From the Kitchen: with a bonus Tomato Soup Recipe!

My Name is Justyna, Head Chef of the Catering Team here at Guildford Grammar School. I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself and welcome our students back after a nice and deserving three-week holiday. Our kitchen team has been working hard to create new and exciting menus, full of much-needed nutrition for our busy students.
Our kitchen team is very multicultural, so we try our best to produce a variety of great meals to not only satisfy the appetite but also educate our students about the many different cultural backgrounds that are so evident in today’s society.
Our boarders are provided with breakfast every day that includes a full English meal, freshly baked Danish pastries and assortment of fruits, cereals and yoghurts.  Day students and parents can also purchase breakfast, which is served in the Dining Hall, at a cost of $7.00 each.
Morning tea for boarders
We provide our boarders with a sweet morning tea to provide energy to help with their busy school life. This carries them through until lunch time.
A hearty home-style lunch is served in the Dining Hall every day. The selection changes daily, rotating over a 4-week period. As well as the selection of hot food, lunch in the Dining Hall also includes a full salad and sandwich bar, fresh fruit and juice. All meals are prepared in-house by our amazing kitchen staff. Day students can also purchase lunch from the Dining Hall at a cost of $7.00.
Termly Menu
The Dining Hall menu is changed weekly, on a 4-week rotation. You can view all of the current menus here.

Justyna’s Tomato Soup Recipe

During the winter we offer our students a variety of fresh and healthy soups to keep them warm and satisfied between meals.  This Monday we made a delicious rich tomato soup with freshly baked bread rolls, which is always a hit with the students.  My recipe is below; please feel free to change things up and add some of your own flavours!                                                                         
Tomato soup
1-1¼kg/2lb 4oz-2lb 12oz ripe tomatoes
1 medium onion
1 small carrot
1 celery stick
2 tbsp olive oil
2 squirts of tomato purée (about 2 tsp)
a good pinch of sugar
2 bay leaves
1.2 litres/ 2 pints hot vegetable stock (made with boiling water and 4 rounded tsp bouillon powder or 2 stock cubes)

Firstly, prepare your vegetables. You need 1-1.25kg/2lb 4oz-2lb 12oz ripe tomatoes. If the tomatoes are on their vines, pull them off. The green stalky bits should come off at the same time, but if they don't, just pull or twist them off afterwards. Throw the vines and green bits away and wash the tomatoes. Now cut each tomato into quarters and slice off any hard cores (they don't soften during cooking and you'll end up with hard bits in the soup at the end!).
Peel 1 medium onion and 1 small carrot and chop them into small pieces. Chop 1 celery stick roughly the same size.
Spoon 2 tbsp of olive oil into a large heavy-based pan and heat it over a low heat. Hold your hand over the pan until you can feel the heat rising from the oil, then tip in the onion, carrot and celery and mix them together with a wooden spoon. Still with the heat low, cook the vegetables until they're soft and faintly coloured. This should take about 10 minutes and you should stir them two or three times so they cook evenly and don’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
Holding the tube over the pan, squirt in about 2 tsp of tomato purée, then stir it around so it turns the vegetables red. Add the tomatoes, sprinkle in a good pinch of sugar and grind in a little black pepper. Tear 2 bay leaves into a few pieces and throw them into the pan. Stir to mix everything together, put the lid on the pan and let the tomatoes stew over a low heat for 10 minutes until they shrink down in the pan and their juices flow nicely. From time to time, give the pan a good shake – this will keep everything well mixed.
Slowly pour in the 1.2 litres/ 2 pints of hot stock (made with boiling water and 4 rounded tsp bouillon powder or 2 stock cubes), stirring at the same time to mix it with the vegetables. Turn up the heat as high as it will go and wait until everything is bubbling, then turn the heat down to low again and put the lid back on the pan. Cook gently for 25 minutes, stirring a couple of times. At the end of cooking the tomatoes will have broken down.
Remove the pan from the heat, take the lid off and stand back for a few seconds or so while the steam escapes, then fish out the pieces of bay leaf and throw them away. Ladle the soup into your blender until it’s about three-quarters full, fit the lid on tightly and turn the machine on full. Blitz until the soup is smooth (stop the machine and lift the lid to check after about 30 seconds), then pour the puréed soup into a large bowl. Repeat with the soup that’s left in the pan.
Pour the puréed soup back into the pan and reheat it over a medium heat for a few minutes, stirring occasionally until you can see bubbles breaking gently on the surface. Taste a spoonful and add a pinch or two of salt if you think the soup needs it, plus more pepper and sugar if you like. If the colour is not a deep enough red for you, plop in another teaspoon of tomato purée and stir until it dissolves. Ladle into bowls and serve. Or sieve and serve chilled with some cream swirled in.
The soup may now be frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost before reheating.

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2 Aug 2019 - 9:54 AM
GGS Admin
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