It’s the been the best year to date for me for growing tomatoes. I make my daily walk up to the polytunnel and come back full of sweet yellow and red tomatoes. Alas the sad day is fast approaching when I must pull up the plants but before I do, I’m going to make a vat of tomato soup which I will freeze and which will remind me of summer during the dark days of winter.
This soup is really easy to make and it’s a celebration of all things tomato. The aim is to create a soup of the essence of tomato with limited ingredients so that all that you taste is tomato. It definitely works best with homegrown produce but the best quality sweet cherry tomatoes from the supermarket are also fine.
This soup is rather addictive and it’s quite easy for just one person to drink the whole lot, smug in the knowledge that it’s not terribly fattening.
500g best quality tomatoes
500ml good quality chicken stock (vegetable stock can be substituted)
3 tablespoons tomato ketchup
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (or Henderson’s Relish if you live near Sheffield)
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses (optional)
Lots of pepper
Celery salt to taste (or ordinary salt will do)
Glug of extra virgin olive oil
Place stock and tomatoes in a saucepan and bring to the boil and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Blitz in a food processor or blender until smooth and then return to the saucepan. Now add the remaining ingredients except the olive oil. Taste as you go and tweek the ingredients (depending on the flavour of the tomatoes) so that you end up with a delicious balance of sweet, sour and salty. Simmer for another 10 minutes to concentrate the flavour.
If you haven’t got a very powerful blender, you can pass the soup through a fine sieve to remove the pips, if you wish.
Serve with a drizzle of olive oil on the top and perhaps with some crusty bread and butter.
A useful tip for growing tomatoes: when the plants start to produce fruit, don’t overwater as it can make the tomatoes taste rather insipid. Depending on the weather you could try watering every third day.