Chunky Tomato Soup

For some reason my little man has been obsessed with soup recently. To the extent that we had bananas and custard for pudding the other day and he insisted that it was “nana soup”!

So yesterday we took a trip to the shop and gathered all the ingredients for some yummy tomato soup:

Ingredients

1kg tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic
1 large onion
1l veg stock
250ml/1 cup Passata
Fresh basil
Salt and pepper

First boil the kettle and put the tomatoes in a large bowl or pot. Pour the boiling water over the tomatoes to blanche them, this will make removing the skins much easier. Put to one side and leave while you chop up and fry the onions and garlic in a large pot.

Once they are fried, add the veg stock and leave to simmer while you prepare the tomatoes. Lift them one at a time from the hot water. You may find that the skins on some of the tomatoes have already burst in the heat, if not then use the tip of a sharp knife to get it started, then peel off the skins and discard. Roughly chop the tomatoes and add them to the stock.

Pour in the passata, and give it a good stir. Cut up, or rip by hand, about half a dozen fresh basil leaves, add, and season the soup to taste.

Add more fresh basil just before serving, and eat with some crusty fresh bread. Enjoy!

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Easy Peasy Pea Soup

Ever buy a really disappointing bag of frozen peas? I did the other day, and after having some with dinner I immediately knew I didn’t want to eat the rest of the bag like that. They were what my mum would call “chucky”, very hard on the outside and not much flavour. This was a slight problem as the bag was over a kilo! But no matter, as I decided to make the remainder into pea soup instead.

Ingredients

4 large cloves of garlic
1 large onion
2 large carrots
Spinach (we have frozen spinach as we never get through the fresh stuff fast enough to justify buying it. It comes in portion sized blocks and I used 6 of them. So if you wanted to use fresh I would guess at 300/400g)
1kg frozen peas
1.5l vegetable stock
Mint (fresh or dried)
Salt and pepper

It was very simple to make: I fried the garlic and onion until soft, diced and added the carrots, made up the stock using 4tsps bouillon powder and 1.5l water, added it to the pot, put in the spinach and peas and brought it to the boil. I turned it down to a simmer for about 15 minutes and then whizzed it up with the hand blender.

Then came the only chef-y bit. I passed the soup through a sieve and into another pot to get rid of the hard pea skins that made them disappointing in the first place. It was a bit fiddly, but if you use the back of a ladle to swirl the soup around the sieve then it goes through much easier.

I then returned it to a low heat, added 2tsps dried mint, salt and pepper, gave it a good stir and it was ready. And from very disappointing beginnings the peas made a lovely tasty lunch!

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