Velvety smooth tomato soup can be comforting and tasty as a starter to a three course meal, or as a lunchtime meal in itself. If you’ve only ever eaten tomato soup from a tin, it’s time to try making your own for a revelation to your taste-buds. Remember though that you need ripe tomatoes with plenty of flavour to make a good fresh tomato soup otherwise you might as well use tinned tomatoes.
Look for tomatoes sold ripe on the vine, which should be at their best in late summer and early autumn. Plum tomatoes also work very well.
Tomato Soup Recipe
1kg / 2.2lbs ripe tomatoes
1 stick of celery
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons tomato puree
½ teaspoon sugar
2 bay leaves
1.2 litres vegetable stock
Chop the onions, carrot and celery quite finely. Chop the tomatoes into chunks and remove any hard bits from their cores if they are the big beefsteak variety.
Heat the oil in a large heavy based pan over a low heat. Cook the onion, celery and carrot for 10 minutes or so, stirring occasionally until they are softened.
Add the tomato puree and the chopped tomatoes. Sprinkle in the sugar, some freshly ground black pepper and the bay leaves. Stir it all together then cover and allow to cook gently over a low heat for 10 more minutes.
Pour in the hot stock, cover and simmer for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove the bay leaves and puree the tomato soup in a blender. You’ll probably have to do this in two or more batches. Check the seasoning. You can add salt to taste and a little more pepper if you like. Return the pureed soup to the pan and reheat gently when you are ready to eat.
Sprinkle with some torn fresh basil leaves
Swirl in a little sour cream
Serve chilled in summer with cream.
Crusty white bread is an essential accompaniment.
Other things you can put in your tomato soup:
2 cloves garlic chopped and cooked with the vegetables
1 potato to make a thicker soup
In winter when ripe tomatoes are rare, use tinned tomatoes instead.
Should tomato soup be eaten as a starter to be followed by a Sunday roast? Why not eat Sunday lunch out at one of Nottingham’s British restaurants.