Friday, October 12, 2007
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and coarsely grated
A handful of fresh basil, leaves picked, stalks finely chopped
6 Tbsp double cream
1 tsp red wine vinegar
2 egg yolks
1kg super ripe tomatoes
1.1 liters/2 pints chicken or vegetable stock
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Put the onion, garlic, carrot and basil stalks into a large pot with a couple of lugs of olive oil. Cover the pan and simmer gently without coloring for 20 min, stirring every couple of minutes. Whisk together the cream, vinegar and egg yolks in a small bowl and leave to one side. While the veg are simmering, drop the tomatoes in boiling water for 30 seconds, then remove the skins and roughly chop the flesh. Add these to the veg, then pour in the stock and simmer for a further 20 min with the lid on. At this point it’s nice to puree the soup using either a food processor, a liquidizer, or a hand held blender, but be careful, as it will be hot. Once it’s pureed, bring it back to a simmer and season very carefully with salt and pepper.
Just before serving, to enrich the soup and give it a shine and silky texture, whisk in the cream mixture (don’t reboil it after adding the egg yolks or it will scramble) and serve straight away, sprinkled with a few torn up basil leaves if you like.
Any one who has kids knows that in those early school years, you catch every cold that goes around. In the midst of the most recent one, I got a strong craving for some tomato soup. I always find it to be the most comforting when I’m flu-y, and we happened to have a batch of tomatoes that we grew sitting around.
Just as an aside, that makes it sound like I’m a really earthy gardening sort, which is not true. I hope to be someday, and these tomatoes were a first step in that direction. We managed to get some fresh parsley, thyme and we almost had cucumbers, but some roving animal ate them all down to the nubs right when they were about to be ready for picking…
Anyway, I looked to Jamie Oliver, and I found this soup.
I didn’t have any cream, so I used some crème fraiche instead. In such a small amount I didn’t think it would make a big difference.
It was spot on perfect. This was the ideal of tomato soup. This was like a day off to rest, in a bowl. It was just what I needed, and in the future, when ever I have a cold, I am going to have to make a batch of this. My husband said that this soup alone is a good reason to grow more tomatoes next year.
By the way, I only had half the amount of tomatoes needed, and a half batch comes out fine.