Today was a soup day. Not because it was a cold winters day. Quiet the opposite in fact. Here in London, it was overcast. hottish and muggy.
No, the reason for the soup was a glut of tomatoes. Not, I hasten to add from the tomatoes growing on my terrace but the glut from the market. I wandered down one of the many street markets at the weekend, to find that on one stall tomatoes were “In”. Several kilo- of tomatoes on the Vine for £3.00 How could I say No?
On unpacking, I was even more surprised to find that they were all , almost perfect and firm, so then the next challenge was to find room for them in the refrigerator.
So now a week on, having had tomatoes in all shapes and forms, it is time to move on, and tomato soup was beckoning.
I often make tomato soup, using canned tomatoes, nothing can be easier, but today it was to be the real McCoy.
So for my soup, I used
- 1 1/2 kilo- of tomatoes,
- 2 onions sliced,
- 3 green chile peppers ( according to taste) de-seeded
- a lump of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced,
- a small handful of fresh basil,
- a small jar of sun-dried tomatoes, to give a depth of flavour,
- 1 1/2 L of vegetable stock
- small carton of sour cream + some to serve
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- some basil leaves to serve.
Make a slit in the top of the tomatoes, place in a large bowl and pour over some boiling water and leave to stand for a few minutes. Then remove one at a time and with a sharp knife, from the slit, peel off the skin.( Tomato Soup, is so much nicer with no bits of skin floating around.)
Put some olive oil in the bottom of a large saucepan and throw in the onions and the garlic. When the onions have turned translucent, add the tomatoes, chiles, basil, ginger, stock and sun-dried tomatoes. Bring all to the boil and simmer until the tomatoes are very soft.
Cool slightly and then whizz in either a blender /food processor or with a hand blender to make the mixture smooth. Return to the heat, add the sour cream ( plain yoghurt can be used, but it gives a bit of a dappled effect to the soup) taste and add salt and pepper. Serve hot with a swirl of sour cream and a few basil leaves, along with some toasted sour dough bread, Home made of course.
And the Real McCoy? where does that come from. Well from the USA, as I understand it. The McCoy company made some pretty awful pottery items in the early twentieth century, but was copied far and wide, but as with all these things, it was real if it had the correct signature on the base of the item. hence the real McCoy.