A spoonful of sugar

Helps the medicine go down , in the most delightful way.

Darlings, daughter no.1 has rocked up full of tonsillitis. As usual it’s the old routine of soup and ice cream. Yes, chicken soup is Jewish penicillin but tomato soup being a firm favourite one has a childhood fancy for a simple can of Heinz but sometimes something swisher is needed.

Lulu Powers ( Lulu Powers food to flowers) has a rather smarter option. Apparently it tastes just like the tomato soup served in the Ritz Paris.

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Lulu’s Ritz tomato soup

Serves 6
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 1/2 pounds plum tomatoes, chopped, or cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped carrot
5 garlic cloves, chopped
3 bay leaves
2 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons sugar
Marscarpone cheese
Fresh basil, julienned
1. In a medium saute pan over medium heat, saute the onion in the olive oil until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, carrot, and garlic and saute until the tomatoes are soft and beginning to fall apart, about 10 minutes.
2. Add the bay leaves, chicken stock, white wine, salt, pepper, and sugar. Simmer for 25 to 30 minutes over low to moderate heat.
3. Remove the bay leaves and puree with a hand blender or transfer to a blender and puree. Adjust the seasoning as desired.
4. Serve with a dollop of marscarpone and julienned basil.

If like moi sometimes there is not a drop of wine in the house ( can’t imagine why?) and there is crème fresh in and not marscapone then never fear, an alternative is here.

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Felicity Cloake Tomato soup

Serves 4
1kg ripe tomatoes
4 tbsp olive oil
Pinch of sugar
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and diced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Small bunch of basil, separated into leaves and stalks
600ml chicken stock
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp creme fraiche
Extra virgin olive oil, to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 190C and cut the tomatoes in half horizontally. Arrange, cut-side up, in a baking dish, drizzle with half the oil and season with salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar. Bake for about an hour, until softened and beginning to char around the edges.
2. Heat the remaining oil in a large, heavy-based pan over a medium heat and add the onion, carrot and garlic. Cook, stirring regularly, for about 7 minutes until softened. Meanwhile, chop the basil stalks, and then add to the pan and cook for another minute.
3. Add the tomatoes, plus any juices from the dish, to the pan along with the stock. Stir and bring to the boil, then turn the heat down, cover and leave to simmer for 25 minutes, until all the vegetables are soft. Leave to cool slightly.
4. Use a blender to purée the soup, then stir in the vinegar and creme fraiche, and season to taste. Reheat gently, while you tear the basil leaves into pieces, then serve with these and a drizzle of olive oil on top.

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