Recipes that are delicious and that always work!

You know these recipes are delicious because if I didn't think that they were fabulous . . . I wouldn't be showing them to you. You can also be sure that these recipes work for the same reason! The rest is simply a matter of taste.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Spiced Tomato Soup

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I am such a lucky girl.  I often get sent the nicest things.  I have always wanted an Emma Bridgewater Mug.  My ex boss had several in her mug drawer in the kitchen and I always loved using them.  I have been known to go to the Emma Bridgewater Page and drool for hours at a time, wishin' and hopin' . . .   I know Susan Branch loves them too and she shared her visit to the plant with us in her latest book.  (Which I devoured from cover to cover!)

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Imagine my excitement when this box arrived in the post late last week.  I could hardly wait to open it!  What did I find inside????  Well . . .

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None other than their brand new 2013 Halloween half pint mug!!  I know!!!  So excited!   A Halloween celebration of the ghoulish gourd and hand decorated with beautifully coloured hand-sponged pumpkins!!   It's generous size makes it just perfect for a warming brew or cup of soup on All Hallows’ Eve.    I love the colours!  It's so perfectly pretty, and decorated both inside and out with these beautifully painted gourds and blossoms!

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British to the Core, Emma Bridgewater Pottery is all created from warm, cream-coloured earthenware  and hand decorated at their factory in Stoke-on-Trent.  In a day and age where a lot of the things we buy are created and manufactured in foreign countries it is nice to see a  British company selling British creation.  To me that only makes them even more special.  I love them.  Do take a gander over to their page and see what they create.  I guarantee you will fall in love like I did.   I now have my eye on a Peter Rabbit mug and have fallen completely head-over-heels in love with her robins.  Who knows, maybe the Toddster will indulge me this Christmas!      

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It was the perfect mug to enjoy this new soup which I created as a Halloween warmer this year.  I thought about doing pumpkin or sweet potato, but then settled on a warming spiced tomato soup.  I always have tons of tinned tomatoes in my larder and I wanted to use what I had to hand . . . and that way you would be sure to have those ingredients to hand as well . . . or at least I hope that you do!  

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Sweet onions, tinned tomatoes, red chillies for heat, some garlic and stock and a bit of herbs is all you need to make this delicious soup.  You can adjust the amount of chillies according to how much heat you do or do not enjoy!  Obviously the more you add the spicier it will be.  I am a chilli wimp myself . . . I don't like things too overly hot . . . 

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Mind you, the garnish of sour cream helps to cool it down a bit.  I got a bit fancy and piped it on with a baggie and dragged a toothpick through it so that it looked incredibly spider-webbed Halloween Ghoulishly frightful!  


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It worked beautifully.  Mind you, then I got all common (as my ex boss would say) and crumbled my crackers into my soup but that is just me!  Not a pretentious bone in my body!  Enjoy!

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*Spiced Tomato Soup*
Serves 4 to 6  

A deliciously easy soup which uses store cupboard ingredients for the most part.  Very quick to put together!  

a splash of olive oil
2 400g tins of good quality chopped tomatoes in tomato juice (2 14oz tins)
450ml of good quality chicken stock
2 TBS good quality balsamic vinegar
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
1 small clove of garlic, peeled and minced
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 small red chilli, trimmed, seeded and finely chopped
(wear gloves and don't touch your face!)  

To serve:
sour cream      

Heat a splash of olive oil in a deep saucepan.  Add the onion and red chilies,  and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened without browning.  Stir in the garlic and fennel seed.  Cook and stir for about a minute.  Add the vinegar.  Cook, until the vinegar has reduced and almost evaporated.   Tip in the tinned tomatoes, the chicken stock, seasoning and brown sugar.  Bring to the boil, then reduce to a low simmer and cook for 15 to 20 minutes.   Remove from the heat and blitz until smooth with an immersion blender.   Reheat gently.   Ladle into hot bowls, and garnish each serving with a dollop of sour cream. 

Many thanks to Emma Bridgewater for sending me this mug.   I just love it!


  1. I like your new mug very much, and I will definitely try this recipe.

  2. Love the cobweb on top! Not sure I could manage to pull that off! You must have a very steady hand!

  3. I think you will like it Tracey!

    Beth, it's not that hard. You just pipe a spiral on and then run a toothpick through it at even intervals! Easy peasy!

  4. This sounds delicious and real comfort food. Perfect on a cold, windy day like today - and I have every ingredient in the house, even sour cream (althogh I lack your artistic skills and mine will probably look like a blob instead of a web).

    Those mugs are lovely! And I agree, the robins are exquisite.

  5. Very cute mug:) And creative soup..
    Have to tell you I grew up on tomato soup w/ crushed crackers..:)

  6. And perfect for the Fall!

    I love tomato anything.

    Am having tomato gravy and biscuit for breakfast right now.

  7. That sounds tasty Ramona!! Love me some gravy and biscuits!

  8. Marie, This soup looks so pretty and sounds like it would be just the thing on a chilly day (or evening!)

    Your new Emma Bridgewater mug is lovely (I'm a big fan of her wares as well), that pattern is so pretty.

    I try to avoid goods from certain foreign countries, too ~ (but heartily embrace ALL things from the UK!!) ;o)

  9. Look lovely Marie, I love tomato soup dear! xoxoxoxo


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