Sunday, 8 February 2015

Comfort in a bowl

What can be better in life than a bowl of tomato soup when you are feeling down, or under the weather. Now a lot of people look back on Heinz Cream of Tomato with fond memories, but what could be better than making your own soup fresh to order.

I went to Finland with my husband a couple of years ago, to a small town called Mikkeli. Now Mikkeli is beautiful but despite the abundance of supermarkets,what really struck me was just how expensive fresh fruit and vegetables were. I suppose living in a country where the climate does not lend itself readily to diverse agriculture accounts for this, but it also reminded me of just how important it is not to waste a single thing.

It was on one of these days when my husband, tired of the options in the university cafe, asked me if I could rustle something up if he came back to our apartment during the lunch break. A quick rummage in the fridge resulted in finding a punnet of cherry tomatoes and some basil, about to do from being slightly past their best to unsalvagable. So I decided on soup, putting the tomatoes in a saucepan with little salt and pepper, gently cooking them until they burst and then putting in the liquidiser with the basil and blitzing. That was my original recipe which I have further refined as below:

1 pack of piccolo tomatoes
1 pack on sunstream tomatoes
pinch of salt and pepper
1 pack of basil or basil plant, stalks and all as they add to the flavour

Place the tomatoes in a small saucepan and put over a very low heat. If you want added tomato flavour, place the tomato stems in well, but do not forget to fish out before you blitz.

When the tomatoes have burst and leeched out their juice, take off the heat and allow to cool slightly. Blitz either in a liquidiser or with a stick blender, When still slightly chunky, add the basil and blitz to your required consistency.

You can either eat straight away, or allow to cool and use the next day, after which the flavours will have developed further.

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