Sunday, 26 February 2012

Fresh Tomato Soup

It's very considerate of the tomatoes and basil that are growing in my garden to be ready and abundant at the same time. Such happy garden-bed fellows are just as happy on the plate or in a bowl together. Just as well as I seem to have an oversupply of both at the moment - not that I'm complaining.

Fresh Tomato Soup

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, finely diced
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 plain flour
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1 litre of chicken stock
2kg fresh plum tomatoes, skinned
a small handful of basil
1/2 cup milk (optional) or make this Basil Oil

Melt the butter and oil over medium heat. Add carrot and onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the onion is translucent and the carrots are well on their way to softening, about 7 to 8 minutes. Add the splash of vinegar at stir until cooked off.

Turn flame to low and add flour. Incorporate into the onion and carrots. Add tomato paste and cook for 1 minute to distribute the paste and cook off the flour taste.

Add chicken stock and bay leaf.

With clean hands add the tomatoes to a bowl and breaking the whole tomatoes up with your hands. Once they are broken up, add them to the pan. Bring to a boil add a small handful of basil leaves and reduce heat to a simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat. Using a stick blender, purée soup in pot until you’ve reached the desired consistency. If you like it chunky, don't purée it as much.  If you don’t have a stick blender, let the soup cool for about 30 minutes and, working in two or three batches, purée some of the soup in a conventional blender until smooth. Place puréed soup in a bowl and purée the remainder in the pot.

Return puréed soup to the pot and stir in milk if desired. I made Basil Oil and topped the soup with a big dollop of that instead. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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