A chilly day at Eriswell Lodge

It was a rather chilly and wet day when we met up at Eriswell Lodge, Suffolk for one of our social clay days. After braving the weather we all sat down together and enjoyed a spicy tomato soup, sausage roll and some salted caramel chocolate chip cookie bars, see recipes below. Thanks to all the ladies for a fun-filled day!

Spicy Tomato Soup

Since I mostly just wing it when I cook the amounts are estimates... The recipe makes enough for about 10-12 people. 

  • 2 large stalks of celery
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 red peppers
  • 3 tins of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon of soft brown sugar (or any sugar would probably work)
  • 1/2 cup of cream
  • 1 1/2 cup of vegetable stock or water with stock cube (up to you!)
  • tabasco
  • salt
  • black pepper

Slice the celery, onion, garlic and peppers and soften in oil in a large thick bottomed pot. When the vegetables are soft and slightly browned, add the tomatoes and sugar and simmer for a bit. Use a stick blender to make the soup as smooth as you would like it. Add the cream and tabasco, salt and pepper to taste.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

For these super-moreish bars you can either make your own salted caramel or buy it from the supermarket. On this occasion I made my own so below is both the salted caramel recipe and the one for the bars (slightly modified). 

Salted Caramel 

  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons (90g) salted butter, room temperature cut up into pieces
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. Heat granulated sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a high heat resistant rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
  2. Sugar will form clumps and eventually melt into a thick brown, amber-colored liquid as you continue to stir. Be careful not to burn.
  3. Once sugar is completely melted, immediately add the butter. Be careful in this step because the caramel will bubble rapidly when the butter is added.
  4. Stir the butter into the caramel until it is completely melted, about 2-3 minutes. A whisk helps if you find the butter is separating from the sugar.
  5. Very slowly, drizzle in 1/2 cup of heavy cream while stirring. Since the heavy cream is colder than the caramel, the mixture will rapidly bubble and/or splatter when added.
  6. Allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute. It will rise in the pan as it boils.
  7. Remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon of salt. Allow to cool down before using.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

  • 300 grams all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 170 grams unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 200 grams semisweet chocolate chips
  • Salted caramel from recipe above
  • Fleur de sel (or other sea salt), for sprinkling over caramel and bars
  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees. Grease a 9-inch square pan and line with parchment paper; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer, mix together the melted butter and sugars on medium speed until combined. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract and mix until smooth. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix on low, just until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  4. Press half of the cookie dough into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula. Pour the caramel over the cookie dough and spread into an even layer, leaving about ½ inch around the border. Drop the remaining cookie dough in spoonfuls over the caramel and gently spread the dough with a spatula until the caramel is covered. Sprinkle the bars with additional sea salt.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the top of the bars are light golden brown and the edges start to pull away from the pan. Place the pan on a wire rack and cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for about 30 minutes to allow the caramel layer to set. Cut into squares and serve. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.