- 1-1.25kg/2lb 4oz-2lb 12oz ripe tomatoes
- 1 medium onion
- 1 small carrot
- 1 celery stick
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 squirts of tomato purée (about 2 tsp)
- a good pinch of sugar
- 2 bay leaves
- 1.2l hot vegetable stock (made with boiling water and 4 rounded tsp bouillon powder or 2 stock cubes)
1. Prepare the vegetables by removing any inedible parts and washing them. Chop the celery, carrot and onion into small pieces. Quarter the tomatoes and remove the hard parts, they won't soften during cooking.
2. Spoon the oil into a large pan and heat it over a low heat. When you can feel heat rising from the oil, then tip in the onion, carrot and celery and mix together with a wooden spoon. Keep it on a low heat for about 10 minutes until the vegetables are soft and faintly colored, stirring occasionally to allow even cooking and prevent them sticking to the pan.
3. Add roughly around 2 tsp of tomato puree to the pan and stir until the vegetables are red. Add the tomatoes in and a pinch of sugar and a little black pepper. Tear each bay leaf into a few pieces and add them into the pot. Stir again and put the lid on the pan. Allow the tomatoes to stew over a low heat for 10 minutes until they shrink down and their juices are flowing. Make sure to shake the pan every now and them to keep everything well mixed.
4. Slowly pour in the stock, stirring at the same time to mix it with the vegetables. Turn up the heat as high as it will go and wait until everything is bubbling, then turn the heat down to low again and put the lid back on the pan. Cook gently for 25 minutes, stirring a couple of times. At the end of cooking the tomatoes will have broken down and be very slushy looking.
Remove the pan from the heat, take the lid off and stand back for a few seconds or so while the steam escapes, then fish out the pieces of bay leaf and throw them away. Ladle the soup into your blender until it's about three-quarters full, fit the lid on tightly and turn the machine on full. Blitz until the soup's smooth (stop the machine and lift the lid to check after about 30 seconds), then pour the puréed soup into a large bowl. Repeat with the soup that's left in the pan.
5. Pour the puréed soup back into the pan and reheat it over a medium heat for a few minutes, stirring occasionally until you can see bubbles breaking gently on the surface. Taste a spoonful and add a pinch or two of salt if you think the soup needs it, plus more pepper and sugar if you like. If the colour's not a deep enough red for you, plop in another teaspoon of tomato purée and stir until it dissolves. Ladle into bowls and serve. Or sieve and serve chilled with some cream swirled in.
When I made this I only used 1 Litre of Vegetable stock and the soup was fairly thick so if you like thicker soup, don't use as much stock.
You can add your own seasonings to suit your own taste.
Suitable for: Vegetarians, Vegans.
It can be frozen.
This isn't my own recipe but I made it and found it easy to make and tasty.