Roast Tomato and Cannellini bean soup

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Roast Tomato and Cannellini bean soup

Ingredients  
   
10 plum tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, chopped
  Olive oil and balsamic vinegar for drizzling
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  Salt and pepper
410g cannellini beans (white kidney beans)

Method

  1. Remove the eyes from the tomatoes and cut a cross at the bottom. Pop the tomatoes into boiling water for 10 seconds and then right into ice water.
  2. Peel carefully and cut into half (around the equator) and press out the seeds.
  3. Arrange the tomatoes on a tray, season with salt, pepper and chopped garlic, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and arrange the thyme sprigs over it.
  4. Roast in a hot oven (180°C) for 20 to 30 minutes.
  5. Drain the cannellini beans and rinse well.
  6. Add the tomatoes and the beans to a food processor and process until smooth.
  7. Serve with crusty bread.

Soft cheese mould with Marjoram

For this recipe you will need moulds with holes in the base and clean muslin cloth.

Ingredients  
   
500ml cottage cheese (or cream cheese)
250ml double cream
30ml fresh marjoram, finely chopped
  Salt and pepper to season
3 egg whites, whipped

Method:

  1. Mix the cottage cheese, cream and chopped marjoram well.
  2. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Carefully fold in the stiff egg whites.
  4. Line the moulds with pieces of muslin (enough to fold over).
  5. Pour in the cheese mixture and fold closed.
  6. Arrange the moulds on a tray and refrigerate overnight to drain excess liquid.
  7. Turn out on a cheese board and serve as a dip.

Cooking with Thyme and Marjoram

Precious Thyme

Thyme (which means ‘activity’) needs full sun and a light soil and is easily propagated through cuttings, says Sharon. “Thyme also attracts bees, so you can enclose your whole veggie garden with it.” One of the essential oils in thyme is thymol, still used by pharmacists, especially in cough remedies. Thyme is also antiseptic, as well as an aid to digestion. In the kitchen, thyme is a wonderful addition to pasta and pizza sauces, salad dressings, stews, stuffings and soups, and is especially good with poultry, fish, and eggs.

Marjoram

Marjoram was called the “herb of grace” by Shakespeare. It’s a perennial herb originating from the Mediterranean. Its aroma is similar to that of oregano, but milder and sweeter. Marjoram prefers light, rich soil that is slightly alkaline. Mulch the area around the plant because marjoram has shallow roots. It is slow to germinate, but can also be propagated from cuttings, layering, or division. Marjoram works well as a flavouring agent in sausages, lamb, beef, pork, chicken, fish, tomato dishes, stuffing, breads and salad dressings. It can be substituted with oregano, but you should use less.