Friday, 29 March 2013

Tomato Soup

I'm the first to admit the flavour of a soup, be it hot or cold, made with fresh tomatoes from the greenhouse in August cannot be beaten, however, it's March, the sun is trying to shine in between rather pathetic attempts to snow and I am trying to make tomato soup using tinned tomatoes.
I find I eat less and less fish; now I cook mainly vegetarian food, but a tiny jar of anchovy fillets in oil remains a very handy thing to have in the pantry, they add a depth as well as some of the salt  in this soup without any fishy taste, but you could omit them if you wish and simply compensate with extra salt. The other addition I make to this soup which I don't with a soup made using fresh tomatoes, is the dried cascabel chilli. The chilli has a medium heat but provides a round nuttiness. Dried savoury is the herb of choice in this soup but dried oregano and a little thyme will substitute very nicely. This recipe produces just over 2 litres of rich warming soup, ideal on a wintry day at the end of March and I am pleased to say, just approved in the last hour by quality control tasters Sue & Dick, I'm really very fortunate.

For this soup you will need,
1 large onion
1 leek
2 sticks of celery
1 large potato roughly 200g
4 fat cloves of garlic
4 anchovy fillets
1 or 2 cascabel chilli
1 tablespoon of tomato puree
1 teaspoon of dried savoury
1 tablespoon of Marigold bouillon powder
100ml pf Noilly Prat
3 teaspoon of sugar
1/2 teaspoon each of black pepper and white pepper
2 x 400g tins of tomatoes
1 tablespoon of olive oil
50g of unsalted butter

Begin by frying the anchovy fillets in the olive oil for a minute or two until they begin to break up. Chop the vegetables and sweat with the chilli in the anchovy flavoured olive oil over a medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes, add the tomato puree and cover with a lid to cook gently for a further 3 or 4 minutes. Add the savoury and the Noilly Prat, Noilly Prat is an ideal pantry ingredient, it provides a hit of white wine when it's required without having to open a bottle. The tiniest amount in a glass with chilled gin is also a really good start to an evening, Place the gin in a glass with 3 cubes of ice and stir for 10 seconds before straining onto the Noilly Prat, I digress. Add the tins of tomatoes and a tin filled with water 3 times. Add the vegetable stock powder, the pepper and the sugar, bring to the boil, and turn down the heat. Cover and simmer for an hour. Blend with 50g of unsalted butter to produce a rich, velvety soup that doesn't have the overly dairy flavour that adding cream would produce.

My cheese croutons are just right with this soup, Click here for the recipe


  1. This soup looks lovely and as we are using the last of our fresh harvested tomatoes you will forgive me for not using the anchovies ;).

  2. Hello there, I keep the rinds of parmesan specifically for using in soups to give the same depth of flavour I get from using anchovies in this one, just remember to remove them before blending the soup.
    Best wishes, Tôbi

  3. It's April and I am expecting someone for lunch so I made this soup again. People often ask why I write this blog and one of the main reasons is it allows me to conveniently pass on my recipes to my daughter, but I realise with my memory becoming more and more unreliable it is a prefect way to help me recreate dishes I created in the past. I remembered this as a delicious soup but I had forgotten quite how I made it.

  4. this is my favourite soup to date. A rich creamy flavour with a hint of chill. Lovely