“Putting in Place”

Measuring and laying out all the ingredients BEFORE you start cooking is what “mis en place” is all about.  There’s nothing worse than getting halfway through a recipe and finding that you’re out of a major ingredient. Laying everything out clears your mind of last minute chaos and leads to seamless cooking and a better-produced recipe.

Go out and get a bunch of little and medium dishes, two sets of measuring spoons, some measuring cups, and you’re ready — ready for “mis en place.”

A word or several about the measurements you’ll find in our recipes: most are in metric units. I find them more precise. Weights are in grams. Liquid measures are in milliliters. Your measuring cups all have, or should have, cups delineated on one side, and the metric equivalent on the other. Don’t buy them if they don’t. Your kitchen scale has ounces, grams, and fluid ounces. I use the gram units most often.

So, measure away. Fill those little bowls with your ingredients, lay them all out in front of you, and then start cooking!

And now for our first recipe.  Remember, if you can  read, you can cook!  Enjoy!

                                      TOMATO AND ORANGE SUMMER/WINTER SOUP

Tomato Soup Cocktail 2 (2)

Serve poured into cordial glasses for an elegant pre-dinner enhancement, or serve warm as a starter course. The orange juice adds just enough sweetness to cut the sharpness of the tomatoes.

Initial Prep: 20 minutes    Cook: Total: 65 min.    Final Prep, including cooling time: 70 min.

What You’ll Need: 

Mis en Place
Mis en Place

2 tbsp. olive oil

2 medium onions, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 celery stick, diced

800g (2 small or 1 large can) whole tomatoes, San Marzano if you can find, with juice.
2 cloves garlic, peeled and diced into small bits.

550ml vegetable stock, heated (If you’re making your own vegetable stock with the Knorr Pots, add the pot to two cups of hot water and stir until dissolved.  Give another stir just before using.)
100ml orange juice

Salt and pepper to taste

Orange zest, edible flowers or fresh basil for garnish

Utensils and Tools:

Large Dutch oven


Liquidizer or blender

Storage Container


Heat oil in large pot until it’s wavy.

Onions. Carrots. Celery.
Add the diced vegetables to pot. Cook over very low temperature until veggies are soft — about 20 minutes.

Canned Tomatoes. Garlic.
Dump the tomatoes into the pot. Swish some of the veg stock into the can of tomatoes to get all the juices out and add the garlic.

Vegetable Stock. Orange Juice.

Metric Measures
Metric Measures

Add to the pot and stir well.
Let it all simmer for about 20 minutes.

Liquidize or puree in blender. Return to pot and adjust seasonings.

If serving immediately, reheat.

If serving cold, put into storage container and refrigerate for at least two hours.

Serve garnished with zest, edible flowers or fresh basil.

Music of Choice:
Katherine Jenkins’ “The Ultimate Collection” – Brings tears to my Welsh husband’s eyes!

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