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Fresh tomato soup

Here's one of my favourite recipes.

* Fresh Tomato Soup *

The original of this recipe was posted by Caitlin on the Vegfood
mailing list - she'd saved it from a post by LeiG on rec.food.recipes.
Caitlin adapted LeiG's recipe by leaving out the yogurt garnish; I've
changed it as well. The original source was _German Cooking_, by
Malinowski, Sinclair & Nelson. Don't try making this with tinned
tomatoes; it won't be the same! It's a lovely, fresh, light soup - I
think the blendered version is my favourite tomato soup ever. Don't be
tempted to add stock powder (it's not necessary) but do make sure your
tomatoes are nice and ripe.

* Makes 500ml (18fl oz, 2 1/4 cups, serves 2) *

500g (18oz) fresh ripe tomatoes (about 6 medium)
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
500ml (18fl oz, 2 1/4 cups) water
1/4 tsp dried basil
freshly-ground black pepper and salt (or celery salt) to taste

Slice the tomatoes into thin wedges (don't bother to peel them). Place
all ingredients into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and
simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

For a consomme-like soup: Strain the solids out of the soup, pressing
down hard to extract all liquid. Reheat the liquid (put the solids on
the compost heap) and serve hot.

For a thicker soup that freezes well: Whizz the soup in a blender
until smooth. Push through a sieve to get rid of the tomato seeds and
skins, and the stringier pieces of celery. Reheat and serve.