The day lexi came to visit…

Alex inspecting the tomatoes before they go in the oven.
Alex inspecting the tomatoes before they go in the oven.
Peach and raspberry trifles.
Peach and raspberry trifles.
The chicken, post roasting.
The chicken, post roasting.

So my dear friend Alex came to visit and obviously a 3 course meal was in order. I’d like to say I made all three courses from scratch but even this Emsworth Foodie has to ‘cheat’ sometimes. So this was the Menu for the day:

Breaded goats cheese with cranberry sauce (courtesy of Lidl)

Roast tomato soup with chicken

Peach and raspberry trifle

The recipe for the starter is obviously not necessary; it basically goes like this – go to Lidl and purchase some of their breaded goats cheese, put in the oven, and then serve.

This is the recipe for the Roast Tomato Soup with chicken:

Roasted tomato, chicken and bean soup

LOVE life recipe: low in saturated fat

  • Preparation time: 25 minutes, plus cooling
  • Cooking time: 1 hour
  • Total time: 1 hour 25 minutes, plus cooling

Serves: 6


1.5kg ripe tomatoes, halved widthways

6 echalion shallots, halved or quartered if large

4 garlic cloves, peeled

2 whole red chillies, stalks removed (deseeded, if liked)

25g pack basil, leaves and stalks separated

1 tbsp vegetable oil

8 chicken thighs

400g can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed


1. Preheat the oven to 200˚C, gas mark 6. Toss the tomatoes, shallots, garlic, chillies and basil stalks with the oil; season. Scatter in one layer over a baking tray. Top with the chicken thighs, skin-side up; season. Roast for 45-55 minutes, until the veg are soft and the chicken is thoroughly cooked, with no pink meat and the juices run clear.

2. Set the chicken aside, cool and shred; discard the skin and bones. Blitz everything else in a food processor until smooth, in batches, if needed.

3. Transfer the soup to a pan and add 200-300ml water until smooth. Add the beans and most of the chicken; simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in most of the basil leaves. Serve, topped with the remaining basil and chicken.

I pretty much kept to the recipe except instead of using chicken thighs I used a whole chicken. Whole chickens have been a total revelation for me. I used to be really scared about roasting them as I was convinced I would underdo them and give everyone salmonella food poisoning. In fact, as long as they don’t come with giblets, they couldn’t be easier to do and they are much cheaper than buying the equivalent weight of chicken filets or breasts.

I bought the chicken for this recipe from our local butchers and although you do pay slightly more than you would do in the supermarket I think it is worth it as the chicken went much further than a supermarket equivalent.

The recipe for the Peach and Raspberry Trifle is as follows:

4 pitted peaches, 1 cut into wedges and the rest chopped

200g Raspberries

200ml Peach Juice

1 Maderia Cake

2-3 tbsp seedless raspberry jam

250g Mascarpone

4 tbsp lemon curd

300ml double cream

1) Mix the chopped peaches with the raspberries, rum and peach juice. Cut the cake into slices and make sandwiches with the jam, cut these into fingers or cubes. Divide the cake cubes between 6 or 8 small glasses and spoon some fruit mixture into each, letting the juice soak into the sponge.

2) Beat the mascarpone and lemon curd together. Whip the cream to soft peaks. Fold half of the cream into the mascarpone mix and spoon some onto the fruit. Whip the cream a little more and finish the trifles with a spoonful of cream and the remaining peach wedges.

Again I pretty much followed this recipe to the letter. It worked really well and I particularly enjoyed the super boozy flavour that the rum provided.




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