I overheard some kids sitting in front of me at a cooking show once.
"Did you know that ratatouille has rat in it?" one said, all knowing and cheeky.
"No way!! Does it really? Ewww!" the smaller one exclaimed.
"Yes they grind it all up in a mincer and then put it back together as a rat and then it sits at the bottom of a pot and whoever gets the rat in their bowl gets scabies" he explained to the other child who was riveted in horror.
"Really? How do you know?" the other child asked.
"Because that's how my mum makes it. She told me so!" he answered, as if that was the end of the conversation.
Of course ratatouille has no rat, it's actually a vegetable soup and a rather tasty one at that. Low in fat, simple and full of tasty vegetables I was amused to hear how parents get their kids to eat things. I'm sure the film Ratatouille had something to do with it too. I don't know if I would have gone for it if I were told that it had rat in it but this child was clearly much more adventurous than I.
I had actually made this before we went away for a holiday and frozen it so we would have something to eat when we got back. It was so easy to heat up and eat that I soon forgot about any sort of strange ways to sell it to children or adults. The soup is full of goodies and goodness-there's are vegetables of course but also the succulent tender bites of sausage pepped up the flavour. And I promise that there's no rat in this ratatouille ;)
So tell me Dear Reader, do you ever just eat soup for dinner or do you find it not filling enough?
An Original Recipe by Not Quite Nigella
1 onion, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons oil
1 capsicum, deseeded (I used 1/2 a green and 1/2 a yellow) and cut into small pieces
4-5 long Japanese eggplant, chopped into small discs
1 cup tomato passata
2.5 cups beef stock
2 sausages (I used pork and white wine sausages)
1 jalapeno chilli, sliced
Bread to serve
Step 1 - Heat oil in a pot and add the onion and fry for a few minutes until fragrant. Add the garlic and fry for another minute. Then add the capsicum and eggplant to the pot and fry for a minute just to brown a little.
Step 2 - Add the tomato passata and beef stock and I usually just take a pair of scissors and cut the sausages into the soup. Add the chilli and then place the lid on the pot and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir and garnish with basil and serve with bread.