Well, here is the recipe … finally! It’s a good job (luckily) I made a lot of soup on Monday because, guess what? … that’s right, I woke up on Tuesday with the beginnings of influenza and by Tuesday night I was in a bad way and needing some of my own comfort food. And now my little girl is suffering, too. I honestly think this is the first time in my life I have suffered from influenza … and it’s not nice! 😦
I love tomatoes. I can’t understand people who don’t like them. I love their rich taste and I feel cheated when a tomato has no taste, which is often the case with tomatoes on sale in British supermarkets – they often seem so watery! I didn’t really know what a tomato should taste like until I went to live in Spain, where the tomato seemed to be a completely different fruit. By the way, did you know tomatoes are a fruit? 🙂
I love the variety of salads that you can make with tomatoes, and I love the way the taste of tomatoes intensifies when they are cooked: roasted, grilled, or pan-fried. For a tomato soup, it is much better to use tomatoes which are over-ripe and no longer suitable for salads any longer. So, where better to find food which is past its sell-by-date than Supa-Tamade: the brightest and noisiest 24/7 supermarket in the world, infamous for its old fruit and veg.
And I was right, as luck would have it (luckily), I was able to buy some lovely ripe tomatoes in Supa-Tamade, but not as many as I needed. So, on-the-spot, I decided to make another equally wonderful soup: carrot and tomato.
Anyway … your soup should end up looking like this … Hinomaru soup! 🙂
8 large ripe tomatoes
6 good size carrots
2 small potatoes (or 1 big one of course!)
2 cloves of garlic
1 tin of tomatoes
2 bay leaves
thyme or rosemary
1 tablespoon sugar
one bunch of mitsuba
Chop the carrots, onion and potato(es) and gently fry in the butter and oil with the herbs and garlic stirring occasionally.
The easy way to peel tomatoes is to leave them to soak in boiling water for 5-10 minutes.
Boil a large pan of water and, as soon as the water boils, turn off the heat and place the tomatoes in the pan. The skins of the toamtoes should split and they should almost begin to peel on their own.
Next, after 5-10 minutes, drain the water from the pan and let the tomatoes cool for a couple of minutes.
The skins should come off very easily. Now you need to remove the hard centres of the tomatoes, and the best way to do this is with a pair of kitchen scissors.
You can now throw the tomatoes in the pan with the other vegetables and add the tin of chopped tomatoes. Add salt to suit your taste (I find tomatoes usually need more salt than many other foods) and a tablespoon of sugar (this will take any bitterness away).
Cover with water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes.
When the soup is ready, turn off the heat and allow it to cool for a few minutes. Remove the bay leaves and, using your food-processor (see Monday night recipe (1) for a picture of mine), prepare for serving. Garnish with chopped mitsuba, grated parmesan and black pepper. Serve with warm French bread. Enjoy! 🙂
Let me know if you have any success making my comfort soup!