Basic tomato soup
- 25g butter, dripping or lard
- 1 Spanish onion, peeled and coarsely diced
- 1 medium carrot, scraped and diced
- 2-3 stalks celery, diced (include leaves if available)
- 60g streaky bacon, diced
- A pinch of sugar or more (optional but will help to caramelise the vegetables and reduce acidity)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 sprig of thyme
- 1 sprig of parsley
- 2 tins whole tomatoes (see Chef's notes below)
- 900mls Chicken, ham or vegetable stock
- 2 teaspoons cornflour
- Melt the butter, dripping or lard in a heavy bottomed pan over a low heat.
- Add the vegetables and bacon and saute until the onions are slightly softened.
- Stir in the sugar and cook until the vegetables are beginning to caramelise.
- Let it take as long as it needs to do this.
- Add the herbs, tomatoes and stock and simmer, covered, for about 1-2 hours
- Remove and discard the herbs, rub the soup through a fine sieve and return to the pan.
- Take a little of the stock and mix with the cornflour.
- Return to the pan and bring to a gentle boil.
- Cook for a few minutes and season to taste.
- Garnish with croutons or a little chopped parsley.
Serve with white bread rolls
- *Radiation Cookery Book' (1935)
- *Ma Cuisine - Auguste Escoffier (1934)
If you have a good blender, then you can blend the soup after removing the herbs, rather than passing through a sieve. You can used milk to replace some of the stock, in which case do not add it until you have brought the soup to a boil after mixing in the cornflour. Re-heat by simmering only.
You can use fresh tomatoes instead of tinned, providing they are tasty and ripe. The flavourless, under-ripened ones commonly sold in British supermarkets are not suitable. For my personal taste, I think a teaspoon of sugar is needed, but does depend on the acidity of your tomatoes.
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