We are almost into the too hot for soup days, but this past weekend was kind of chilly I thought . . . rainy, windy and with a bit of a cold wind. It was soup weather and I thought I would take advantage of that by making a lovely pot of one of my favourite soups. Mother's Creamy Tomato Soup.
Note, this is not my mother's homemade tomato soup recipe but rather a tomato soup recipe which I made on occasion when I worked as a chef at the Manor for the family. Its a bit more involved than normal tomato soups, and you do use a few utensils to make it, but it is well worth the effort as the end result is a thick and creamy soup with beautiful rich tomato flavour!
You will want to make sure you use really good tinned tomatoes for this recipe. I use Cirio chopped tomatoes in tomato juice as you know. Widely available in all the shops, in my opinion, they are the best. Fragrant and tasty with a beautiful rich red colour. They are never insipid or sharp. I think they are pretty perfect. I also use their tomato puree (tomato paste,) and for the same reasons. And no, I am not being paid to say that.
They might cost a bit more, but it is worth it in taste. When you are making something which is basically tomato flavoured, you want to use the best.
Back to the soup, this is rich and creamy . . . thick but not overly so . . . not thin either. I can't believe that I had never made it for us at home before. I had only ever made it at the manor and I knew that it tasted good because of course as the chef you do have to taste, but this weekend was the first time I had ever enjoyed a bowl of it here at home.
And enjoy it we did! With nice chunks of a fresh French baguette! I confess . . . I am very naughty and I always like to add a tiny knob of butter to the top of my bowl of soup and swirl it in. Hmm . . . probably why I look the way I do, lol.
Oh well . . . . in for a penny in for a pound (s)! The recipe is adapted from one found in a cookery magazine from a number of years back entitled, "Comfort Food, wholesome recipes that take you back home" great recipes from Mother's Bistro & Bar. You can't get much more comforting than tomato soup can you?
*Mother's Creamy Tomato Soup*Serves 4
450ml milk (2 cups)
150ml double cream (2/3 cup heavy cream)salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Melt 1 TBS of butter in a large saucepan. Add the onion and celery. Cover and cook on low over low heat until very soft, about 20 minutes. Add the bay leaf, thyme, tinned tomatoes and tomato puree. Bring to a simmer and cook for a further 10 to 15 minutes.
Melt the remaining butter in a saucepan. Whisk in the flour. Cook for several minutes to cook out the flour taste. It should smell a bit nutty. Slowly whisk in the single cream (half and half) and milk, allowing the flour mixture to absorb each addition before adding another. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a slow simmer and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour this into the pot with the tomatoes, whisking it in well. Whisk in the double cream. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes longer. Remove the bay leaf and thyme.
This soup is really, really good. I didn't mind that it was worth all the extra faffing about. The end result is exceptional! In fact, I would serve this at a rustic dinner party as a first course, in which case it would serve more people. Bon Appetit!