can I make a stan­dard gar­den salad more in­ter­est­ing?

AFresh

fruit such as or­anges or a scat­ter­ing of straw­ber­ries can liven up a salad. I love us­ing toasted nuts, too, as they add tex­ture and flavour.

One of my favourite sal­ads is made with fresh spinach leaves, a hand­ful of toasted pine nuts, olives, cu­cum­ber rib­bons, a scat­ter­ing of dried cran­ber­ries, some halved cherry toma­toes and cubes of feta. I find a dress­ing made with olive oil, bal­samic vine­gar and honey works well with this.

QI’ve

got lots of Christ­mas cake left. How long will it last and how can I use it up? AA

Christ­mas cake should keep for up to three months if stored in a sealed con­tainer some­where cool. If you are fed up with eat­ing it just as a cake, try us­ing it as the ba­sis for a baked Alaska. If it’s iced, re­move the ic­ing and then use it in place of sponge in a clas­sic baked Alaska recipe.

All those suc­cu­lent pieces of fruit, with the cold ice cream and then the meringue – who could re­sist?

By roast­ing the red pep­pers, you bring an ex­tra depth of flavour to the soup – it’s de­li­cious

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