The amazing thing about this soup is there is very little cream in it! The secret…it is made with a bit of milk. The only cream is a spoonful swirled into each bowl before serving. I carefully created arty little swirls of cream which would look perfect for the picture and proceeded to walk over from the kitchen to the outdoors soup in hand. By the time I reached my destination there were no swirls left and I ended up with these psychedelic patterns of cream in my soup which look closer to modern art and thought damn my pictures are messed up now! Pretty soon my heart decided to embrace this modern cream of tomato soup look which was so “meant to be” and so I got busy clicking!
You can either use 900 grams of fresh ripe tomatoes if you can get them, but I always end up using the best quality tinned plum tomatoes I can find. They are just handy, always lying around the pantry waiting patiently for the day when you will call on them and turn them into something so exciting. No better ending could a tomato hope for! This really is very simple recipe and my favorite tomato soup, no questions asked. You will notice there is a small potato that goes into the soup too, and that is really a good trick as it gives it the most gorgeous texture, and helps the soup thicken.
I like to serve this soup with a swirl of cream, a few drops of really good peppery olive oil, a drop of balsamic vinegar and of course some freshly cracked pepper. All you need is some nice crusty warm bread and you are in for a blissful time. So here it is…the essential tomato soup recipe…
CREAM OF TOMATO SOUP
1 small to medium onion
1 small potato
3-4 fat cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon butter
800 grams organic plum tomatoes tinned or 900 grams ripe organic tomatoes chopped
big handful of basil leaves
1-2 tsp sugar
large handful of fresh basil
freshly cracked pepper
450 ml milk (whole milk is best)
450 ml chicken or vegetable stock
1 tbsp tomato puree (makes the color glorious)
Heat a big saucepan and add butter and olive oil. Now add the chopped onions, potatoes, whole garlic cloves and cook for 5 minutes. Add your plum tomatoes, sugar, salt pepper, milk, tomato puree, stock and the basil leaves. Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes or till potatoes are cooked. Let the soup cool down and then liquidize in a blender. Pour into clean saucepan, taste and adjust the seasoning and sugar if necessary.
Reheat before serving. Garnish with a swirl of cream, a few drops of peppery olive oil, a couple of drops of balsimic vinegar, some freshly cracked pepper and a basil leaf sprig. Enjoy.