Last year we managed to grow some tomatoes and I made some soups and passattas with some of the glut that we had. (I still have some tomatoes in the freezer.)
One of the varieties we grew was called “Citronella” – they are a tomato which look like a lemon in shape and size and have a hint of a lemon flavour to them. They are a bit quirky but make an interesting contrast if you are having mixed tomatoes or fancy something a little different. I had made some soup with these and still had a couple of containers lurking in the freezer.
The soup was very simple to make by just frying an onion and adding all the chopped tomatoes and cooking until they were softened. I added a stock cube for seasoning and then blitzed to make a nice smooth soup. Don’t bother with all the cheffy trying to peel the skin and de-seed, that’s where the colour comes from and you don’t need to add any more liquid unless you want a thinner soup.
Anyway…. for dinner tonight I decided to experiment and get one of these out and make a rice bake dish.
I used (for the two of us):
- 100g wholegrain brown rice (or whatever you have)
- 1 tub Yellow tomato soup (I will discuss alternatives later)
- 1 tin smoked mackerel (you could use fresh if you have it)
- A generous handful of frozen peas
Because I was using wholegrain rice which takes a lot longer to cook I part cooked the rice first. Rinsed well and drained and then added the soup. I used a hob to oven casserole dish so I heated it up before popping in the oven at about 180 for about 30 minutes. Checking occasionally to give it a stir and make sure that it did not dry out too soon.
Now if you don’t happen to have some yellow tomato soup in your freezer, you can get a similar flavour by adding a small preserved lemon (you can buy them in jars) to plain rice and when the rice is almost cooked it will have softened enough to break down and mix up with the rice. As I was using a pre-made soup I did not need to add any more seasoning but if you taste it and want some more then add as desired.
Alternatively you could use a tin of standard tomato soup or passatta which will also work well with mackerel.
Once the rice had fluffed up and there was not much moisture left, I broke up the mackerel and mixed in with the rice along with the frozen peas.
I put this back into the oven for about 5-10 minutes to heat the mackerel and the peas. If you are using fresh or uncooked mackerel then you will need to leave this in for longer.
Now I’m sure that if you wanted to you could probably add some parmesan cheese on top but I resisted this time as I wanted to keep this dish reasonably healthy. Mackerel is quite high in calories although very good for you.
If you don’t want to use your oven then you could continue to cook on the hob as it is quite similar to a risotto.
Once everything is piping hot, serve and enjoy – I did and I’m not that keen on fish.