Monday, January 31, 2011
Today's feature recipe at Table 4 Five:
Elegant Seafood Casserole
1 pkg lobster select (imitation lobster)
1 pkg crab select (imitation crab)
2 (10 oz) pkgs frozen broccoli spears
1 1/2 cups skim milk
2 tablespoons each all purpose flour
1/2 cup Swiss cheese, shredded
Spoon lobster and crab over broccoli in shallow baking dish. Mix together skim milk, flour, butter and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, until thickened and bubbly. Turn on low heat and add Swissh cheese. Pour over seafood; sprinkle with paprika and seasoned salt.. Bake at 400 degrees, 20-25 minutes.
Saturday, January 29, 2011
I found this wonderful no cook salsa that is very easy to make. You should bring this to the Big Game party. Won't you feel so much better?
Easy No Cook Salsa
Friday, January 28, 2011
Tonight's Feature Recipe at Table 4 Five:
Quick Fruit Dessert
2 small packages instant pudding - any flavor
1 20 oz can crushed pineapple in juice
1 can fruit cocktail
1 container whipped cream cheee.
Combine pudding and fruit. Mix in cream cheese. Chill.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Today's Feature Recipe:
Quick and Easy Bars
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 bag miniature marshmallows
1 cjup peanut butter minus 2 tablespoons
Melt chips, peanut buttter, and butter over low heat. Stil until melted and hot, but not boiling. Pour over small marshmallows into the bottom of a 13x9 inch pan. Refrigerate.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Today's feature recipe at Table 4 Five:
Manhattan Clam Chowder
2 tablespoons chopped onions
1/4 cup chopped celery
4 (6 1/2 oz) cans minced clams
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
2 (5.5 oz) cans V8
4 small potatoes, cubed
1 small carrot, chopped
1 slice bacon cooked and crumbled (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan.
Simmer covered for 30 minutes or until veggies are tender.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
You can make quesadillas out of just about anything. Mix meat, veggies, cheese. Put in tortilla and bake at 450 degrees for 8 minutes. Can it get any easier?
Tonight at Table 4 Five, we had Buffalo Chicken Quesadillas and Salmon Quesadillas.
Monday, January 24, 2011
Today's feature recipe at Table 4 Five:
Rotini with Spinach and Feta
8 oz rotini pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups chopped tomatoes
10 oz frozen chopped spinach thawed and squeezed dry
1 clove garlic, minced
8 oz tomato basil feta cheese
salt to taste
black pepper to taste
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain. Set Aside
Heat oil in large pot. Add tomatoes, spianch, garlic. Cook and stir 2 minutes or until mixture is heated thoroughly. Add pasta and cheese; cook 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Today's feature recipe at Table 4 Five:
Spicy Seafood Shell Appetizers (allrecipes.com)
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2/3 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1/3 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
10 drops hot pepper sauce
1 (4 oz) can small shrimp drained
1 (6 oz) can crabmeat, drained and flaked
2 (2.1 oz) package mini phyllo tart shells
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a medium baking sheet.
In a medium bowl, mix together mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, Swiss cheese, onion, Worcestershire sauce and hot pepper sauce. Gently stir in shrimp and crabmeat.
Form phyllo dough into shells. Fill shells with the mixture.
Arrange stuffed shells on baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven 7 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Sprinkle with paprika before serving.
Saturday, January 22, 2011
As I said a few bloggerys ago, I love soup. There's nothing like hot soup on a cold winter's night. One good thing about soup is that you can put pretty much anything in it. Even if you don't like something, you can usually throw it is a pot of soup, and magically you will like it. Soup has that kind of power. Soup is also the ultimate for leftover concoctionery (I know you so enjoy these words that I make up) - just get a large pot and start throwing those leftovers in and heat it up. Not only do you have some tasty soup, but your fridge is cleaned out too. Two birds, one stone. How wonderful.
Although leftover concoctionery soup is a fabulous meal, it is not the soup that we had tonight at Table 4 Five. Tonight was all about opening a can. Now don't get me wrong, I didn't just open a can of Campbells, this is actually a recipe - a very good one I might add.
Tonight's feature recipe at Table 4 Five:
Six Can Chicken Tortilla Soup
1 (15 oz) can whole kernel corn, drained
2 (14.5 oz) cans chicken broth
1 (10 oz) can chunk chicken
1 (15 oz) can black beans
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chile peppers, drained
Open the cans of corn, chicken broth, chunk chicken, black beans and diced tomatoes with green chilies. Pour everything into a large saucepan or stock pot. Simmer over medium heat until chicken is heated through.
Friday, January 21, 2011
Tonight's late night snack at Table 4 Five:
Baked Scallops (allrecipes.com - submitted by John Bragg)
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 1/2 pounds bay scallops, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Pour melted butter into 2 qt oval casserole dish. Distribute butter an scallops evenly inside the dish.
Combine the bread crumbs, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika parsley, minced garlic and parmesan cheese. Sprinkle mixture over the scallops.
Bake in pre-heated oven until scallops are firm, about 20 minutes.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Tonight we had seafood at Table 4 Five
4 salmon filets
1 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons horseradish
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place salmon in baking dish skin size down. Mix remaining ingredients in bowl and spoon over each filet. Cook for 15-18 minutes or until salmon flakes
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Tonight's feature recipe at Table 4 Five:
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 small bottle Italian dressing
1 pack pesto sauce mix
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place chicken in glass dish. Mix dressing and pesto sauce in bowl. Pour over chicken. Cook for approximately 35 minutes or until chicken is done.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Today, I made version 1.0 of the recipe concoction that was swimming around in my head. I'm not even sure that it was a good idea. It seemed like a good idea in my brain, but version 1.0 didn't really prove that it's a good idea on the plate. Don't worry, I fed the family a regular meal and did not force them to try the rough draft of my recipe idea as it came to life for the first time. I did try it, and the jury is still out for me. I like the concept, but something is missing. I'll just keep versioning until I can figure out what that something is. If you have any ideas, let me know.
Will there be a version 2.0? Of course there will be. There will probably be a version 3.0, 4.0, 5.0 - who knows how many dot oh's there will be. Who knows what this concoction will actually turn out to be on the final dot oh. I think it's fun to create, and you know what they say - If at first you don't succeed, try try again.
Tonight's recipe feature at Table 4 Five is a little bit different - it's a rough draft recipe concoction, so measurements will need tweaking - I don't think the measurements are worth posting until they are just right. I'm going to only post the ingredients.
Tonight's Recipe Concoction: Buffalo Chicken Pull-Apart Bread
chicken diced finely
carrots finely chopped
cup celery flakes
cup Frank's red hot sauce
4 cans biscuits
Mix together chicken, celery flakes, carrots, hot sauce.
Grease a bundt pan.
Cut the biscuit into fourths
Place a layer of biscuit fourths on the greased bundt pan
Spoon a layer of chicken mixture onto the bisucuits.
Monday, January 17, 2011
Tonight's dish was not a one-dish meal so I had even more dishes to dirty, but this bloggery is not about my amazing ability to dirty way too many dishes in one meal preparation. This bloggery is about food, glorious food.
Tonight's feature recipe at Table 4 Five:
Salmon Cakes with Sour Cream Dill Sauce
2 (14.75oz) cans of salmon
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup chopped scallions
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
1/2 tablespoon lime juice
3 tablespoons corstarch
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup fat-free or low-fat sour cream (optional)
4 tablespoons fresh dill, finely chopped (optional)
Drain and separate salmon; set aside.
In a heavy bottomed skillet over medium-low heat, add 2 teaspoons of oil, scallions, garlic, and pepper flakes. Saute' until scallions are soft, then set aside.
In a bowl whisk together eggs, lime juice, cornstarch and salt and pepper. Add egg mixtrue to scallion mixture and gently fold in salmon.Form salmon mixture into 8 cakes and refreigerate for about 30 minutes.
Add remaining oil to a large skillet over medium low heat and add chilled salmon cakes. Slowly saute' cakes for about 2-3 minutes on each side until heated through. Mix sour cream and dill together and serve each salmon cake garnished witha tablespoon of sour cream and dill sauce if desired.
Sunday, January 16, 2011
For lunch, I prepared lamb burgers with polenta chips
1 lb ground lamb
1/2 cup chopped spinach
3 scallions finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon red hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
Mix all ingredients together. Form into patties (I chose to make miniature patties for slider type burgers, but regular size patties would be good too, I'm sure). Broil on each side for 6 minutes or until no longer pink inside.
You can find prepared polenta in the healthy food section at your local grocery store. To make chips, cut the polenta into 1/2 inch slices. Grill on George Foreman Grill or something similar on each side until slightly crisp (times vary - just keep checking). You can also toast in a toaster oven if your prefer.
Mediterranean Pinwheels (pillsbury.com)
1 can refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1/2 lb prosciutto
4 oz crumbled feta cheese
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
6 tablespoons basil
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray cookie sheets with cooking spray. Separate or cut dough into 4 rectangles; place on lightly floured surface. If using crescent dough, firmly press perforations to seal. Press or roll to form 8x5 inch rectangle.
Arrange 1/4 of prosciutto slices evenly over each rectangle. In small bowl, mix cheese, pepper and oil. Sprinkle mixture evenly over prosciutto on each rectangle. Sprinkle with basil.
Starting at short side of each rectangle, roll up; seal long edges. With serrated knife, cut each roll into 5 slices. Place, cut side up, on cookie sheets.
Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from cookie sheets. Serve warm
Saturday, January 15, 2011
What better dish to make on a Saturday, than a sandwich. I did not make my kids' favorite sandwich- peanut butter & jelly (actually I did make it, but I didn't think that you needed the recipe for PB&J). Let me know if you do, and I will post the recipe.
I was in the mood for chicken salad sandwiches. Chicken salad and tuna salad have never been two favorites, but I was introduced to a different type of chicken salad sandwich a few years ago. This chicken salad has apples and grapes and cheese - and of course, chicken. Now I like chicken salad. The hubby also is not a fan of chicken salad was a bit skeptical when I told him that I made chicken salad - he had seconds. Can I get a Woot Woot?! All the kids ate it without any complaints, and some even asked for seconds.
I made some of the sandwiches on those cute little cocktail bread pieces - pumpernickel flavor, and I put some on regualr size whole wheat
2 packs oven roasted chicken breast pieces (found in deli meat section)
1 apple cored and diced
15 seedless grapes cut into fourths
1 tsp finely chopped green onion
1/4 cup shredded cheese
3 tablespoons reduced fat mayo (with olive oil)
dash of lemon juice
dash of black pepper
Mix all the ingredients together and put on your choice of bread.
This would also be great on croissant, pita pockets. It would even make a great breadless sandwich.
Enjoy! Until tomorrow...
The "Beat the Clock" Dip Recipe:
12 oz imitation crab meat, chunk style
1 12 oz bottle Ranch dressing
8 oz can sliced water chestnuts (drained and chopped
1 pack Zesty Italian Dressing Mix
2 tbsp Frank's Red Hot Sauce
Garlic pepper (to taste)
Red Pepper Flakes (to taste)
Put crab meat, Ranch dressing, water chestnuts, Italian .dressing mix, hot sauce in a bowl and mix together well. Sprinkle red pepper flakes and Garlic pepper to taste. That's it.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Once again, tonight is about about quick and easy. I needed the get outta the kitchen in 30 minutes recipe. Well, here it is (along with a ridiculously short post. I promise I'll do better0
Salsa Chicken Chili
1 pound cooked chicken, cooked and diced into smaill
1 can (16 oz) thick and chunky salsa.
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
1 can kidney beans, drained
Put all ingredients in a Dutch oven. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
1 10 oz package frozen shrimp peeled and deveined (thawed)
2 cups frozen normandy style vegetables (thawed)
1 cup Lawry's Tuscan Sun-Dried Tomato marinad with minced Garlic and Olive Oil
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Place shrimp and vegetables in 2 separate large resealable plastic bags. Pour 1/2 of the marinade into each bag. Turn to coat well. Refrigerate 15 minutes.
Remove shrimp from refrigerator and arrange marinade and shrimp in a shallow baking dish. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
Put vegetables and marinade in a microwave safe bowl, and microwave for 5 minutes.
Place the marinaded vegetables on the plate and top with the marinaded shrimp, and there you have it. Quick and easy - exactly the dish I was looking for.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Tonight, we had minestrone - hearty minestrone, at least that's what the title of the recipe was. What makes a soup "hearty?" Are all soups hearty?
Hearty Minestrone Soup (From Favorite Brand Name 4 Ingredient Cookbook Fast and Easy Recipes)
2 cans condensed Italian tomato soup
3 cups water
3 cups cooked vegetables
2 cups cooked ditalini pasta
Combine soup and water in large saucepan. Add vegetables and pasta. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cook until heated through, stirring often.
Monday, January 10, 2011
Tonight's feature dish at Table 4 Five:
Rice and Chicken Wraps (from Favorite Brand Name 4 Ingredient Cookbook)
8 boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups water
1 box Fast Cooking Recipe Long Grain & Wild Rice
1/2 cup Ranch salad dressing
1 cup shredded lettuce
8 (10-inch) flour tortillas
Cook chicken in olive oil until lightly browned on both sides (approximately 10-12 minutes). Add water, rice and contents of seasoning packet. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer until chicken is no longer pink in center and liquid is absorbed. Stir in salad dressing.
Spoon rice mixture evenly down center of each tortilla; top with lettuce. Fold in both sides of tortillas; roll up tortilla tightly from the bottom, keeping filling firmly packed. Slice each wrap diagonally into 2 pieces.
Sunday, January 9, 2011
I did prepare tonight's pasta two different ways. It was a pasta buffet tonight at the Table 4 Five! Don't get too excited - the buffet consisted of one dish prepared with two different sauces. If you don't like this type of sauce, well you are in luck because we have that type too. After all, variety is what it's all about.
Tonight at Table 4 Five!, we had the following two options:
Scallop & Asparagus Pasta
12 oz uncooked whole wheat pasta (spaghetti, fettuccine)
10 oz frozen asparagus, cut into bite size pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
12 oz package of frozen scallops - thawed
12 oz jar of prepared alfredo sauce or prepared tomato-based sauce
4 oz jar sliced pimientos, drained
Cook pasta according to package directions, adding asparugus to water 8 minutes before pasta is done. Drain; keep warm.
Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add scallops and cook until scallops are opaque. Drain excess liquid leaving scallops and about 2 tablespoons liquid in skillet. Reduce heat to low. Stir in the sauce of your choice and pimiento. Cover, cook 5 minutes. Do not boil.
Saturday, January 8, 2011
Tonight I made Chicken Gumbo - 4 ingredient chicken gumbo! No, it wasn't authentic New Orleans style gumbo, but it was still good. The best part about this recipe was that I only used one pot, and it only took about 30 minutes from start to finish.
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch piece
1 package chicken smoked sausage cut into 3/4 inch slices
1 12 oz bag frozen mixed vegetables with broccoli, corn and red peppers
1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups water
Heat oil in large saucepan. Add chicken and sausage and cook until browned, about 8 minutes.
Add vegetables, tomatoes and water; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook for 3 minutes.
Friday, January 7, 2011
So the inspiration tonight was football. There was a college bowl game on tonight, and the family intended to watch it. I needed to make football watching food - nobody intended to gather around the dinner table tonight - tonight's dinner table was the television - that's where we were gathering.
All food tonight is finger food - no utensils needed - isn't that what football food is all about - unless of course you are eating chili.
Tonight's Menu at Table For Five includes:
- Kashi Mediterranean Pizza
- 4C Crostini
- Bean Dip
First, we had Kashi Mediterranean Pizza. I know what you're thinking "First? How much did you eat tonight" Well, Kashi pizza is about the same size as a small thin crust pizza. According to the box, it serves 3 - so I cooked 2. I really must recommend this pizza - it does not taste like cardboard. Very tasty indeed.
Then I made bean dip from the leftover 16 bean soup from last night. This was very easy - just drain the soup and put in a blender. Blend until desired dip consistency. This was good and a quick and easy way to get rid of some of the leftover soup from last night.
Finally, the concoction - I am always looking up recipes - combining some of this recipe with some of that recipe, substituting ingredients - always hoping that my "creativity" tastes half way decent.
Tonight's "concoction" is 4C Crostini:
- 2 small multi-grain baguettes
- 2 tablespoon capers
- 1 1/2 cups diced cooked chicken - completely cooled
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teasoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon marjoram
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Small cucumber - peeled, seeds removed and diced.
- Softened cream cheese
In medium bown, combine chicken, capers, oil, vinegar, marjoram, salt, pepper.
Spread 1 teaspoon of cream cheese on each baguette. Add a tablespoon of chicken mixture to each baguette. This concoction was SO good (in my opinion).
Thursday, January 6, 2011
Well tonight is not an exception - did I make chili:? No, I made soup, but it might as well be chili. Oh well, my mission for next week's menu will be to cook no chili-looking food.
I made 16 bean soup tonight. There were mixed feelings about this one. Some gobbled it up faster than you can say "cannelini bean" and some not so much. Apparently, I must have a fear of vampires because I went a little crazy with the garlic.
Tonight's menu at Table 4 Five:
- Crockpot 16 Bean Soup
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
- Chicken Ranch Florentine Mini Pizzas
Chicken Ranch Florentine Mini Pizzas
- Leftover Feta and Spinach Stuffed Chicken - cut into bite size pieces
- Ranch Dressing
- Leftover Texmati Rice
- Shredded Mozzarella
- Sandwich Rounds
Spread Ranch dressing on the sandwich rounds. Top with a teaspoon of Texmati Rice. Top with the chicken spinach feta mixture. Top with Mozzarella cheese. Bake at 35o degrees for 8 minutes or until cheese melts. And there you have it.
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
That said, tonight's food may not win the presentation award in the food contest, but it did taste very good. By the way, my "taste good" measurement is based on how clean the boys' plates are. Tonight, they did not lick their plates, so I can only give this a "very good"
I decided that I did not want to make the meal that was on the plan for today - I'm not even sure what that meal was now that all is said and done. However, the new plan was to make chicken with Italian dressing, but I just wasn't feeling the plain Jane Italian dressing - so the search was on.
One recipe led to another - that sounds good, what about that - let's figure out what ingredients I have on hand. By the end of the search, I wasn't even using the Italian dressing. Oh well C'est la vie.
Tonight's menu at Table 4 Five:
- Spinach & Feta Stuffed Chicken Breasts - my version - not necessarily the recipe that I was following.
- Texmati Rice with Cream Cheese, Spinach and Celery
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast - I used tenders because that's what I had.
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 10 oz frozen spinach - thawed
- 6 oz fat free feta cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Prepare chicken for stuffing - flatten it. Put a spoonful of spinach mixture on the chicken breast
- Cook spinach in garlic on top of stove until done.
- Add feta chese to spinach mixture and mix well.
- Put a teaspoon of spinach mixture onto each chicken breast.
- Fold chicken breasts (like a taco) and secure with a toothpick.
- Place chicken breasts in glass baking dish. Sprinkle with basil, Italian Seasoning, and Garlic Pepper.
- Cook for 30-35 minutes and serve.
Monday, January 3, 2011
Since I don't really like for my kids to eat dinner at 9pm on a school night, it was time to break out the old handy dandy crockpot. What a nice feeling to walk in the door and have dinner practically ready.
Tonight's Dinner Special at Table 4 Five is:
- Smoky Chipotle Cassoulet
- Baby Arugula Salad
- Multigrain French Bread
Sunday, January 2, 2011
Anyway, the Caribbean Kabob Kit was the inspiration for tonight's dinner. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah - I know it's not Mediterranean, but the Caribbean is a sea too - so that's close enough. Besides, I didn't break any Mediterranean rules - just used some different other sea inspired spices.
In the land of unknown cooking knowledge, I also learned that kabobs don't have to be grilled. They cook just fine in the oven - good news for winter weather kabobery. Just put those food swords in the oven at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes on each side and voila!
Tonight's dinner special at the Table 4 Five is..
- Caribbean Shrimp Kabobs
- Rainbow Rotini
- Merlot (milk and water for those whose ages are still single digits or 2 digits beginning with a 1)
This was a very yummy meal, if I do say so myself. The kabobs had shrimp, mushrooms, red bell peppers, and green bell peppers. The Caribbean Kabob Kit marinade consisted of coriander seeds, salt, onion flakes, and sugar mixed with the favorite oil of the Mediterranean people - that which comes from the olive. There was a little bit of the marinade left over, so I mixed it with the rainbow rotini to give this colorful pasta a little bit of zing.
Who knew this food bloggery would be so much fun?
Saturday, January 1, 2011
So I finally planned a week's worth of menus, and this week the crockpot is going to be a very good friend of mine. Don't you just love the crockpot? It is a working person's dream appliance. I wonder who invented the crockpot - maybe I'll have to look that up, and send the person a thank you note.
Today, however, was not about the crockpot. Today was about quick and easy. It is 10:30pm now and I'm trying desperately to keep my head from falling on the keyboard. I am no spring chicken, so ringing in the New Year definitely has its disadvantages. Any way, I digress.
Today's Dinner Menus:
- Quick Tuscan Bean Soup
- Multi-grain French bread with olive oil
- 1 onion – chopped (I prefer red)
- 1 or 2 cloves of garlic (to taste)
- 1 large stick of celery - chopped
- Handful of white mushrooms - washed and rougly chopped
- 1 can cooked cannellini (white) or borlotti beans
- 1 can chopped plum tomatoes
- olive oil
- tomato paste
- large handful of fresh basil
- pinch of dried oregano
- Around 1/2 litre of freshly boiled water
- Cover the bottom of a saucepan with olive oil (vary amount to your taste). Then sauté the chopped onion until it’s golden brown. Add the chopped celery and mushrooms and sauté them too.
- When that has softened, add the can of chopped tomatoes - and a spoonful or a generous squirt of tomato paste (vary amount to your taste) - then crush the garlic cloves and add them too.
- Let it come up to the boil, turn down the heat, add the canned beans, stir them in and let the soup simmer away. As it starts to thicken, add the water gradually – if you want a thinner soup, add more. Season with black pepper - and salt if you wish - and simmer for around 30 minutes. Then tear the fresh basil leaves and add to the soup, together with the dried oregano. Simmer for another 30 minutes.
- Serve drizzled with olive oil, a sprinkling of grated parmesan – and a hunk of crusty bread.