Challenge No. 40 – Tomato Soup

This challenge was suggested by my lovely mum, who as it turns out got to be in Manchester to try this one!  I have made tomato soup before, however, I don’t remember it being particularly nice and I’ve always stuck to my tinned favourite.  Nevertheless, for the purposes of Challenge 52, I went back on the hunt for a lovely cream of tomato soup recipe.

I eventually settled on a recipe posted by Lacey on her blog, A Sweet Pea Chef.   Be sure to go and check out this blog…there are some really yummy looking recipes!

So for this recipe, you will need:-

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 vine-ripened tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 8 fresh basil leaves
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • ¾ cup milk 

Ed -ingredients

Those of you who have been following my blog for a while, may remember that I try to stay clear of ‘cups’ recipes!  Well after discussing this with some friends who were visiting from Canada, Linda very kindly bought me a couple of gifts…

Ed - cups

Amazing!  I can now measure in cups ☺

Anyway, on with the recipe.  I started by peeling and then dicing my onions and carrots before adding them to the hot oil in my GIANT saucepan. 

Ed - chopped veg

Whilst the onions and carrots were cooking, I roughly diced up the tomatoes and got my stock ready.  I cheated and used instant stock but I have added this to my post Challenge 52 list of things to try – homemade stock! So watch this space for a post about how I get on.

*It would have been good to have a picture of my chopped up tomatoes here, however, apparently I forgot to take one!  You would have thought that by Challenge No. 40, I would have the hang of this but evidently not.  Whoops! You’ll just have to use your imagination*

Once the vegetables had been cooking for around 10 minutes, I added the crushed garlic.  I let this cook for around a minute and then I added the tomatoes, tomato paste, basil and chicken stock.  I seasoned it with salt and pepper, mixing it all up before letting it come up to a boil.  I then reduced the heat and left it to simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.

Ed - all in the pan

Time to blend it all together into a nice smooth soup.  I decided to use my handheld electric blender and did it in 2 batches in a jug.  The recipe then says to pour it back into the pan to reheat, however, I added in a little extra step here.  I don’t like soup with too much texture and it wasn’t quite going smooth enough with the blender.  So I decided to strain the blended soup through a sieve before returning it to the pan.  It worked a treat!

Ed - blending Ed - sieve

I added my milk but then portioned the soup up to reheat the next day.  We’d already been naughty and eaten left over Chinese food for dinner 🙂

So the next night, when my mum was visiting, I put two portions of the soup into a pan and heated it up over a medium to low heat.  The other two portions have gone into the freezer for another day. 

Ed - served up1

This soup was delicious!  Mum and I both agreed that the sieve hadn’t got rid of all the ‘grainy’ texture but it was close enough and we thoroughly enjoyed this lovely smooth and rich tomato soup.  Dave (who had KFC whilst we ate this!), tried a spoonful and said it was great…and that is coming from someone who doesn’t really like soup. So Lacey can now a third ‘tomato soup’ convert to her list!

Coming up next week, Challenge No. 41 – Zebra Cake.  Hope to see you then.