Last week we went to England. It was spooky-misty, like a set for a Sherlock Homes mystery. We enjoyed it. The little figure in the sea is my son, who was not going to let the fact that it was late October stop him from making the most of this year’s only trip to the sea.
It’s him in the other picture too. The thing in his hand is a lightsaber. Can you believe I only found out what a lightsaber is after I met my husband? I managed to go through more than twenty years in total ignorance. But Remco made sure our children are properly educated in all things Star Wars from an early age.
We’ve also seen a dragon, guarding its eggs. We’ve seen a castle, possibly hunted. We’re all ready for Halloween now.
All we need is some more spooky food. Because you can’t live on candy alone (or maybe you can, but I don’t recommend it), you should make a scary soup. A soup that stares coldly right back at you. But if you’re brave enough to eat it, you’ll find out that it is a totally not scary combo of tomatoes, mozarella and olives. A combo that makes sense, unlike some other colourful Halloween food.
More scary food: Petrified cheese
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Note: I did not have a small melon baller that the recipe called for, so I went to the only shop in Hengelo specialized in kitchen utensils. They did indeed have a small kitchen baller, all shiny stainless steel. It cost 26 Euros. I was not willing to cough up 26 Euros for a gadget I would use once or twice a year (maybe). I found out that using a small pointed knife works too, though if you have a melon baller, it will make the job easier.
1 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
125 ml (1/2 cup) dry white wine
2 cans (28 ounces each) crushed tomatoes
500 ml (2 cups) vegetable stock
3 sprigs oregano or marjoram
125 ml (1/2 cup) crème fraîche
salt and pepper
2 packs (450 g/1 pound -about 30) bocconcini (bite-size mozzarella balls)
1 jar small pimiento-stuffed olives
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook until onion is translucent, about 6 minutes.
Add wine, and cook until most liquid has evaporated, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, stock, and oregano, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer gently until thickened, about 30 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon, remove herbs. Puree soup in small batches until smooth. Return to pan, and slowly pour in the crème fraîche, stirring constantly. Season with salt and pepper.
Make the eyeballs: Using a small melon baller (or a small pointed knife), scoop out a hole from each bocconcini. Halve each pimiento-stuffed olive crosswise. Place a half, cut side out, in the hole in each bocconcini to make eyeballs.
Ladle hot soup into shallow bowls (you don’t want it piping hot though, because it would melt the mozarella quickly). Float a few eyeballs in each bowl.