Too Many Tomatoes

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.soup 2

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 1/2 kilo- of tomatoes,
  2. 2 onions sliced,
  3. 3  green chile peppers ( according to taste) de-seeded
  4. a lump of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced,
  5. a small handful of fresh basil,
  6. a small jar of sun-dried tomatoes, to give a depth of flavour,
  7. 1 1/2 L of vegetable stock
  8. small carton of sour cream + some to serve
  9. 2-3 cloves garlic
  10. Salt and pepper to taste.
  11. 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.soup 1

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.


For richer, for poorer, but not for Lunch!

For richer, for poorer, but not for Lunch!

It is that time of year again, we are on the move and as such, it means sorting out the refrigerator, and so I make soup. Fortunately, Himself likes soup and although I married him for richer, for poorer, I did not marry him for lunch! So this at least is an ideal compromise, as I make soup, bag it in Zip Lock bags ( perfect for one person….Large portion), remove the air and flat pack them in the freezer, ready for whenever!

So my most common soup, when clearing out is my infamous Refrigerator soup, others include, Cauliflower and blue cheese ( always have Stilton left over after Christmas), Leek and potato, ( always have too many potatoes), and french onion,( again too many onions and garlic),and when I have too much lettuce I make pea, sometimes with ham, and sometimes without, just depends if I have too much ham.

Seriously, though, my refrigerator soup, is made with whatever is left and todays version has the title of Refirgerator Soup, a la Provencal, as it could almost be Ratatouille!!

So as I say, when needs must I make soup from almost anything , more or less the only ones that I can really replicate time and time again are French Onion and Pea! But I came across a recipe the other day, hiding in my numerous Cookery books . Ones that are less popular have been decamped to France and in some cases, ones that are extremely popular have been duplicated in France, and I subscribe to French cookery magazines and web sites, always interesting to have an insight to other cultures and cuisine .
However the recipe I happened upon, was aptly named Ron’s Mum, Mully Soup!
Ron’s Mum was I believe of Burmese origin but sadly died many years ago, and so did Ron . I always said that the recipe would die with Ron’s Mum, and whilst living in the US circa 1994 , Ron asked ” do you by any chance have my Mums recipe for Mulligatawny soup? And I did. So here it is, it was the best Mully soup going but this was dated about 1970, so times have changed and I think I would use ready cooked chicken today and maybe not the condensed chicken soup, but give it a try and see for yourself.




Soups from Top to bottom are, Soup a la Provençal, thick Mulligatawny and Ron’s Mum Mully Soup! Given a taste test the other night the general consensus was They preferred Ron’s Mum, however, number two daughter declared after looking at the contents of tinned soup ( lots of filler and only 3% soup) that if she had known beforehand then she might not have eaten it! Ah well! It could be a quick semi homemade soup providing you have the cooked chicken and the can of soup ( I normally do not) enjoy!