Rustic Tomato Soup with Caramalized Fennel

Sorry for the silence treatment. I've been busy with my little one and eating this Chocolate Cake. This is the first time ever I make this kind of Tomato Soup. I've done Mexican Chicken Soups, Minestrone and so forth but never a classic Tomato Soup. Talk about me/us missing out! This soup was seriously delicious, the flavours were just PERFECTLY balanced. It was a bit work to make it, but totally worth the effort. Our tastebuds were very happy. With this kind of soup you definetly need crunchy garlic bread on the side to dip into the soup and to give the meal some texture...simply mouthwatering! This portion is enough for 2-3 people.
  • 1 fennel, sliced
  • 4 heapfull spoons of tomato paste
  • 1 head of garlic, roasted
  • 400 g canned crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tsp dry thyme
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 chicken breasts, diced 
  • 4 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • juice of ½ lemon
Crunchy Garlic Bread:
  • Baguette, cut into slices
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
How to:
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°
  2. Cut top of the garlic head, place on foil and drizzle olive oil and salt on top and wrap the foil. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, until the garlic is golden brown. Let cool. 
  3. While the garlic is roasting, start caramelizing the fennel with some olive oil and salt on medium-high heat for 20-30 minutes. Make sure you stir every 5 minutes so the fennel doesn't burn.
  4. Add the tomato paste and roasted garlic cloves (squeeze out of the shell) and cook for 6-7 minutes, the mix should be very fragrant. Then add the stock, parsley, raw chicken and water and turn the heat dowm to a simmer and let the soup bubble for about 20 minutes. By adding the chicken raw and letting it cook in the soup makes it very tender and tasty.
  5. Meanwhile, make the garlic bread. Preheat the oven to 200°. In a bowl, mix together the pressed garlic and olive oil and brush on top of the baguette slices . Top with a little parsley. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp. Don't throw away the garlic oil leftover, instead, pour it into the soup.
  6. Puree the soup (if desired, I prefer it that way)  until smooth. Add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper as desired.
  7. Top with parsley and serve with garlic bread.
If you want to make this dish vegeterian, simply skip the chicken and you have yourself a dish for Meatfree Monday!

Mother of all Chocolate Cakes

Wow. You are lucky that you know about this blog because you just hit the jackpot. I'm going to give you the recipe for the best chocolate cake you'll ever make. Seriously. Mom made one and so did I, and we both agree that it's the best chocolate cake we've ever made. It's moist, rich, fluffy, chocolaty, delicious frosting and melts in your mouth, what more could you ask for in a chocolate cake? You can't and you don't. I promise, this one will be a hit wherever and whenever you serve it. If someone complains about it, throw that person out head first, you don't need that kind of person in your life. The ingredient that really makes the cake is the espresso powder, it gives this rich and deep flavour that is just sensational! It's not complicated to make this one and it doesn't take much time at all, maybe all in all 10 max 15 minutes (not including the baking time of course). Easy peasy.
  • 5 dl flour
  • 5 dl sugar
  • 2 dl cocoa
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp espresso powder
  • 2 ½ dl milk
  • 1 ¼ vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ dl boiling water
  • 250 g butter, room temperature
  • 600 g powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla sugar
  • ½ dl cocoa
  • 1 dl milk
  • ½ tsp coffe powder (or espresso powder if you want a stronger taste)
How to - Cake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 190°
  2. Sift all the dry ingredients into a large bowl and whisk a little to combine. 
  3. Add the eggs, oil, milk and whisk well.. Then slowly, add the water and make sure everything is well combined.
  4. Take out two same sized cake pans, if they are not made of silicone then brush them with oil and flour lightly. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes in the form and then take the cake out and let cool completely.
How to - Frosting:
  1. Sift the cocoa in a medium-large bowl.
  2. Add the powdered sugar, butter, milk, vanilla sugar, espresso powder and whisk until the frosting is combined and fluffy. (If the frosting seems to dry att a tbsp of milk and whisk, if the frosting is to wet add a tbsp of powdered and repeat these steps until you reach the right consistency)
There you have it. The Mother of all chocolate cakes. You're welcome!

Luxurious Fillet of Beef Pasta Dish

As you might have notiched by now, I make a lot of pasta dishes. A lot. I just love pasta, it's so versatile and you can have any protein you want with it and any kind of sauce too. Whenever I get asked what my favourite food is, I answer pasta - I can't decide if there is any particular pasta dish I like more than the other so I just keep it simple, anything with pasta (well, almost anything). On Sunday 9.oktober it was Fathers Day here in Sweden, and since it's my love's first Fathers Day it was only proper to give him a good and manly pasta dish (he loves pasta just as much as me - thank god) to celebrate the day. We bought a good piece of fillet of beef - organic and localy produced of course, and I just came up with the pasta dish in my head at the store since I seriously couldn't think of anything before we entered the store . Hate it when my brain gets food blockage, when I can't think of anything to cook or bake. That's been happening a lot since the baby came - must be because with a baby in our life now, sleep doesn't come as easily an thus the brain doesn't work as well as before. This is basically what goes through my head during the day "feed baby, change baby, feed baby, put baby to sleep, adore baby, watch baby, crap - I need to blog, feed baby, soooo tired, what's for dinner?, change baby, feed baby, put baby to sleep". Not complaining though,wouldn't change it for anything.
Anyway, here's my recipe for a Luxurious Pasta dish.
  • 250 g mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 400 g fillet of beef, diced and room temperatured
  • 1 chili, finely diced
  • 25 g butter
  • 4 dl cream
  • salt & pepper
  • 2,5 dl beef stock 
  • 2 tsp marjoram (dried or fresh, use what you have in your pantry)
  • 1 dl pasta water
  • Bowtie pasta
  • Olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese
How to:
  1. In a frying pan on medium-high heat, fry mushrooms in butter until softened and lightly browned. Set aside. 
  2. Bring salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package.
  3. In a medium sauce pan on medium-high heat, fry the beef in olive oil until all the sides have gotten lightly brown. Then add the onion, garlic and chili and fry for about 2 minutes, until the onion has softened a bit. Add the cream, salt & pepper (I used about 1+ tsp of each), beef stock, marjoram, pasta water and mushrooms. Let everything cook together for about 5-6 minutes, make sure you stir maybe 2-3 times so nothing burns to the bottom.
  4. Mix the sauce and pasta in a big bowl. Serve with grated parmesan cheese and red wine to drink


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