Picolo cherry tomatoes

Tomato Soup – more or less

Picolo cherry tomatoes

Each year I eventually reach the stage where I have a bowl of over-ripe tomatoes. More often than not I will roast then with some garlic and herbs and pop them into the freezer to add to a pasta sauce or a casserole later in the year. However, on a wet, blustery day, it is tempting to turn them into a thick warming soup.
This recipe is infinitely flexible in terms of both quantities and ingredents – just add a little more or a little less. The creative possibilities are endless, but with a bowl of home grown tomatoes the results will be delicious.

  • Ripe tomatoes – about 500g any variety
  • Onion – finely diced
  • Garlic – 2-3 cloves or more or not at all
  • Celery – one stick
  • Mushrooms – 150g or so, sliced
  • Dried tomatoes – 3-6 may be
  • Dried mushrooms – a small handfull
  • Red, orange or yellow peppers – sliced
  • Red pepper or tomato paste or perhaps harissa – a tablespoon or more or less
  • Herbs – tarragon, sage, rosemary, parsley, basil as you wish
  • Seasoning – sea salt, black pepper, seaweed flakes to taste
  • Olive oil – 2-3 tablespoons
  • A squeeze or more of lemon

Begin by soaking the dried tomatoes and mushrooms in hot water for at least 20 minutes
When soft drain and chop – retain the soaking liquid
Sweat the onion in the oil until soft and translucent
Add the celery and garlic, cook gently until soft
Mushrooms are next, a couple of minutes will do
Next add the dried tomatoes and mushrooms with the soaking liquid
Followed by the fresh tomatoes (roughly chopped) and the peppers
Ensure there is enough liquid to just cover the vegetables, if not add water
Stir in the pepper, tomato paste or harissa
Cook gently, adding the herbs and seasoning
After about 30 minutes the vegetables will be soft, if not cook a little more
Now taste and adjust the seasoning, before adding a squeeze of lemon
Taste again
Depending on how you like your soup, you can either use a hand blender or food processor to create a smooth or more chunky consistency
You may wish to add more liquid (water is fine) to adjust the thickness
Taste again, if not perfect adjust the seasoning so it tastes just how you like it.

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