Monday, March 14, 2011

roasted tomatoe soup and twice baked potatoes

Eilidh and I made brunch on our snow day Wedndsday last week.  It included the typical western fare, toast, poached eggs, homefries and a couple very British additions; roasted tomatoes and fried mushrooms.  I remember these breakfasts well, the little caf at the bottom of my street served up delicious breakfasts that included these things and also beans and bacon (I skip out on British sausages and black pudding).  I discovered on Wednesday how much I love eating roasted tomatoes.  And they're dead easy to make; just cut your tomatoes into quarters, throw them onto a pan, drizzle with olive oil and some herbs and shove them in the oven.  Their juices cook and sort of carmelize into a sweet tomatoe-y liquid.

So tonight, while sprawled on my couch with my kitty laying on my belly, I rediscovered another very British thing: Sophie Dahl.  Sophie is famous children's book author Roald Dahl's granddaughter, and she is a chef.  I'd seen her program once before while living in London and was thrilled when I saw 'The Delicious Miss Dahl' listed on my Digiturk guide.  On 'The Delicious Miss Dahl', Sophie makes comfort food that reflects her mood.  Today, Sophie was feeling nostalgic, and made the English comfort food she craved while she was living in New York.  She made a very English meal; roasted tomatoe soup and twice baked potatoes, and 2000 miles away, in my little Turkish-ly decorated flat in Ankara, I felt nostalgic for a little taste of home cooking as well.  'Roasted tomatoes?' I thought, 'Why, that's my new favourite thing!'  I threw the tomatoes, onions, garlic and herbs in a pot to roast and ran down to Eilidh's to borrow a hand blender to make my soup.

Now, my supply of fresh vegetables is running quite low, but I always keep potatoes, onions and garlic on hand and buy fresh tomatoes and other veg fresh every week.  So, I had just what I needed to make this delicious recipe.  What I noticed tonight about Sophie Dahl is that she's unbelievably calm and zen when she's cooking.  She's relaxed, and doesn't seem to be too bothered about time or dirtying lots of dishes.  Mind you, Miss Dahl is a professional chef and works in a professional kitchen studio.  I am a teacher who's worked all day long and cooks in a small, windowless kitchen with very limited equipment.  Did I mention that I have only one mixing bowl?  This is pathetic, I know, but I wasn't exactly cooking much until recently.  I think I'll invest in a few more cooking things.

I have been on a roll with cooking recently.  I made a delicious pizza this Friday, breakfast on Saturday and bruchetta on Sunday.  Will let you know what's cooking tomorrow.

Twice Baked Potatoe and Roasted Tomatoe Soup, recipe courtesy of Sophie Dahl


  1. Kirbie...It looks delicious!!!Another thing you can make for me this summer! Great blog! Love MOM

  2. Hi Kirbie,
    The soup and potatoes look wonderful! Your pictures are amazing and so delicious looking. You will have the cooking down pat for sure before you get home. Love Ya! Jill

  3. Looks and sounds delicious. It's perfect for a quiet afternoon because the tomatoes and potatoes just cook away while you do something else, like watch TV. :)