How to Make Cream of Tomato Soup using Fresh Tomatoes
I love tomato soup. I especially love cream of tomato soup, the way Heinz makes it. Unfortunately, they won't share their recipe!
Buying canned cream of tomato soup isn't really an option where I live, as the people here are so used to making their own soups from fresh tomatoes, the canned variety just wouldn't sell the same.
So the shops don't stock it, and when you have that notion for some nice creamy tomato soup, you really have no option but to make your own.
Fortunately,tomatoes grow really well here in Spain.
Spain is one of the major tomato producers in the world. I have driven passed some of the massive poly-tunnels in which tomatoes are grown commercially, and wondered why they need to be inside a polytunnel when the climate is perfect for growing tomatoes outdoors.
The answer to that is stunningly simple.
Spain harbours a wide variety of pests which would (and do) decimate crops which are allowed to grow in the open.
This year, I had a self-seeded tomato plant that grew in a big black bin that I was using as a compost heap.
It almost died several times through lack of water, until finally I started paying it attention and looked after it, giving it water when it needed.
It has rewarded me with a lovely crop of tomatoes that did not ripen until October, which is weird. Even for here, that is late in the year for a tomato plant to produce a crop.
Because my tomato plant is out in the wild, so to speak, many insects attack it and it's fruit, many of which have already been consigned to the compost heap. (I had to start a new one; it was growing IN the old one).
I have been getting into the habit of picking the tomatoes before they are fully ripe to prevent insects from penetrating the fruit.
I thought I'd explain all that, before I showed you what I did with those tomatoes,
Cream of Tomato Soup Recipe
- a small bowl of tomatoes, or 5 or 6 shop bought medium sized tomatoes
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 stock cube made up with water as per instructions
- a little seasoning a little oil for frying
- Heat oil in a heavy based saucepan, and add chopped onions to fry gently.
- Meanwhile, add boiling water to the bowl of tomatoes, that you have firstly pricked with a shark knife.
- Remove the tomatoes from water after a couple of minutes, and peel.
- Decore, roughly chop, and add to onions in the pan.
- Continue frying gently for another 15 - 20 minutes.
- Add stock and water to make up the stock cube as per manufacturer's instructions.
- Simmer gently for half an hour.
- Turn off heat, and leave to cool for at least 10 minutes.
- Using an electric hand-held blender, blend the soup to make a smooth paste.
- Check seasoning. Add more as required.
- Add a tablespoon of fresh cream or yoghurt and swirl in before serving.
It will still be a tomato soup as above, but you can also add in a selection of vegetables during the simmering stage. This is a great way to use up vegetables that have been lurking in the bottom of the fridge for a while and are on their last legs.
Carrots, peppers, celery, the whites of leeks and any other non-green vegetable can be added.
Adding green vegetables will change the color of the soup and it really needs to be an orangey-red for tomato soup.
If you are not bothered about color, add in whatever you like. The flavor is really what counts.
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