Vegetable soup

Vegetable soup

Vegetable soup

Vegetable soup

If you are a single guy like me or a single woman for that matter who neglects to eat enough veggies from time to time then this one will set you in good stead, and the best thing about it is that you can add almost anything to it and make it a full on meal.

You will need

Stock, chicken or veg stock depending on what flavour you feel like or what you are going to add to it. Personally I use chicken stock 90% of the time, vegetable quantities will vary and you can add almost any vegetable, make a pile of your favorite vegetables that is about 1/3 more than you think you will need.

Carrots
Celery
Onions
Potatoes

These are the basic veg that you should have in any soup and then you can go to town, add whatever your favorite veg is to the list and even a few of those never tried before veg, lets face it, how bad can they really taste! They can only be good for you.

The process (10 minutes max )

Chop up the veg into nice bite size pieces, not too small, we are after a good hearty meal in a soup kind of setup. Make up some stock (read the package), generally I make 500ml and thats good for about 4 servings.

Put a large pot on the stove at a medium to high heat. Add a little olive oil and fry the unions a little or until they are glistening, sometimes I throw in all the veg and give them a bit of a fry for no other reason than I feel like it and it starts to smell good.

Then all you need to do is add the stock, not quite covering the veg, turn down the heat to a low heat and simmer it for about 10-15 minutes with the lid on and you’re done. Now you can chop up a few herbs, grate a little parmesan(my favorite) or chop up a spring onion and sprinkle on top of your soup, a grind of pepper and a pinch of salt before eating.

Adding meat/chicken

When you add meat or chicken, fry it up with the onions befor adding the stock. I like to shred chicken in my soup, it gives it a kind of chinesey feel.

Spicy Chorizo

Spicy Chorizo

Cuban spicy Chorico

Cuban spicy Chorico

This has become one of my all time favorite recipes that takes about 10 minutes to prepare. I made it one day for a few mates who came over to watch the rugby and now I can’t seem to get rid of them. I first had it at a Cuban restaurant in Cape town and just could not get enough of it so had to get a recipe going and here it is!

It can be spicy or mild but I would recommend as spicy as you can handle.

Warning: You will not be welcomed by lovers who have not been eating this with you.

What you need

A couple of Chorizo, say 6 inches of chorizo per person sliced into fairly chunky slices, about 1/2 cm each.

Put a pot on the stove, add 1 tin of chopped tomatoes for every 4/5 people(with or without onion – depends how you feel) . Heat on a medium heat for a few min. Add a few cloves of crushed garlic, whole dried chilli’s to your taste and a teaspoon of paprika per tin tomatoes (smoked paprika if you have) and gently simmer it for a few minutes. Toss on the sliced chorizo and let it all simmer while you cut up a few french loaves or pita or whatever you prefer.

Spoon the mixture into a bowl and if you like it fancy like I do, chop up a few spring onions and sprinkle on top and drink up those compliments.

If you really want to make it a special experience for your friends, make this biltong recipe and the tortilla recipe.

Decadent chocolate cheesecake

Decadent chocolate cheesecake

Chocolate cheesecake

Chocolate cheesecake

This cheesecake is certainly not for those who count calories or are even slightly health concious. We have no idea how much fat or how many calories are in it but we do know how you will feel while eating it, Grrrrrrreat.

Crust

1-1 1/2 cups – chocolate biscuits, chocolate wafers or a combination that you like best. they must not have chocolate chips in them.
75 ml melted butter

Cheesecake

350g dark chocolate (70% cocoa) chopped
2 x 350g tubs of smooth cream cheese (full fat)
1 cup sugar
4 eggs (large)
pinch of salt
125ml strong hot coffee like expresso
2 teaspoons vanilla essence

Before you start

Preheat oven to 160 degrees C.

Springform baking tin – remove bottom of tin and cover with tin foil, reassemble tin.

Preparation

break up the biscuits by knocking them with a rolling pin or squeezing them between you fingers and mix together with the melted butter, then press quite firmly into the bottom of the baking tin and pop it into the fridge.

Melt chocolate in a bowl above a pot of simmering water until soft. Remove from the pot and stir until all the chocolate is melted and it is velvety smooth.

Take another bowl and empty both tubs of cream cheese into the bowl, beat on low for a few minutes or until soft, add sugar gradually beating all the time. Then add the eggs and beat well.  Add the vanilla essence, coffee and salt and beat on a slow speed  until beautifully combined. Add melted chocolate and beat for a few more minutes. Dont taste too frequently at this stage… theres a cake to make.

Get the cold crust from the fridge and pour the chocolatey heavenly mixture over the crust. Give it a little shake to even it out. Put it into a roasting pan with water an inch or 2 up the side.

Bake for 1 hour or until center is firm and switch off the oven. DO NOT REMOVE FROM THE OVEN just open the door and let it cool inside the oven. Don’t poke it or taste it – You can do it!

Once completely cooled put it in the fridge overnight (while I’m writing this I’m thinking that what we have to resist before we get to taste gives us the right to load on the calories – the stress of temptation must cost at least 1000 calories)

The next day

It’s finally time.

Loosen the edges with a knife, remove the sides of the tin and dive in!!!!! NO not yet. Take a vegetable peeler and shave some chocolate over the top, add some whipped cream if you like and then DIVE IN.

YES, YES, YES (Only eat out of earshot of the neighbours)