When first studying in culinary school, Hospitality at RMIT, Melbourne, one of our first modules was soup, I learnt this moreish Portuguese tomato & rice soup, though now I realise how easy it is, of course it was one of the first introductions to cooking.
Portuguese because it was loaded with tomatoes & rice, it’s thickened with rice, it makes a great warmer for afternoons at the football, or taking to work lunch.

2 onions, peeled & diced and into a heavy based pot with a glug of olive oil, on low heat to start the saute.
Add 2 cloves of smashed garlic, 3 chopped carrots (peel on is fine), turn up the heat and stir to caramelise. After about 5 minutes, add 1 tablespoon of sweet paprika, stir to toast along with the vegetables, then add 2 litres of chicken stock, 800 grams of tinned tomatoes, Half a cup of short grain rice & 2 bay leaves. Bring to the boil, simmer till the carrot is tender, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly and using a hand blender, puree till smooth. Adjust the seasoning with freshly ground pepper, sea salt and a little brown sugar. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Perfect with grilled cheese toasties! Use vegetable stock or water for vegetarians, it’s also gluten free.

S’mores, I first tasted while working in Upstate New York with American Girl Scout camps. Campfire singalongs and these treats were gobbled and licked chocolate fingers.
Easy to pack & carry for camping trips, S’mores work just as well at home for sleepovers.
You need plainish biscuits – try digestives, Anzacs or Marie biscuits.
Add a bar of plain milk chocolate, and a bag of Marshmallows.
It helps to set up a large sharing board near the fire with bikkies laid out, with squares of chocolate on half of them. Attaching the marshmallows on skewers ready to go.
The marshmallows need toasting on skewers to toasted burnt melted goo. If you time it correctly, with a square of chocolate on a bikkie, carefully drop the molted marshmallow onto the chocolate, then top with another biscuit. Without burning your lips, munch while the chocolate is liquifying for the ultimate treat.
Mix it up with chocolate biscuits & white chocolate, or add your favourite jam, honey or peanut butter. Served best with hot chocolate & scary stories!